I fell off the Andrea Reads America wagon. Back in May, after I published my wrapup of Maryland books, I was eager to read Massachusetts in all of its New England glory.

I did read Massachusetts, kept notes on three books, and then read a fourth. I didn’t feel like making the map or the post for Massachusetts, but I wanted to move on to the next state, Michigan, so I told myself, “I’ll catch up on the blog later,” and I started reading Michigan.

I read some books from Michigan, kept notes on them, and in the back of my mind, knew I was building quite a backlog for this blog. I’d finished at least six books, and was almost through reading Michigan, but I still hadn’t published a Massachusetts write-up. I was now two states behind on the blog, and it was stressing me out. I didn’t want to read too far ahead of my writing, but I also didn’t want to stop reading.

I kept on consuming books. And I stopped taking notes.

I chose to put my head in the sand about the blog and basically just pretended it didn’t exist. I read two or three more books from Michigan. I didn’t keep any notes on them. I moved on to Minnesota, read three books from Minnesota, and didn’t keep notes from those books either.

At that point, I did actually know the blog existed, and I resigned myself to giving up. I was three states behind on writeups, had stopped taking notes on each book, and realised I was burned out on my project. Instead of moving on to the next state, I embarked on a re-reading spree. I revisited Bel Canto (South America), The Elegance of the Hedgehog (France), and the prequels to Lonesome Dove (Texas). I was thrilled to not have to write a recap after finishing each book. I’d close one book and open another with no need to do anything in between.

Now, after a two-month break, the re-reading spree has done its job. I feel refreshed and ready to return to my project. However, the lack of notes on the books I read are still an obstacle for me. I don’t want to proceed with the next state until these three states — Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota — are written. And I don’t want to publish shoddy work.

To move forward, though, I’m going to have to accept that those writeups just aren’t going to be good. Right now, I’m going to have to push through. I’m going to have to go with the advice that Done is better than Perfect. I’ll get these writeups out, rough as they will be. At that point, I should be finished with my current re-read and will be ready to go with the next state.

And then I’ll only be two states away from the halfway point 😂.


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