If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been in a wicked reading and blogging slump. It started at the beginning of August, held on through the entire month, and doesn’t seem to be letting up now that September has arrived. It’s been rough.
Although I hate being in slumps like these, I don’t let myself feel bad about them anymore. I used to get really stressed when I was in the middle of a slump — Can I really be a book blogger if I’m not reading or blogging?! — but at this point I know that slumps are just part of actually having a full and fulfilling life. Reading sometimes takes a backseat to everything else.
One of the things that’s been interesting about this slump is that it seems to include all of the things that I know cause me to slide into a slump in the first place. It’s almost a perfect storm of factors for a reading slump.
First, I’ve had a lot of personal stress in the last month. We moved, I’ve been traveling on weekends, and work has been quiet busy. When life starts to feel overwhelming, I sometimes turn away from books in favor of easier things like television or movies.
Second, I’ve had a lot of book-related obligations. I overextended myself with some freelance work over the last month, which has made it difficult to find motivation to read.
Third, I’m in the middle of a few books that aren’t as engaging as I want them to be. I’m enjoying them and I think the topic is important (and I have to finish them), but because I’m not being sucked into them, I keep finding excuses to avoid them.
Fourth, I have too many books to choose from. One idea that has stuck with me for years is the paradox of choice. Basically, when we have too many options, we often become paralyzed making a choice and, when we do, we are often dissatisfied with the outcome. I have so many books I want to be reading — and so many great books that are coming out this month — that I’m paralyzed trying to choose one to start with.
That’s really my perfect storm for a reading slump: stress, obligations, boredom and unlimited options. I can battle any one of those things, but they are formidable when they arrive together.
It’s ok though. I’m tackling them one at a time — focusing at work, finishing out projects, grabbing unexpected books and limiting my reading pile — and hoping to beat the slump soon.
What factors cause you to get into a reading slump? What are you best slump-busting tips?