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On a Book Bender

When is it time to let go of a feature? {Amanda’s Discussion}

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I’ve been thinking about retiring Clock Rewinders.

Clock Rewinders has been around almost as long as On a Book Bender has, but it’s morphed from sharing links from around the blogosphere (its original purpose) to recapping what happened during the week. And while the evolution of a feature isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I’m not sure it’s worth investing my time into something that feels like a chore.

Whenever something turns into a chore, I know it’s time to seriously reconsider and evaluate what I’m doing.

I love sharing posts from around the community, but it’s time consuming to collect links and add them to my post. Some people in the book blogging community do this, and they’re amazing at it. I’m not. To get better at sharing, I’ve downloaded Buffer and plan to tweet posts I liked.

Buffer is kind of amazing this way: I can drop posts into Buffer when I read through them in the morning (as is my habit) and Buffer will tweet them out during the day. And I think that’s going to be a far more effective way to share posts.

But I have no idea what I’d replace Clock Rewinders with—or if I’d take the weekend off completely. I just know it’s probably time for a change. And as I promised myself at the beginning of this year, I would quit without feeling guilty.

So tell me. Have you ever quit a feature? What factors went into your decision?

 

About the author: Amanda, noun: 1. Creator of On a Book Bender and Bout of Books. 2. Editor at The Path of Least Revision. 3. Lover of language and books. 4. Drinker of wine, coffee, and vodka. 5. Idea wrangler and wielder of words.

25 comments… add one

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark April 25, 2014, 9:27 am

    I’ve never quite a feature because I’m not clever enough to come up with one really:) I guess I sort of quit the cover critiques, but that was more because of all the drama in the blogosphere rather than them becoming too much work, and I felt my critiques were maybe too similar to the nasty gif-riddled reviews that were so popular for a while and I didn’t want to be any part of it.

    I definitely can understand how a feature would become a chore though. Being expected to come up with a certain type of post each week just adds an extra layer of pressure. With a review or interview or the like, if it doesn’t go up because you simply didn’t have time, you can just move it to another day. But with a feature, it has to go up when it’s supposed to because it’s become expected. If it’s not fun for you anymore Amanda, then you should definitely do something else!

    • Amanda April 25, 2014, 9:42 am

      To side track for a moment: to me, there are two kinds of snark. You’ve got your nasty, mean-girl comments disguised as humor snark and your celebration of the WTFery snark. Yours always fell into the latter for me, though I’ve certainly seen enough of the former to understand your desire to separate yourself from it entirely. I miss your cover critiques, though I also think we have a decent amount of fun poking at all the Ellora’s Cave covers for Top Off Tuesdays…

      I think the struggle for me isn’t letting go of Clock Rewinders—after a certain amount of time, you fall out of love with something, especially a feature like this, and I’m okay with that. It’s letting go of the desire to maintain my schedule. I feel like I need to replace Clock Rewinders with something else, only I’m not sure that would necessarily solve the problem either because there will still be an element of pressure. Unless I did something that allowed me to put something up whenever I felt like it or could.

  • Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal April 25, 2014, 9:57 am

    I’ve let features go. My Serial Killers dual review one. It got SO HARD to coordinate finding time both me and my co-reviewer were available to get a book read, a review written, and our final recap, it became more of a headache than anything. Plus, figuring out books to read for that was a painful process. I honestly wasn’t sad to say goodbye to that one.

    I’ll have to brainstorm to figure out what to put in CRs place now. I do like having a recap of the week. It helps me keep track of my FBNLT reviews and such. *puts on brainstorming hat and begins thinking*

    • Amanda April 25, 2014, 10:01 am

      You can have Clock Rewinders. I don’t want to do it anymore, but if you want to keep it, IT’S ALL YOURS.

      • Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal April 25, 2014, 10:09 am

        Lol. Thanks! I might cherry pick some of the sections because I use them for tracking purposes, but I’ll come up with something. Somehow.

        • Amanda April 25, 2014, 10:12 am

          I’m thinking about bringing back library adventures or search terms every once and a while since I like those. And I don’t have to do them every week.

  • Brianna (The Book Vixen) April 25, 2014, 6:39 pm

    I noticed you started tweeting links to interesting articles. I just hope I don’t miss any ;)

    I haven’t quite a feature entirely but I have scaled back. I used to do ‘My Bookish Wants & Gots’ every Saturday but that proved to be too much for me. So I made it a monthly thing.

    I have stopped doing promo posts. It’s been a few months now. I stopped because it was a lot of work on my end, which was time consuming, and it felt like a chore. I’ll do a promo post once in a while but only for an author me or J9 loves. I don’t know if I’ll ever open up promo requests….

    • Amanda April 25, 2014, 7:27 pm

      I could hashtag all my tweets with #BenderFinds or something so it’s easier to catch links. It’d go along well with my #BenderArchive. :)

      I think I might do search terms every once and a while, as well as library adventures. But I might also be able to Storify all my #BenderFinds tweets for the week (couple weeks? month?). That’s somewhat less labor intensive than a CR post.

      • Brianna (The Book Vixen) April 25, 2014, 7:29 pm

        I think you have something there with the Storify and the #BenderFinds! Even if it’s once a month, I think that’s awesome. But hey, you don’t have to do it for me.

        • Amanda April 25, 2014, 7:34 pm

          Ha. Well, I’ll experiment with it and see. I like the idea of a hashtag, at the very least, because that gives me (and others) a way to track all the links. Because hey, Twitter moves fast.

