February is never really a good month for me in general. I am saying this right here and now so you know and understand that when I say "I hate February", you know this isn't a new thing. I've had this relationship with the month since I was 20 and there are reasons I loathe the month (especially the last two weeks of the month). So, I don't like this month.
But this February has been a weird one. Not only does my general dislike of the month has been creeping out slowly over past few days (writing this the weekend of Valentine's Day as a few days ago), but the COVID-19 situation and the world politics has, I think, slowly got to me and to everyone I know and love.
I think this is what has happened with me and my relationship with blogging and reviewing. Don't get me wrong, I love reading and I love talking about books, audiobooks and stories. But the past few weeks/months have been a struggle for me. I find writing reviews and blogposts a struggle. And I don't think I am the only one. I've seen and read many book bloggers and vloggers as well as many others in this bookish community saying that they are struggling because of the last 12-18 months. It's been hard on everyone and we all must be kind to ourselves.
This is why I warned at the beginning of the year that I might not review everything I read and audiobook on the Pewter Wolf or the Pewter Wolf Reads (as I am beginning to call it. Though I might change it back to Pewter Wolf as I might chat about TV, film and podcasts in the future. Possible after my Easter break [a break I missed last year due to... well... needing something to cling onto during the weird times. And I might have gone a tad too hardcore clinging to it like a lifejacket]). And I was true to my word. At the time of writing this, I have read/audiobook about 9 titles and I have only really talked about five on here. The other four (I say four, one was a short story audiobook lasting just over 30 minutes so, technically, should be three but I'm saying four and they are in the pic at the top of this post, if you are curious!) I have chatted about on my Goodreads
and on my Twitter
[hence, again, why I said to follow/befriend on these platforms.].
And all of them were a bit "meh". Two or three star reads at the most. Hence why I didn't really want to write them up on here. I want to talk to you guys about books that are four or five star reads. Stories that, if I met you in the book shop (when we're allowed to), I would rush up to you, thrust the book in your hands and go "OMG! You have to read this!"
But yes, burnout is a reason. And pressure. Book bloggers/vloggers/grammers/podcasters/etc put ourselves under a lot of pressure and we do it to ourselves. And yes, at times, I do pressure myself into thinking "Should this be the year I bow out of book blogging?".
But we're all in the same boat (though, not essential workers such as doctors, nurses, hospital porters, postal workers, supermarket workers and others I can name - you guys have gone through so much more and we all need to recognise that!). We are all suffering from burnout and all of us are suffering with mental health due to COVID. Which is why I will say that burnout sucks and, because of that, we all need to look after each other and ourselves.
Because of that (and February and burnout sucking) I'm telling you now that I'm going to change how I blog. I know I said this earlier this year, but I am going to say it again so I actually listen to myself. I am going to try and take a different, much-more chilled approach to book blogging this year. They will be other posts linked to TV, films, podcasts and other, slightly weird posts, but this will still be a bookish blog. But the Pewter Wolf going to be more relaxed in posts (self-care). So, am going to go off and listen to some jazz/country music (I have started to get into that) and plot a post about TV shows I need to watch ASAP and you can shout at me for being slow.
Look after yourselves and be kind to each other and yourself.