So, Bellezza, what was it like giving up blogging for Lent?

by Bellezza

Perhaps the best way to describe the experience is to post a few thoughts from my journal during the past 46 days. Here are the most pertinent bits:

February 17, 2012

Sometimes my blog sucks so much out of me. I read wondering what I’ll put into my review. I select books according to challenges, review requests or what I consider worthy for others’ consideration, not always what I want to read.
True, my horizons have been greatly expanded by the books I’m exposed to and the friends that I’ve made. But when a passion governs you, instead of you governing it, something’s got to change. I need to let some pressure go. I need to rid myself of obligation and unspoken competition. I need to restore my joy in literature. I’m strongly considering giving up my blog for Lent, except for the three posts I’ve committed to for tours and publishers.
It seems very nice to lay it all down for roughly forty days. I may lose some rank, some traffic, some influence. But, it’s only temporal. Not eternal.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
It’s funny to me how ever since I decided to give up blogging for Lent, I have peace. It’s been running my life to where I wasn’t enjoying what I was reading. Now I’m freed up-emotionally and literally-to read as I choose. So tired of the chore blogging’s become in the endless “requirements” to post and leave comments.
Worse, I realized tonight that I’ve established too much of my worth on page rank, blog status and comments. Not focusing on God’s approval of me.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
When I gave up chocolate for Lent, I’d be tempted with substitutes: cocoa at night, Nutella for breakfast. Because if it’s not in a bar form, it must not really be chocolate.
And so, I give up blogging largely because it’s an obsession, an overwhelming amount of constant information, and then I get an iPhone4s. As if that fits with denying my sacrifice. Now I can check email. Twitter. Get comments left on my blog with the click of a button. Therefore, the only blogging I’m not doing is posting reviews or leaving comments.
Linda sent me a link to post that wrote of an “Internet Sabbath”: turning off one’s devices from Friday night until Monday morning. I think that would be a more worthy thing to do throughout the year.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I love having the computer, and Blogger, turned off. I love not checking it throughout the day, or being concerned about what to review next. I’m so free, in fact, I wonder how ardently I’ll pursue blogging once Lent is over.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Since before Christmas my Technorati Books authority has been in the top 100. Now it’s 702. How quickly one is forgotten. Deemed unnecessary.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
It’s so difficult to write a post now! I’ve labored and labored over my review for Enchantments. Before Lent, I would write a post in fifteen minutes, polish up the spelling or mechanics, change a word here or there, and hit “Publish”. Now I save the draft. Revisit it. Quit halfway through utterly stymied. Can one lose one’s ability to write by not doing it for only three weeks?!

Saturday, March 17, 2012
There is so much going on that I want to blog about! I’m excited about World Book Night coming up  April 23, for which I’ll be giving away a different book than I expected but am still thrilled to participate. I’m so excited about the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize titles which both Parrish and Stu have been discussing on Twitter. (For which I’ve only read Murakami’s 1Q84, and purchased Naruda’s Parallel Stories. But, I want to read Eco’s The Prague Cemetery as well as others on the list.) I’ve been receiving all kinds of titles from Penguin and Simon and Schuster that I’m dying to mention. Laura Fabiani has tagged me for a meme on her blog, Brad has contacted me about passing on discounts for Gone Reading International which helps support libraries and literacy programs, and Tom of Wuthering Expectations and I are planning to read Baltasar and Blimunda (a Nobel prize winning book by Jose Saramago) to read and discuss at the end of April.  For the first time, today is a bit of a challenge not to write a post. Or, two.

Sunday, April 8, 2012
Is it a sacrifice if one enjoys giving it up? I have been largely relieved in this little exercise of mine. I’ve missed your posts, learning what books you’ve enjoyed, and reading over the events of your lives. But I can’t say that I’ve missed blogging terribly. In fact, I’ve discovered that, as in anything, balance is required. A little reading and reviewing, while avoiding the tendency to turn one’s joy into a job? That’s where I’m going from now on.

I hope you’ll join me.

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