          As for Storify, I’m hosting a mini-challenge for it for Bloggiesta in July, so I don’t think it hurts to see what I can use it for besides sharing Twitter chat responses.

  • Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook April 26, 2014, 9:34 am

    This sounds like a tough decision, since you’ve been doing Clockwork Rewinders for so long. I don’t have any of my own features, really, but I have stopped doing other memes becaue I just felt like it was a chore, and not a particularly interesting post. Like Waiting on Wednesday. I was trying to do a monthly favorites post, but I felt like mine were so boring (I’m really a boring person) and it also felt like a chore, so I stopped. Maybe if I can think of a way to make it more interesting to read and write, then I’ll start doing int again.

    Buffer sounds really interesting! I need to look into that.

    • Amanda April 26, 2014, 12:49 pm

      I don’t believe you’re a boring person!

      Buffer is great! You set a posting schedule (mine is three times a day) and when you want to share something, you can buffer it, and it’ll go out at the next posting time. I read all my posts in the morning, so I can buffer a bunch of posts and they’ll go out later in the day. It’s a nice way to spread them out.

  • Kelly April 26, 2014, 10:32 am

    I’ve stopped doing other people’s features, but I’ve never really had an original feature of my own that I’ve retired completely.

    I do do a monthly recap of my favourite links from the blogosphere, that I used to do weekly. But it was a lot of work, and so many other bloggers do weekly recaps now that it didn’t feel as necessary. I did think about retiring it completely, again because so many other bloggers were doing something similar, but for now the new monthly format is working. If it stops working and another refresh of the feature is off the table, than it’ll probably get retired. I’d rather think bacn on it as a good thing, than as a chore I’m dreading completing haha

    • Amanda April 26, 2014, 12:54 pm

      Yup. After people moved away from In My Mailbox, the number of weekly recaps grew. And I just don’t use Clock Rewinders the way I used to, and that’s a big part of the reason why I’m ready to retire it. It was ultimately a way to share links I found around the blogosphere, and I can accomplish that through Twitter.

      I agree—I’d rather quit and have positive feelings associated with it than absolutely hating it. (Which I kind of did already when it became more like a meme than an original feature. I closed down the linky with it and went back to doing my own thing.)

  • Jessica @ Rabid Reads April 27, 2014, 7:55 am

    I’m still pretty new at this, so I haven’t had a lot of time to get sick of anything yet, but I completely agree that once something that’s supposed to be fun becomes a chore, it’s time to reevaluate. Good luck with whatever you decide ;)

    • Amanda April 27, 2014, 9:54 am

      Thank you! I’ve had Clock Rewinders for nearly three years, so… yeah. It’s a chore and it’s time to reevaluate… or see how I feel without out. :)

  • Tanya Patrice April 27, 2014, 8:56 am

    I’ve started and quit many-a-feature. I approach blogging with the idea that I have enough stress in my daily job, that blogging has to 100% be my fun place. So, if a feature is becoming a chore – I quit it or do it less often.

    • Amanda April 27, 2014, 9:55 am

      Yup. And that’s ultimately what I’m going to end up doing. I just think we often get attached to doing things, especially after doing them so long. So even though I know getting rid of Clock Rewinders is the best choice, there’s some mourning and difficulties letting it go.

  • Tabitha (Pabkins) April 27, 2014, 12:40 pm

    You should definitely retire it if it has started to feel like a chore. I think that is the only was to keep things enjoyable for you. Anytime this blogging madness turns into ‘work’ work instead of our fun hobby then we risk losing momentum and get into a complete funk.

    • Amanda April 27, 2014, 8:34 pm

      Exactly! And I’m tired of this particular feature feeling like a chore.

  • Ashley April 27, 2014, 3:36 pm

    Great discussion! As soon as you’re not enjoying a post/feature anymore, you should ditch it. I did that with Waiting on Wednesday posts. I realized two things:

    1) I stopped reading other peoples’ WOW posts. I didn’t enjoy them. If I don’t like reading them, why would I want to post them? I only want to post content that I love.

    2) The idea of finding a book I’m “waiting on” and writing about it suddenly seemed like an annoyance. I wasn’t excited about it like I used to be.

    So after looking at those two points, I decided to ditch the feature.

    So I think you just keep in mind two things:

    1) Are you excited about READING a post like this?
    2) Are you excited about WRITING the post?

    If you can answer yes to both, keep the feature. If not, ditch it!

    • Amanda April 27, 2014, 8:39 pm

      Oh. Yes. I think the not reading part is just as important. I’ve always said have the kind of blog you’d want to read, so if I wouldn’t read it on other’s blogs, it makes no sense to have it on mine, either.

  • Mary @ BookSwarm May 1, 2014, 7:26 am

    It’s definitely hard to give up something that you’ve done for a long while and enjoyed but, like you said, when it gets to be tedious or a chore, it’s time to reconsider. I take the weekends off from blogging, including comments, which lets me recover just enough that I don’t burn out. (I won’t say it makes me a better blogger because I’m just as last-minute as ever but it works for me most of the time.) The only “feature” I have are my Speed Dates, which are usually on Thursday, but they’re flexible, if I need them to be, so they work for now. Until they don’t. Do what works for you!

    • Amanda May 1, 2014, 8:18 am

      Since I’ve started spending weekends at my boyfriend’s, my blogging participation is really hit or miss on Saturdays and Sundays. Which is another reason why I was ready to give up Clock Rewinders.

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