Life · Readathons · Reading

A Reading Slump | AKA I failed my OWLs

OH READING SLUMP, WE MEET AGAIN.

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If you recall, I had this grand and epic plan to participate in the absolutely awesome OWLs Readathon in the month of April–a Harry Potter inspired challenge that involves picking a magical career. I wanted to become a librarian, and you can check out my TBR here. If I say so myself, it was an ever-so-slightly ambitious goal. 

Why was it ambitious? Well, I was drafting a whole PhD chapter for most of April, and that involves a lot of work. I was also trying to finish the latest draft of my middle grade WIP. In-between all of that I was dealing with a mental health blip (cheers anxiety), some other not so fun stuff going on in my personal life, and then my beloved, nine-lived laptop finally died, and I had to scramble to: (a) make sure all of my recent work was backed up (b) find the money for a new laptop, and (c) buy a new laptop. OH, and then I dislocated my thumb.

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So all in all, it was a pretty full on month. However, normally even when I’m busy, I carve out time to read. Reading is kind of therapeutic to me–it calms me to sink into another world and is generally the perfect antidote to pesky anxiety spikes. But in April, even though I had loads of books on my shelves that I could not wait to read, I didn’t pick them up. I’m not sure why, or how the month got away from me, but as of writing this post, I haven’t completed a single book.

That ‘failure’ started stressing me out. I started thinking of ways I could catch up, and obsessively tracking how badly I was doing on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. But even though I was stressed about it, I still couldn’t seem to read.

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So, I took a breather, and tried to think about it in a not-anxious way (which was v difficult as I am an anxious bean). Reading is supposed to be fun. Readathon’s are usually fun-magnified. Stressing about either of them is redundant. Maybe I was just a little too busy to fall into a story headfirst, or maybe my brain just needed a little break.

Basically, this whole post is a long-winded announcement that literally no-one asked for: I’m in a reading slump. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Reading is a joy to me, and forcing myself to do it for the sake of an arbitrary goal that I have made up seems a little counter-productive. Although I am super disappointed that I didn’t *really* take part in the OWLS Readathon, there is always next year, or the next readathon. But I’d much rather do it properly and joyfully when I’m in a more positive state of mind.

That being said, right now, books and me are on a little break. ALSO, a reminder incase any of you lovely folks need one: if your mental health is feeling a little fragile, please tell someone and go to your doctor if you can. MH is so so important, and although I know that, I know that I definitely put off dealing with it sometimes.

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BTW, these photos are of things that have really helped with my anxiety over the last month: flowers, walks in the woods, cat cuddles, and beautiful sunsets.

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