Writing book reviews when depressed

Book Bloggers, we read a book, and we write a review for that book. Perhaps. We blog about the book. We might share that we have read the book on social media. You think writing glowing, or otherwise, words about a book needn’t be so hard. The blogging part can take the best part of an hour, but it’s fun, right, talking about books. Of course, unless that is you have become paralyzed with fear, indecision, and doom. Writing reviews for books you have read is hard when you have depression. Depression can occur at any particular moment, especially if you haven’t been taking care of yourself. The depression has nothing to do with blogging (burnout) but time of year, month, circumstances etc. 

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Author Interview with Shelby Leigh. Talking about her new poetry collection changing with the tides.

 

 

 

1, Tell us a little about your new book changing with the tides, and the inspiration behind it?

changing with the tides is my newest poetry book, inspired by my own journey and experience with anxiety and insecurity. It’s broken into two parts, the anchor and the sail, to depict the things that have held me down in the past and how I’ve overcome them.

2, changing with the tides is your second book, it starts like this was your debut. You chose to self-publish both books. What were the reasons behind this decision?

I put together my first book after I wrote a poem a day for a year on my blog, and readers encouraged me to self-publish. It wasn’t something I had ever considered, but once I researched it, I decided it was a good fit for me. I think self-publishing is an amazing path for writers to consider. While I would love to go the traditional publishing route one day, self-publishing has allowed me to be in control of the process and learn a lot about writing books along the way.

3, What have been some of the positives, and some of the negatives, you have experienced with self-publishing?

There are definitely both pros and cons to self-publishing! I like that I am in control of how my book turns out. I can follow my own timeline and work with an artist to create the cover I have in my mind. At the same time, when you self-publish, you do it all on your own. Of course you can hire outside editors and designers to help, but you have to pay out of pocket for those services. Additionally, you have to do the marketing on your own, and you won’t have as wide of distribution when you self-publish.

4, How do you feel that your writing has developed, and changed, between the writing of it starts like this and changing with the tides?

I’d like to think there’s a big difference between my first and second book, in terms of both my writing and my personal growth. This new book is a lot more honest and vulnerable, so even if there isn’t a big difference in my writing style, I think I’ve grown a lot in my ability to share more personal details. In terms of publishing itself, I’ve also learned a lot. My first book is a collection of favorite poems from my year-long writing challenge, whereas the poems in my second collection were written specifically to tell a story.

5, Which period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)

My first book is about my teenage years because I was 19 when I published it. Now, I write mostly about my young adult life so far, with the occasional childhood/teenage poem thrown in there too!

6, What did you edit out of changing with the tides?

There were about 20 poems eliminated from the collection in total. These were either poems that I felt weren’t strong enough, didn’t fit well into the narrative, or poems I wasn’t yet ready to share. I also had 4 beta-readers who gave me feedback and helped me decide which poems I needed to keep and remove.

7, How many hours a day do you write?

Sometimes zero, sometimes a few! I can go weeks without writing, or I can write every day for months. Even if I’m not feeling particularly motivated, I try to write at least a little each day, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen (and that’s okay!)

8, Which other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you, in terms of feedback and marketing?

I am so fortunate to have many friends in the writing community who inspire me and help me. My beta readers included Amanda Linsmeier, Marya Layth, Adelle Woods, and Sasha Temerte– all wonderful poets themselves! Cheyenne Raine was a huge help with my website. So grateful for these poets and many, many others!

9, What is your writing Kryptonite?

Experimenting with new styles and formats can be hard because I’ve gotten comfortable with the same writing style for a while now. I definitely challenged myself in my new book to experiment and get out of my comfort zone, which I’m proud of.

10, Who designed the covers of your books, and how much input did you have with their design?

Islam Farid designed the cover for changing with the tides and is a very talented artist. He came up with the initial idea and I provided feedback so we could create something we both loved.



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