Happy 2016, everyone!
I didn’t post a Happy New Year post earlier this month, but that’s ok. Today’s my birthday, so it’s just as good a time for reflection as 3 weeks ago was. I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for 2015. I started this blog not expecting a lot; mainly just a place for me to share my thoughts on books I’ve enjoyed and keep track of them. What I found instead was a thriving, wonderful community of fellow bloggers who have been amazing. Never once has anyone hesitated to help me out or give me advice when I’ve asked. Bloggers have let me know if I’ve posted a link that didn’t work or didn’t set something up correctly. People have read my blog and shared my thoughts with their own followers and made me feel so welcome.
I’m not planning on any huge changes in 2016, but there are a few things I’d like to do on the blog and to make the blog better. I like to make my intentions public to keep myself accountable, so in no particular order, here are the things I’d like to get done on the blog in 2016:
- Fewer ARCs. When I first started the blog, I took all the ARCs offered to me. I’m sure this is a thing a lot of newer book bloggers do, and I don’t intend to completely cut them out, but I’ve been overwhelmed by them and I’ve had so many piled up that I’ve had to delay reading some books I really want to read. So I’ll still do ARCs, but I’ll choose them more carefully. And make sure I’m not requesting several ARCs that are all due at the same time. Not that I’ve done that. That would be silly.
- Which leads me to – do better organizing the blog. Rob got me a nice planner for our anniversary, and it has been a huge help. The one change I’d like to see in that planner is making it spiral bound. I think certain things should just be spiral bound automatically. Cookbooks, planners, things like that. I’ve also created some spreadsheets for myself to help with organizing even further, and I think those will help
- Continue learning coding. I’ve just started learning coding and I really like it. I’m certainly a beginner, but the more I’ve been blogging, the more I’ve realized how much I’m missing out on by not knowing any at all.
- Do better cross-posting to Amazon. I am so bad at this, and I know how important it is. If I just spend an hour on the weekend uploading the reviews from that week onto Amazon, it would be easy to keep up with. I need to just set a Saturday morning reminder and do it. I write a lot of reviews Saturday mornings when Rob’s watching soccer anyway, it would be easy to do.
- I don’t have any specific reading goals for 2016, but if I was going to set one, it might be to read fewer books. I clocked in at just over 300 last year, and by the end of the year, I was… not exactly burned out, but tired and in a book slump. I like TV, I like video games, I like my dog, I like my husband, and I really felt like those took a hit so I could read more books.
- Do more reviews from the TBR. I’m sure this is on everyone’s blogging list every year, but it still seems like a valid goal. I’ve noticed that I sometimes get more hits on a review of an older book than on a new release that every book blog is reviewing at the same time. This will help with goal #1 to review fewer ARCs.
- Set up some affiliate links. No, I’m not trying to get rich. Nor do I expect to actually make any money with them. But there are some products out there that have affiliate links that I’d like to support, even after I’ve bought them, so I’m going to do it for that reason.
- Review more comics. I’ve been focused on romance and erotica for so much, especially with all of the ARCs I mentioned above that my comics reading has fallen away. I have to do better with that.
- Get better about having posts written and scheduled. I like to have posts scheduled and ready to go a week or so out, but I have a tendency to get behind and end up scrambling to get a post written and up.
On a personal level, there aren’t very many. Rob and I have set up a mileage challenge, and I’m determined to finish that this year. All miles count for this one – walking, running, walking the dog, treadmill, elliptical – they all count. I don’t think I’ll count spinning miles, though. I’ve also joined Fit Readers, hosted by Felicia at Geeky Blogger and Jen at That’s What I’m Talking About, and these two challenges will feed into each other. We have an elliptical and a treadmill at home, so I should be able to do a workout whenever I want. The only thing to keep separate is the monthly FitReaders 5k challenge. That (my personal choice) has to be an outdoor walk/run, or a treadmill walk/run; the elliptical doesn’t work for that. I was going to count it, then I did a 2 mile elliptical workout in 18 minutes when I was sick and coasting through it and realized concretely that the workouts are not comparable.
I got an Instant Pot for Christmas, so I’m trying to do more cooking at home. I really believe that even if the meals aren’t technically lower in calories and/or fat, you’re still better off cooking at home with real ingredients than you are eating a lot of the diet foods/low-fat foods/low-cal foods you can find and all the chemicals they use to freeze and preserve them. And I love that pressure cooker. So far, that’s been the easiest part of my goals to keep.
I’ve wanted for a while to start up a book-related business. I have a few ideas, and I’m working on some of my skills in that direction in order to make myself more marketable, but I need to really sit down and make some concrete moves.
Read more comics. I love graphic novels, and in my push last year to read and review everything I could, I didn’t get to read as many of them as I wanted. So now I need to go back and catch up on a lot.
That’s it – that’s what I’m looking forward to in 2016. I’m going to RT this year, and I’m really looking forward to meeting so many of you there. I’m probably going to do a smaller con or 2 this year as well. I’m definitely planning on Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together in June, since it’s practically in my backyard. And I might try to find at least one more. What about you? What are you looking forward to this year?