Monday, March 25, 2013

What the Feck (WTF): Review Writing Burn-out

What the Feck?! (WTF?!) 
Is a new feature here at The Book Nympho.
Every Monday we will post a book related topic 
that had us thinking WTF?! while reading a book 
or talking to others in the book community.

Review Writing Burn-out 
When writing reviews become a chore.
by The Book Nympho

We all get into that reading funk where we just need a break. So we do outside activities or catch up on some TV time or if we are really bored, spend time with other people like our families. (I know we read to get away from them but it's nice to say hi sometimes.)

While it's easy to figure out that we need to step away from our books from time to time to refresh our reading minds but what happens when we are on a reading kick but we get into a review writing funk?

That's where I've been lately, in a review writing funk. I just want to read or listen to a book and move on to the next.

I know I'm not the only blogger out there with this problem. In of one of my Goodreads groups,  other bloggers and I had a discussion about this. They were experiencing the same feelings right now.

So do we close up shop and stop blogging?

I thought about making 2013 my last year of blogging but I know I would miss it and you guys so I took that off the table the minute after I spoke it out loud to my hubby.

So what do I do? Review less? But I've already taken on help with a full time and part time associate reviewers. It's not right to let them do my work for me. So while looking around at other blogs I follow I ran across a reviewing format over at Geeky Bloggers Book Blog with her Speed Dating reviews (hosted by Book Swarm). Check out the format of Felicia's latest Speed Dating review of Friday Night Bites

It's easy and to the point. I'm thinking of using this format once a week to help with the writing funk. Not every review has to be long and creative; just a simple, here is the book I read and liked/disliked it. Done.

I think this format would be great for the books that are in the middle. Your 3 or even 4 star reviews. Books I enjoyed but don't feel like waxing poetry about them. After all my not getting graded on my reviews, so I don't have to meet a word count. Just give you guys a snap shot of what I thought.

What are YOU looking for in a review? Can a review be too vague? 

As readers of this blog; what makes you want to add a book to your TBR list after reading a review?
  • Do you want a full blown dissertation on the book, tell you EVERYTHING about the plot and characters? 
  • Do you just want a lame summary that you can get from reading the book blurp?
  • Or would you rather read about how a book made the reader/blogger FEEL awhile reading it?
  • Our opition on the writing skills of the author?

What do I look for in a review?

For me, I want to see how the reader related to the book or how the book made them feel. 

I don't need to read what I call a "book report". I avoid some blogger's reviews until after I've read the book because they give away too much information (IMO) about the plot. After reading some reviews I feel like I know the basics of the story and do not need to waste reading time on that book. 

Bloggers, what do you do to get 
out of the review writing funk?

Do you review EVERY book you read?


  1. Oh, I know exactly what you mean! I'm in one of those slumps myself right now - I want to read, but writing reviews a little less :) And I do have some books I really, really have to review because it's been a while since I read them, and the reviews aren't for my own blog!

    I also look at what people felt about a the book, and that's how I write my own reviews as well. If I don't feel anything while reading, I'm not enjoying myself as much as I think I should. Sadness, happiness, annoyance - those are good feelings to have when reading. I also need to have some kind of connection with the main characters. If they don't seem 'real' to me - I feel like I'm wasting my time reading about them. So I add how I connected with the characters in my review as well.

    Great WTF this week - as usual.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews.

  2. I am totally going to start doing it more than once a week! I have a serious case of "reviews are killing" syndrome. OK that might be dramatic but it is true :)

  3. I've been really struggling to write reviews lately. I just stare at my screen for hours drawing a blank which obviously, isn't the most productive use of my time. I constantly think about calling it quits but then I wonder: "what the heck am I going to do with myself while # 1 is watching hours and hours of sports!?" LOL My goal is to start reading / reviewing more novellas because they are less of a time commitment but so far, it hasn't happened. Maybe this week will be the week!

  4. I love this post. I want to change the way that I do reviews (and my entire blog) and have seriously been eyeing how Felicia does her's...Keeping an eye here to see what everyone says. smiles...

  5. I am going to check out that review format. Brilliant. Sometimes I forget that I am not getting graded on my reviews, but I still want them to be worthwhile ... and at the same time I don't want to spend hours upon hours writing them ... Ugh.

  6. I go through a review writing burnout quite a few times during the year. I'm in that slump at the moment. It's not that I don't want to write the review but after workin 10 hour days going home and writing a review is the last thing I want to do when I get home. I've tried to shorten my reviews but then once I start typing my mind and fingers get verbal diarrhe and the next thing I know I have a short book report. I'm so fascinated and amazed how others can write a great review in a couple of short paragraphs.

    I definitely need to find some kind of short and easy guideline to follow to make my review writing process shorter. At the moment its taking me at least 2 hours to write one review and 65% of that time is spent looking at my screen.

  7. A great post-It seems like a normal yet frustrating phase of book blogging. A great piece of advice to remember "I'm not getting graded on my review". Personally I love the reviews that give me details of how the reader felt-those are the impressions that lead me to give the book a closer look.

  8. And here I thought it was just me! I've been dragging my feet the last two weeks, trying to muster up energy to write them. But! I'm now inspired to explore a new format. I'm still going to focus on what worked/didn't work about a story but in a much easier, streamlined approach.

    Thanks for this was the shot in the arm I needed😍

  9. You know how I feel about this. I will definitely have to check it to it. Just like you said especially the 3 star ratings where I didn't hate it and I didn't love it. Those are the hardest for me, when you can't pin point what the issue is.

  10. I used to be one of those book report reviewers. It was the way I was taught to review.

    Now I use a synopsis/book blurb summary and two to three paragraphs to discuss characters, setting, and what did and didn't work for me. Since I started using this format, I haven't felt any book review pressure because it's just me giving my opinion.

    Great post! I can't wait to see what all the replies are. :)

  11. I want to know how the reviewer felt about the book. I don't need a summary because sometimes it is hard to do without spoiling it.

  12. Keeping things low pressure is the key for me. I only review one book/week, and I also don't post every day. This way I can avoid slups and burn outs.

    When I review I mostly talk about my feelings toward the book, how I felt about the characters and only very little about the plot. And I want the same from other reviews too.

  13. I basically want to know how someone felt, and why. I don't need the details of the book, unless the details are why they hated it for example. I just need to know that they liked/loved/hated the world-building, the characters, the writing style, etc. I am a serial-skimmer of reviews, because I don't want to find out too much. I also try not to give away too much in my reviews, although sometimes, it's inevitable with certain books. In those cases, I usually hide them with spoiler tags.

    Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog


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