When it’s time to say Goodbye

This is probably one of the hardest posts to write. I’m all emotional. There’s this tight and heavy feeling in my chest. There are butterflies and OMG is that a tear? If you know me well, you know I am not typically a crier. But there have been a lot of things on my mind when it comes to blogging and life and I think I am ready to talk about it.

As most of you know, I run two blogs. Full time. I have this one; which is solely dedicated to Young Adult and now, Middle Grade. My sister blog, After Hours at Lilyblombooks, is all things New Adult and Adult. It’s been almost two years and for the longest time, things were going great.

They aren’t anymore.

On a confession post I posted just this week, I talked about how I felt stagnant. I briefly discussed my feelings about it and how I needed a change. When I wrote it, I didn’t have the slightest IDEA what I was going to do about said changes, and how I was going to do it. Okay that’s a lie because I DID have ideas – I just didn’t know if they would work or if they were really ME. But the more I thought about it, and the more I talked about it, one thing kept coming up – Saying Goodbye to After Hours at Lilybloombooks.

Let’s rewind a little bit, shall we?

Back in 2014 – I went to you readers to see your thoughts on a new blog. At the time, I was in more of an ADULT BOOK mood, and the kiddo was supposed to start blogging with me. (Things happened there, story for another day.) I felt weird having 14 & 15 year old’s reading MY THOUGHTS on a book I felt they had no business reading. I felt like if I had two outlets to broadcast my thoughts on EVERYTHING, it would make me happy. And yes, it did. Anyway, the general consensus was basically, “blog how you want.” And well… I wanted to create another blog, to separate the two. So I did.

It has been fun! Some things are extremely hard – like writing two wraps up. Reading enough and having enough content for BOTH. PROMOTING both blogs is probably the toughest thing. But somewhere along the line, it’s become a chore. A chore I like to do, like organizing my book shelf, but a chore none the less. And ironic as it is, one of the reasons I created After Hours was because I felt stagnant, and felt like THIS BLOG wouldn’t/couldn’t grow. But it has. And After Hours can’t keep up. I can’t keep up.

I have tried SO MANY things to bring back that spark I had when I created After Hours. New features, new posts, redesigning and bringing Jessica on board, which was the best thing, ever. Just saying. I even thought about making it like a journal type blog, which was how I started blogging in the first place. I’m just.. I’m just not happy.

And I feel like I’ve failed

This is the hardest thing for me to come to grips with. I feel like I completely failed. My intentions were good, and even worked for a while, but I can’t get that blog to the level that this one is. When it comes to enthusiasm, content, promotion and a following.

We all want to say that numbers don’t matter, but they do. I had more followers/readers/comments in the first 60 DAYS of creating Lilybloombooks in almost 2 YEARS at After Hours. That is a hard pill to swallow.

I feel like I have failed the authors I promote and the publishers I work with. I have always been open that After Hours didn’t have the same following – besides social media – and just about everyone has been okay with that. But if they aren’t being read? How am I helping? Yes, blog what you want, I know I know. But part of my blog is TO HELP promote books I love and enjoy for the authors and the publishers, not to just to be part of a community. Say what you want about that, but it’s the truth.

I feel like I have failed because I just CAN’T DO IT ANYMORE. When you set yourself on a project, or start something new, you want to succeed. And I don’t feel like I have. This is all fresh and new and maybe in a few weeks or months, I won’t feel so shitty about it.

It also strikes me as odd that the reasons for wanting to create another outlet are the same reasons I want to shut it down. Sure, we change and we grow. But again, it makes me feel like I have FAILED.

So, now what?

I have previous commitments that I either, a) need to just fulfill over there or, b) tell [them] that I am bringing it over here. I don’t have a time line, or date set or anything, but the small transition will start soon. I haven’t decided if I will ask my host to just shut it down or continue to pay for it when it comes time to renew my service. That doesn’t seem fair for all the things I have done over there, and I might want to bring it back one day. Who knows.

I am hoping that with 100% of my time dedicated to Lilybloomboooks, my content will be… more? There are times when I feel like I am doing everything half ass. Instead of 30-40 hours a week on two blogs, I can have that time on ONE. But what I really need to think about is do I bring that content BACK to Lilybloombooks? And if so, HOW? I love the connections I have made with the authors and publishers I’ve worked with while running After Hours, and the readers over there. And I love reading mature content but I just don’t know how to reintroduce that back HERE. Or if I even want to.

I will however, be doing more life posts. It was one of my intentions over at After Hours to share more personal things about myself. More than I already do, anyway. I want to branch out more and review products and share other things that I love, besides books. Books will always come first on here, but as I grow as a person, this blog has to grow with me. And like all the commentators from before, I am gonna blog how I want!

