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.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter & Instagram for random shenanigans.