Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spotlight on... Dealing with burnout

How do you deal with burnout?

We've all had this happen before, right? You read a book that catches your fancy in a big way and you end up devouring everything you can get your hands on in that genre. Everything is happy and lovely and you're going through those books like a house on fire and you can't imagine a time when you wouldn't want to read something like this. All of a sudden - out of nowhere - the thought of picking up another book dealing with teen angst or paranormal critters or corseted ladies - whatever it is that you've been gorging yourself on - makes you want to lie down and wail in anguish.

Yes, it's the dreaded GENRE BURNOUT!

For me, this happens most often with YA books. I read a slew of teen-centric books and suddenly the idea of even looking at another one makes me collapse dramatically and moan to anyone who will listen about how I so tired of the drama and the love triangles and the talk about homework.

The question becomes, when you hit genre burnout, how do you work yourself out of it?

I have a tendency to go in a completely opposite direction from whatever I was reading that burned me out. If it was YA, I reach for the dirtiest erotica book I can find. If I was devouring historicals, I head toward hardcore Sci-Fi. Sometimes it only takes a book or two before I lose that OMG!WHY!?!WHY!?! feeling and can step back into the burned-out genre. Sometimes it takes longer. Switching gears like that revitalizes me and makes those tropes that were getting on the stale side feel fresh again.

My question to you is :
How do you deal with genre burnout? And if we take it a step further, how do you deal with reading burnout? Or blogging burnout?

**As an aside, I am so incredibly impressed by those of you who run blogs devoted to one genre. I am genuinely in awe of your ability to stick to one genre for an extended length of time. My hat goes off to all of you. Well, if I were wearing a hat. Still, well done, genre bloggers! Well done!**


26 comments:

  1. I'm the same as you - if I feel burnt out on a certain subject I'll go to the complete opposite of the spectrum. That or I'll do some rereading. I find that rereading something I absolutely loved tends to remind me why I liked the genre in the first place, and help me forget about the things that were getting on my nerves.

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    1. Ooh! Good point about rereading. I do that, too. Plus, revisiting characters I know and love is so FUN! *huggles all my books*

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  2. I think a genre switch important when you start burning out. Otherwise you can easily start hating not just whatever you're reading, but reading in general.

    With reading burnout, I either give myself permission not to read, or bully myself back into it by forcing myself to read (I'm mean to myself).

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    1. I have a hard time not reading. Even after the readathon, I kept reading, I just slowed down. A lot. There was a lot of slowage. It went from a raging river to a sweetly trickling stream. Or something like that.

      Honestly, I'm so impressed with people who stick to mainly one genre in reading. I don't know how they do it. Obviously, I'm ALL OVER THE PLACE when it comes to my genres. Lol.

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    2. My problem is that when I go on book benders, eventually there's a point where I can no longer sustain it, and have to walk away completely.

      I don't think I could ever stick to one genre, either. I need to go outside, or else I get burnt out.

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    3. Yes, I've seen you do that. I've seen the crash. It's not pretty. *huggles you*

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  3. I normally read a variety of genres at one time, so genre burnout is not something I experience often. I do experience reading burnout sometimes and when that happens I usually just watch a lot of tv until I miss books. :) Great post, Kelly!

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    1. I used to do that, but I've been off my TV game lately. Hmm... maybe I should try that every now and again.

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  4. I flop around a lot...and give myself plenty of room to switch from one genre to another if I decide to. I do get burned out sometimes though and want to buy something new instead of read something on my TBR shelves. When that happens, I let myself buy something. I'm a moody reader too...I read a lot of YA for a few years and then began to feel like I was reading the same book over and over with just different characters and a different setting...so I stopped and switched to something else. When I get soooo burned out that I don't want to read anything, I find the fluffiest thing I can, and read that just for pleasure. That usually does the trick.

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    1. I'm a moody reader, too. But I can literally change the type of book I'm reading from hour to hour. Sexy sci-fi to YA to paranormal romance. Whatever floats my boat.

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  5. I write horror - mostly but not exclusively. On the other hand, I read anything and everything. Horror one day, a biography the next, comedy, crime, historical fiction - even chick lit! Variety is, after all, the spice of life.

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  6. I'm a YA contemp freak. It's about all I read. But eventually I DO get burned out. Like you said above, the drama ... the love triangles .. it all gets to be so annoying and nerve grating. Occasionally I'll switch over to Adult fiction, but I haven't had much luck with them lately. So what I do is I stick with YA, but try to go out of my reading comfort zone. Instead of contemps, I've been trying to read more dystopians and paranormal romances. Then once I get through one of those I'm more than happy enough to go back to some contemps.

    Annnnnnnd just realized my response was really long and rambling. Haha. But great post!

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    1. Lol! We're opposite! I love the dystopian and paranormal romances so contemp woudl be outside my comfort zone.

      PS: Your response was neither long nor rambly. It was juuuuuusssst right.

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  7. I do the same thing. I usually try to mix it up so I don't get to the point of burnout. I originally just blogged about the YA books I was reading, but after a year I came to my senses. I was cutting myself out of content, which made me work harder. Now I include my Adult books, but try to keep my tone YA acceptable. I'm currently not blocked by our school's filter and I'd like to stay that way.

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    1. I always *try* to mix it up but when I find a book that fits my mood perfectly, I'll suddenly go full out in that genre (or sub-genre) until I can't stand it anymore.

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  8. Switching genres is DEFINITELY one of my tactics, but I've also found that listening to audiobooks can help me get out of a genre or reading burnout. I don't know if it's just that someone else is reading to me and I don't have to actually stare at a printed page...but listening to a book often resolves the burnout problem for me!

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    1. I've never been able to sit through an audiobook. Maybe I should give it another try.

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  9. I can relate with this..nice one!

    ~Shane
    new follower

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  10. Reading different genres can be extremely helpful here, as is picking up another hobby you've neglected. I've yet to experience reading burnout. It's reviewing burnout I have to watch out for!

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    1. I haven't hit a reading burnout state (although I know others who have) but I've definitely reached a point where I can't stomach picking up another UF or PNR book. I just have to find something new or I'll GO MAD!

      I like the idea of going with another hobby altogether. I get so focused on books that I forget there are other things out there. Lol.

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  11. "For me, this happens most often with YA books. I read a slew of teen-centric books and suddenly the idea of even looking at another one makes me collapse dramatically and moan to anyone who will listen about how I so tired of the drama and the love triangles and the talk about homework."

    UGH! YES YES YES! Even when I thought they were amazing books, and even thought I read 80-90% YA at the moment!

    "If it was YA, I reach for the dirtiest erotica book I can find." Ahahahaha! I kid you not, this is my EXACT reaction! Naked Cowboys? SURE!

    I'm serious, this is almost EXACTLY how I feel and deal.
    ♥ this post!

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  12. Honestly, I just switch and read another genre! I have specifically made my blog about as non-genre specific as you can get though for awhile there it was all romance because that was what I was reading. Now I think you would see a lot of thrillers cause that is what I am reading. I am such a moody reader and if I try to "force" something, it just doesn't work. I usually just read where my mood takes me!

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    1. I'm very moody, too. When I don't force myself to read, I enjoy the book so much more. And that's good for everyone!

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