Happy Monday morning to you all. It is harder to self-motivate on a Monday so I thought I would do all the hard-work for you and approach the very stubborn ailment that is a Reading Slump. I am going to share a few tips and tricks to overcome the crippling sense of Meh! that accompanies a slump and how you can re-motivate yourself to get back on the book horse. This is my first attempt at writing something outright motivational so please bear with me while I work this all out. Thanks for stopping by and please share your own motivational tips with the hashtag #MondayMotivation.
Tips For Dealing With A Reading Slump
Take a proper break
Why fight it when your brain is spelling it out that you need a break. I know bloggers like myself have deadlines, schedules and blog tours but people will definitely know if you are just churning out unenthusiastic posts that you clearly dragged yourself to the computer to write. I find that when I can’t pick up a book I feel like throwing myself headfirst into another activity. Maybe watching that box-set that you wanted to get through but have been too busy. Have a spring clean, sort out your TBR, talk to other book lovers, finish a video game, try a new activity like cooking or learn a new language (there are some stellar apps like Memrise and Duolingo to get you started). These will all take your focus away from your frustration and it will allow you to come back to books naturally instead of against your will.
Try a new genre or format of book
If I am stuck in a really bad rut but I have no choice but to read then I dive into the depths of my TBR and usually pull out the unusual genres or formats like graphic novels, poetry or short stories. A slump is usually brought on by repetition and it is good to break the chain once in a while. This is one of the main reasons that I have never assigned a specific genre to my blog because chopping and changing allows me to keep up reading as long as I am including variation when it gets difficult. Try something new and it might surprise you and reinvigorate your passion.
Go back to a book that got you into reading in the first place
This works for me a lot of the time. I have a stack of books on my bedside table that are the reason I am a reader and blogger today. These books are a lifeline as they are instantaneous joy for me. I pick them up and remember why I love reading. From Stephen King to John Grisham, these novels take me back to another time in my life and it is usually the ticket to jump-starting my spirit. Try it out. Pick out a book that you love and want to read again, keep it nearby and when the time is right, jump right in.
Focus on what is bothering you about reading
If you are a ‘I face my problems head on’ kind of person then you may want to stop and take a second to analyse what is truly bothering you about reading. There is always a reason and you might rack your brains and come up with nothing, but keep it simple. Are you bored, frustrated, out of your depth or stressed. It is okay to admit you are overwhelmed! I do it all the time; I take on far too much and then all but crawl up into a ball and think WHY!?!?!?! Reflect on what is bothering you and either have a break, re-organise or try something new.
Read reviews and blog posts
One of my favourite elements to the blogs I follow is the passion. It is infectious, it is addictive and it can be immensely helpful. If you are feeling uninspired or meh! then take to the blogs to get a much needed injection of passion from your peers. I have been pepped up many a time from a blogger I respect. Whether they are down-to-earth, hilarious, over-joyous or forthright, bloggers are conduits for passion and excitement. Have a look around and someone might light a fire under your bum. Here are some suggestions 😀
Set goals or join a group
Targets don’t always have to be a stressful thing. Yeah I would probably avoid the Goodreads book challenge because no matter how much you read you never seem to be ahead… Sorry… Sore point of 2017 for me 😀 Targets and groups can be a great motivational tool as most of you know. I know it is also these elements that also cause stress in the first place so just adapt them to your own circumstances. The smaller the better, just little aims to get you thinking and out of your funk. If you are sick of the groups your in then start your own! Lead the pack, it might give you the focus you needed to re-energise and get your head straight.
Don’t get stressed out
Reading is meant to be enthralling, compelling and meaningful to you. I know some elements are out of your control if you are a blogger but we spend so much time reading that it needs to be significant to us. It might be how you approach your reading that is the problem not the books you pick up. I am a firm believer in the idea of ‘Right Book Wrong Time’ so just take it easy and if you are not feeling a book then put it down and re-visit it. It is easy to lose focus as there is so much to consider and too much choice. Frustration can become a daily struggle. When you find yourself getting worked up about books then it is a signal to stop. Books are meant to be a solution not a problem so take a step back and think about where you want to take your reading. Take a decent break and sort through your TBR and inspiration will hit you eventually.
Thank you again for stopping by to check out my top tips for battling the dreaded Reading Slump. It can happen to anyone for any reason so the thing to avoid it getting worked up about the slump as it will only enforce the feeling of Meh! There are plenty of other great blogs out there with tips to deal with reading slumps so if you don’t like what you see here then go have a look around; these are just my own personal insights into how I deal with regularly recurring slumps. Thank you for reading and let me know in the comments if I helped at all.