I said before that creating After Hours at Lilybloombooks was the best blogging decision I ever made. And I still stand by that. Sure, that FAILURE sign is flashing in my face right now but I have learned a lot about myself in the process. I know my limits and in a way, I know I CAN DO IT it’s just not what I want anymore or what makes me happy. The sky’s the limit as they say, and I’m ready to see how high I can go.


16 thoughts on “When it’s time to say Goodbye

  1. Lauren Ransom

    I think it would be great for you to merge your After Hours stuff here! Especially since your kiddo won’t be blogging with you here. You should be free to post whatever, wherever you want 🙂 I know I’ll keep reading no matter what! <3 Also, don't feel like a failure. I'd imagine it's SUPER hard to devote time and energy into two blogs.

    1. tonyalee

      Thanks Lauren! I hope the transition runs smoothly lol

      It’s hard NOT to feel like one. I am feeling better and stronger about the decision, and i know once things are fully over here I will feel 10000x better. *hugs*

  2. Sara

    Gah, I struggle to keep one blog going, doing two would kill me lol. You’ve got to figure out what works best for you and then go with it, no regrets 🙂

  3. Jenna @JinkiesBooks

    I’ve been thinking similarly, I have a personal blog and my book blog. I’m planning on merging the two because I don’t want to lose all of my content. However, I like the name of my other one, but all my followers are on this one.
    It can be stressful, but take a deep breath and maybe you could keep After Hours up, but just not post in it anymore and start posting here. I would love to see more adult books instead of just living inside a YA bubble.

    1. tonyalee

      That’s a hard decision too. My very first blog was a personal one that i used as a journal, but I deleted the content when I changed my blog name and dedicated it to books. I was going to start incorporating more personal posts on After Hours, but now that I closed it, that will be here. I think I am OKAY with mixing things up on here and not just having it books. But we shall see how that goes. GOOD LUCK!

      I think I will continue to pay for it – should i ever want to go back to two blogs. 🙂

  4. Morgan @ Gone with the Words

    I think you can still post your content here! Maybe make a new graphic to make it clear that it’s adult fiction or more mature fiction… but you definitely don’t need to feel like a failure. Two blogs is a LOT of work, on top of regular life! And your blog is so lovely. I know it’s easier said than done but don’t be too hard on yourself <3 Can't wait to see what you come up with!

    1. tonyalee

      I thought about a graphic! Even just something that said ADULT REVIEW lol But I think the content warning words too, so either way. I just remember this email I got from a parent, where a teen was begging for this book that no teen IMO should be reading, and she told her mom I recommended it. It put things into perspective LOL As a parent, I don’t hold the person responsible per se, but at the same time, my boys love certain YouTubers and some of the crap they say drives me crazy. But that’s on ME not THEM, ya know!? Anyway I am rambling.

  5. Sara @ forever 17 books

    You are so not a failure. I can’t keep up with two. Though only one is a review blog. But spending so much time on the one makes me lose interest in the other. Combining them back up is a great idea. You’ll find a way to make it work. 😄

    1. tonyalee

      Thanks Sara! I am starting to feel better about everything and excitement is coming in!

      If you need help, let me know!!!

  6. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I’m amazed that you’ve managed to keep two blogs going for as long as you have. I have a second blog that I almost NEVER post on because it’s just too much to keep up with – but that’s okay with me because I just basically have it as a place where I can post my kids’ reviews if I want to. I don’t take review requests over there, so it doesn’t matter to me that it gets zero traffic.
    Next year, I’m teaching a blogging 101 class through our co-op, though, so I’ll probably try to get it up and running more so I can use it as an example. I don’t want to send the kids at my Christian co-op to my regular where I sometimes post about books with adult content! I’m a bit nervous about how much extra work this will be, so we shall see…

    1. tonyalee

      Yeah it wasn’t easy but thank you!!! It means a lot that so many are encouraging.

      Oh that class sounds fun! I thought about asking my library if they had any classes I could with. 🙂

  7. kimbacaffeinate

    I cannot even fathom handling two blogs, and was amazed at how you did it. I know you are struggling with feelings of shame, failure and stress at not keeping After Hours, but you should also be proud of all that you accomplished. I think a merging of the two. Caffeinated reviews everything, and while admittedly my YA and children’s books aren’t as prevalent I think it works. I have some younger followers, but most are over 18. I find the younger ones stop by for my YA reviews only.

    1. tonyalee

      Thanks Kim!

      I do feel better – and I am proud of After Hours – it’s just all those feelings of self doubt and failure always has it’s way of sneaking in a taking over.

      I will be merging the two for sure – I even have an adult review going up tomorrow, so I hope things work out in the end as I want them to! Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. It means a lot!

  8. Wendy @ Book Scents

    I swear I ALWAYS think I have commented on something and it’s just in my head. Or did we talk about this on whatsapp? Don’t feel like a failure! Running two blogs is so much work and so much time and I don’t even know how you’ve been doing it!! I think you should post your after hours content here but just mark it as adult content so then your readers know. 🙂

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