Mid Year Check In (2017)

Hi everyone! I don’t know if you’ll remember this from last year, but when I started doing bookish resolutions on the blog last year, I also started doing mid and end of year check in posts to see how I was getting on with my goals. Now as it’s June and we’ve already had six months of this year (How crazy is that? I swear it was January yesterday!), it’s time to check in and see how I’m getting on with my goals! So here we go, here’s how I’ve done with my resolutions so far this year:

  1. Complete the first draft of my novel and start edits

I have in fact completed the first draft of my novel, so yay for that! This Is Not A Love Story came in at a final word count of around 55,000 words. I have started the editing process, so far I’ve only split the story into chapters (as I wrote it all as one long piece) and done some typo corrections, but I’m hoping I will have done more by the end of the year. Still, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done so far.

2. Complete my Goodreads 2017 challenge

I originally set my challenge at 24 books, 2 books a month, but I’ve put that up as I’ve been reading more than I expected this year, so it’s now at 32 books, one book less than I managed to read last year. I’m currently on 18 books, and 3 books ahead of my challenge, so if I keep up the current pace then I’m pretty confident I’ll meet my challenge goal.

3. Complete my #RockMyTBR 2017 challenge

This one’s going amazingly well for me so far! I’ve read six books from the list so far which is exactly where I should be at this point in the year. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to read the other six books by the end of the year.

4. Read more diversely

I’m not really sure if I could say I’ve achieved this goal yet? I’ve still read mostly fantasy this year, most of the authors I’ve read have been female and white (with the exception of the two male authors I’ve read, and Evelyn Skye who is a POC author). I have however had a diverse number of settings, but that’s what you get when you read fantasy books! I have also read quite a few books with LGBTQ+ characters, a few mental health related books (including one with an #ownvoices author) & some books with POC characters, although I think I could do better on that last one. So I think in some respects I’m doing okay with this one, but there’s definitely room to do better in the rest of the year.

5. Read some 2016 releases I missed out on

I did a Top Ten Tuesday list of these at the beginning of the year, and I’ve read 5 of the 10 books that I had on that list, so I’m pretty happy with that and I plan to read more of the ones on the list before the year is out, so I’m confident that I’ll be able to call this one a success at the end of the year.

6. Discover more new to me authors

Of the 18 books I’ve read this year, half of them have been from new authors, so I’m really happy with that! I’m not sure I would call any of them favourites yet, but I would definitely like to read more from some of them, so I’ll call that a success. I’m hoping to find even more brilliant new authors by the end of the year.

7. Read more of my YALC books

So I haven’t done quite so well on this one, I’ve only read one YALC book so far this year! I’m planning on reading another one next month, but a lot of the books I wanted to read for my YALC challenge were books by authors going to YALC not necessarily books I acquired there. I will definitely be trying to add more YALC books into my reading through the rest of the year (though I will acquire even more when I go this year!).

8. Keep growing the blog

I’ve definitely acquired new followers this year which is good. As far as views go, I’m on less than last year but we’re only halfway through the year so I’m not too worried about that. I haven’t thought of any new features yet, I’m thinking about doing a feature on my writing but haven’t thought of exactly what I should write for that (ironically!) so if there is anything you guys would like to hear about my novel, my writing process etc then let me know.

9. Read more standalones

I’m kind of woefully failing on this one? Of the 18 books I’ve read so far this year, just four of them have been standalones. What can I say? I really love series so I naturally gravitate towards them, and most fantasy books (which is what I read the most) seem to be part of a series. I read 11 standalones last year, so I definitely need to read a few more in order to beat that number!

10. Write more

I’ve obviously done a lot of writing this year for my course and for this blog, but I haven’t written as much as I would have liked outside of it. I’m hoping to write a lot over the summer, I have another fantasy book that I’d like to plot, I had an idea for a play that I might like to do and I have several fanfics that have been woefully neglected, so hopefully I will write more over the next few months!

11. Take a break occasionally

I haven’t exactly done that well on this, there’s only been one book that I’ve read that I haven’t reviewed this year! However, I did have a week’s break from the blog when I was in Greece which was nice.

12. Keep enjoying reading and blogging!

This one has been easy! Whilst I haven’t exactly loved everything I’ve read this year, I have still had a lot of fun reading and I’ve loved interacting with people and posting on the blog this year as well, so I think I can definitely call this one a success so far.

So that’s how my year is going so far! 7/12 that I think I can call definite successes so far and 5/12 that need more work before the end of the year in order to call them successes. I think that’s pretty good since before last year I could barely keep one resolution. Clearly making all my resolutions bookish and looking at them more as goals was the way to go! How about you guys? Did you make any bookish resolutions at the beginning of this year? If so, how are they going so far? Let me know in the comments!

