I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, mainly because I’ve signed up for more reading and blogging challenges this year than I ever have before, and although I only chose challenges that I felt aligned with goals I already hoped to achieve on my blog this year, I now find myself struggling to keep up with a few of them. In my mind, I’ve labeled this Challenge Fatigue.
What’s funny though (or at least it’s funny to me anyway) is that it’s not the actual reading part of the challenges that has me feeling a little burnt out. No, instead it’s the “housekeeping” aspect of the challenges that are bogging me down. You know, the part where you have to remember to go and do the linkups to show that you’re actually keeping up with the challenges, etc. Yeah, I totally suck at that. I try to be organized about it and have a tabbed spreadsheet to keep track of my challenges and make sure I remember to submit everything, but sometimes I just forget and then I have to backtrack and see what I’ve submitted and what I haven’t. It gets a little tedious at times. (Did I also mention that becoming more organized was also a goal of mine for 2018? Ha!)
So anyway, all of my struggles have me wondering at least for myself, how many challenges is too many? Right now I’m doing these five.
- Goodreads Challenge (Goal – 90 books, I’ve read 58 books so far)
- Debut Authors Challenge (Goal – 12 authors, I’ve read and reviewed 8 debuts so far)
- New Release Challenge (Goal – 30 books, Read and Reviewed 31 books)
- Beat the Backlist Challenge (Goal – 30 books, Read and Reviewed 16 books so far)
- Discussion Challenge (Goal – 12 posts, As of this post, I’ve done 5 discussions)
When I chose to do this many challenges, my first thought was to set the goals low so that they wouldn’t stress me out. I was torn though because there’s the other part of me that asks “Then what’s the point of even doing it if you’ve set the goal so low that you’ll easily achieve it? What’s challenging about that? It’s called a challenge for a reason!” Yeah, I hate that part of me too.
Out of the five challenges, I’ve already achieved my goal of 30 new releases and am over the halfway point on all of the other challenges, except the Discussion Challenge, where I’m only at 5 including the post that you’re currently reading. Discussion posts are not easy for me so this challenge has been the toughest, but in many ways, also the most valuable for me because it does truly challenge me to step out of my comfort zone. The others, rather than truly challenge me, have really just functioned more as just reminders of the goals I hoped to achieve on the blog: read and promote more debut authors, read more new releases but also keep moving through my endless backlist of books, etc. Did I really need challenges for those? Looking back, I honestly think I probably would have read the same numbers of books in each of those areas whether I had the challenge or not.
And now comes the quandary of what to do now that I am starting to meet my goals on them. Do I bump up the goals and continue or do I stop and call the challenge completed? I’m leaning toward just marking them complete and moving on to something else, but I guess we’ll see how I feel as I get closer to the finish line on each one. I have to admit I did feel a bit of relief when the host of the Beat the Backlist Challenge announced some changes to that challenge which translated to less “housekeeping” on my end.
Even though I’m okay overall with the 5 challenges, moving forward, I think I’ll probably do less of them, especially the ones that are meant to run all year round. I’ll probably stick to one or two of those, especially since I’m actually finding that I prefer the challenges that only last a month or two and also the shorter readathons. They feel like more a challenge because the timeframe is shorter, which also means less of the “housekeeping,” but the goals are usually still flexible so I can make them as challenging as I want to. Some favorites from the past two years for me are the Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge, the March Take Control of Your TBR Challenge, and the HoHoHo Readathon.