Today marks TEN YEARS since the launch of Novel Novice. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for over a decade now (since I started previously with our OG sister site, Novel Novice Twilight a couple years prior to launching this site).
It’s been a wild ride for the last 10 years, and the book blogging world has changed so much. Bloggers who were around when I started have come and gone, though there are a few other “old timers” like myself still kicking around. Trends have changed; the traditional book blog seems so passe compared to things like Booktube and Bookstagram (and I confess a particular fondness for the latter).
Also, my LIFE has changed.
When I started book blogging, I was an overnight TV producer, working a crappy overnight shift, single and living on my own, and facing an abundance of free time on my hands during daylight hours in which to pour a lot of time, energy, and love into my blog.
In the years since then, I fell in love and married my husband. We bought a house. I changed careers.
And now, I’m becoming a mom.
In case you missed it, we are expecting twins in May (if not sooner, because twins are notorious for coming early).
Now, I’ve been grappling with the future of Novel Novice for a couple years now. The burnout is REAL, and yet … when I think about shutting down the blog, I’m overcome by sadness. (I even cried about it not too long ago, although that MAY have had more to do with pregnancy hormones than real emotions, but it’s hard to tell these days.)
The last two years have also been a roller coaster in my personal life. The road to pregnancy was not an easy one for me and my husband. If you read my pregnancy announcement post last month, you’ll know that we struggled through infertility treatments for two years (including two miscarriages) before finally getting pregnant with our twins. During that journey, reading became my saving grace. Books kept me sane; they helped me get through the darkest, hardest years of my life. But at times, blogging became a chore. Something to throw together in the midst of exhaustion and rage and grief (and also just generally feeling crappy, because fertility treatments put you through the ringer, physically, too).
A year ago, I told myself I needed to make a decision about Novel Novice by the time my 10-year blogiversary rolled around. (That’s today, by the way.) My husband & I knew that 2019 would be the year we either successfully got pregnant, or the year we had to end our fertility journey and plan for a life without children. (Fertility treatments are EXPENSIVE you guys. We knew we couldn’t afford much more; we had to set an end game.)
As we began more intense fertility treatments, namely IVF, I told myself I’d know the answer to my blogging conundrum based on whether or not I got pregnant. Pregnancy meant the blog would have to end, right?
Then I got pregnant. With TWINS. (What?!?!)
And the answer to my future in book blogging still wasn’t clear to me.
I’ve really struggled with this decision. For one thing, this blog costs me roughly $200 a year just for hosting & site maintenance, not to mention little incidentals that pop up from time to time like shipping prizes, etc. In the end, it works out to about $20 per month, which is an expense we can certainly afford right now. But is it a necessary expense with twins on the way? Couldn’t I use that $20 for things like diapers and formula?
I talked to my husband about my internal debate. I tried to be practical; we had twins on the way. Financially, did spending $200+ per year for a hobby (because at the end of the day, that’s what this is — I’ve NEVER monetized the blog, and I don’t intend to) make sense? Would I even have time to blog once I became a mom?
And yet, I know plenty of other bloggers who are moms. So … maybe?
He held my hand.
And helped me make a more practical decision.
For now, the blog goes on. We’ve extended my deadline to make a decision by one more year. I liked the idea of having a decision by now because the 10-year anniversary of the blog seemed like such a neat and tidy milestone, if I was going to end things.
But ultimately, we can’t know whether I’ll want to continue blogging or not with kids in the picture … until there are ACTUALLY kids in the picture. Now, I know I’m gonna be pretty MIA for a while once these babies show up. But eventually, I’ll get used to my new normal. And in between feedings and diaper changes, maybe I’ll want to blog again? Maybe carving out 30 minutes for myself once a week to throw up a book review or a rambling blog post is something I’ll need to remind myself that I’m still a grown-up, with an identity that isn’t just “mom.”
Or maybe I won’t. Maybe not blogging will feel okay, and I’ll find peace in the idea of no longer identifying myself as a book blogger.
So the answer, for now, is … we’ll see.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking around and reading my rambling thoughts.
And thanks for being part of my little corner of the Internet here at Novel Novice.