I will have a new discussion post for you guys tomorrow, my last one of June, so stay tuned for that!

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End of Year Check In

Hi everyone! So in June this year, I did my first Mid Year Check In to see how I was getting on with the bookish resolutions that I made at the start of the year, and since it is now the end of the year and 2017 is fast approaching, I thought I would check back in on my goals and see which ones I managed to complete and which ones I didn’t! So here we go, this is the final roundup of how I’ve done on my bookish goals this year:

  1. Complete My Goodreads Reading Challenge-SUCCESS

My Goodreads challenge for this year was originally 20 books, but when I saw I was easily going to surpass that, I put it up and kept putting it up until I reached my final tally of 33 books on 27th December, so I think I can safely say that my Goodreads Challenge this year was a definite success. Hopefully my 2017 challenge will go just as well!

2. Start Doing Discussion Posts-SUCCESS

I did my first discussion post all the way back in January and they’ve become a new regular feature on my blog, the Jo Talks feature. I’ve managed to do at least two a month, with the exception of this month and last month where I only had time to do one, but I’ve been thrilled with the response to them and hopefully they will go as well next year as they have done this year.

3. Complete the #RockMyTBR Challenge-SUCCESS

I completed this one at the beginning of the month, I read 12 books from my shelves over the course of the year, knocking them off my TBR (of course, 20 more have taken their places, so the list hasn’t actually shrunk at all, but hey, what’re you gonna do?). I’m planning on doing this challenge again next year and hopefully it will go just as well as it has this year.

4. Stop buying so many books when I already have a ton of books on my shelves-FAIL

Yup, I admit it, I failed on this one. It was an optimistic dream. A nice idea, but not at all practical when you’re a bookworm and acquiring books twice as fast as you can read them is part of the job description.

5. Stop feeling bad when other people read more books than I do-SUCCESS

This is a rather arbitrary resolution and not easy to measure, but I have to say, I’m really happy with what I’ve read this year. 33 books might be small for some people but it’s really good for me and that’s what I’ve been focusing on, rather than how much everyone else has read (I’m not going to lie, I still find it amazing how much some people can read but I know I’ve done well for me and that’s a good thing).

6. Don’t feel bad that I can’t post every day-SUCCESS

Again, a rather arbitrary resolution, but I’m pretty happy with how well I’ve done blogging this year and you guys seem to have enjoyed what I’ve posted too, so that’s the most important thing and whilst I think I’ll always want to post more than I’m able to, I don’t feel guilty anymore when I don’t have the time to post so that’s good!

7. Keep up with connecting with other bloggers-SUCCESS

I’ve done Top Ten Tuesday every week of this year, which has kept me connected to bloggers on a regular basis, I’ve taken part in Armchair BEA, I’ve been doing #otspsecretsister which has kept me linked up with lots of other bloggers, I’ve taken part in #ukyachat and got new followers for my blog and on twitter, so I think I can safely call this one a success. Here’s to making more new blogger friends in 2017!

8. Making a note of blog posts that I read and enjoy-SUCCESS

I’ll admit, I lapsed a little on this in November and December but I still have created a dedicated bookmark folder for blog posts I read and enjoy and this has been incredibly helpful in keeping track of these, so I’m happy to call this one a success, even if I have lapsed on it a little the past few months.

9. To try and explore some books outside of the YA fantasy/dystopia genre-FAIL

Of the 33 books I read this year, 6 were not a fantasy or dystopia. I did read some adult fantasy, but that’s not really too much of a stretch! Fantasy is my first love and it’s always going to make up the majority of my reading, and 6 books of different genres isn’t the worst result in the world, so I don’t count this as a complete fail, but it’s not exactly a success either.

10. To catch up on at least some of the 2015 releases that I was really excited for and never got around to-SUCCESS

I had a list of these for a Top Tuesday, all the way back at the beginning of the year and I’m delighted to say that it was a runaway success, of the ten books on my list, I read nine of them this year, so I’m ecstatic about that. Would I have liked to read all ten? Sure. But 9/10 is not bad at all.

So overall, I haven’t done too badly on my goals this year. Sure there were some goals that I didn’t completely manage to achieve, but I’m really happy with everything that I’ve achieved this year, it’s been a great year, both for me and for the blog. Here’s hoping that my 2017 goals will go as well (I will be making up a list of these very soon)! How about you guys? Did you make bookish resolutions at the beginning of the year? How did they go? Do you have any plans for resolutions for next year? Let me know in the comments!

I will have a new discussion post for you guys, my first of 2017, hopefully tomorrow, but if not then the day after, so stay tuned for that!

 

 

 

 

 

Mid Year Check In

Hey everyone! As you may have guessed, this is a new feature for my blog and it’s going to become a regular one (hopefully). ┬áLast year I didn’t have any bookish resolutions, but thanks to starting Top Ten Tuesday in April of last year, I made some bookish resolutions at the beginning of the year. Since it’s June now and we’re getting towards the mid-point of the year, I thought I’d do a check in as to how I’m getting on with the resolutions I made at the beginning of the year, a kind of mid year report if you will. So here we go, this is how I’ve done on my resolutions so far this year:

  1. Complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge

My goodreads challenge for the year is 20 books and so far this year I’ve read 10 and am halfway through my eleventh which is right where I should be at this point in the year, so I’m really happy about that. Here’s hoping that I keep doing as well for the rest of the year and that by the end I’ve completed the challenge I set for myself!

2. Start doing discussion posts

This one has been going really well for me! Since January I’ve done at least two discussion posts a month and some months even more than that and you guys seem to have been enjoying them so far, so thank you for the positive feedback! I’m really glad I decided to start doing them, because it turns out writing discussion posts, whilst being a lot of work, are also a lot of fun to do.

3. Complete the #RockMyTBR Challenge

I have to say this one’s gone really well for me too! I’ve read 6 books from the list so far, so that’s exactly where I should be at this point in the year (in fact, a little bit ahead because I read two books from the list in January!) and I’m confident that I should be able to read the other six books by the end of the year.

4. Stop buying so many books when I already have a ton of books on my shelves

Okay confession time. This one has gone horribly, horribly badly. It was probably wishful thinking on my part making this resolution at the beginning of the year. I’ve acquired more books than I’d care to admit so far this year and with YALC coming up in July, I highly doubt this is going to get better. It may be time to admit defeat on this one! I am a bookworm and my acquiring books faster than I can read them is one thing I don’t think is ever going to change!

5. Stop feeling bad when people read more books than I do

This is a hard one to measure, but I think I’m doing okay on it. I know that I’m feeling good about how much I’ve read this year and that’s what I’ve been trying to focus on!

6. Don’t feel bad that I can’t post every day

This is another hard one to objectively measure, but I think I’ve done alright on it, I’ve posted as much as I was able to whilst I’ve been at Uni and whilst I’ll probably always want to post more, I’m pretty pleased with how much I’ve done this year and I’m even happier that I’m now back from Uni and I can post a lot more, because I love blogging!

7. Keep up with connecting to other bloggers

I’ve been keeping up with Top Ten Tuesday this year, which has enabled me to keep connecting to lots of other bloggers, I also participated in Armchair BEA again this year, though I wasn’t able to take part in the Twitter chats as they were mostly at ridiculous times in the morning here! I have participated in other twitter chats though and gained new followers for my blog, so I’m pretty happy that I’m doing okay with this one!

8. Making a note of the blog posts that I read and enjoy

I now have a dedicated bookmark folder for blog posts that I enjoy reading which I use to help me with the section of my Quarterly Rewinds where I’m meant to talk about the blog posts that I’ve read and enjoyed over the past 3 months, so I’m happy that I’m doing reasonably well on this one.

9. To try and explore some books outside of the YA fantasy/dystopia genre

Haven’t exactly done brilliantly on this! In fact most of the books I’ve read this year have been fantasy/dystopia, although a lot of those books do fit into other genres as well! I’ve read a historical fiction book (Code Name Verity) and a contemporary (The Glory), so I suppose that’s something! I’m afraid the rest though have all either been dystopia or some form of fantasy or another! What can I say? Fantasy is my favourite genre, it’s hard to steer away from (and to be honest, I don’t really want to!).

10. To catch up on at least some of the 2015 releases I was really excited for, but never got around to

There was actually a Top Ten Tuesday topic about this, way back in January and out of my list of 10, I’ve read 5 of them so far this year, which I’m pretty happy with, considering that when I make TBR lists I usually only read about two or three of the books on there, so 5 is an accomplishment! Hopefully by the end of 2016, I’ll have read more 2015 releases I was excited for, both those that were on my TTT for that and those that weren’t!

So that’s how my year is shaping up so far! 8/10 resolutions going well, 1 resolution a little bit iffy and 1 resolution basically completely abandoned because it was totally unrealistic! Still for a girl that usually keeps no resolutions, 8/10 definitely kept ones is really good and I’m really pleased with how my bookish goals for this year have gone so far. How about you guys? Did you make bookish resolutions at the beginning of the year? If so, how are they going for you so far? Let me know in the comments!

I will have a new discussion post for you guys, my first one of June, either tomorrow or Sunday, so stay tuned for that!