Last year, I made some blogging and reading goals for myself and when I looked back in December 2019, I was pleased to discover that I’d achieved all but one. I know we’re two months into the year, but I realised I hadn’t shared any of the goals I quietly set myself in January, and I wanted to do so so that I can look back again at the end of this year.
1. Read 75 books
This is fewer than my goal of 80 last year, but I found myself racing against the clock in December to reach my Goodreads goal, and it was fun at times, but not so much at others. This year I want to devote more time to writing and blogging, so I decided to take the pressure off a bit with reading and see what happens. Maybe I’ll miss the challenge, or maybe I’ll enjoy the freedom. We’ll see.
2. Read more audiobooks
I read my first ever (I know) audiobook in December and really enjoyed it. The audio was perfect for when I was doing housework or preparing dinner and couldn’t hold a book at the same time. I’ve heard great things about audiobooks such as Sadie, so this year I want to (finally) get my audible free trial, and try to read more in this medium.
3. Finish three ongoing manga series
There are a few manga series that I started when I was a teenager, but left on hold for a few years while I was at university, so unsurprisingly, I still haven’t finished them. It’s not like I didn’t love the stories (I really, really did), they just ended up taking a backseat to fiction. Plus, when I was 15, my parents kindly gave a small allowance and I didn’t have to pay bills or buy food, so I could go and spend it on manga volumes. Now, I have more adult responsibilities (yay…) so I can’t always do that.
But, having said that, I’m still determined to finish some of these series. The three I’m going with are:
4. Finish a short story, or one full-length manuscript
Hahahaha. Ha. We’ll see if this actually happens. I’m feeling very determined to do more fiction writing this year, but I know what I’m like. Without strict deadlines, I flounder. I was always fine at university because I knew that I could not miss that deadline. But with self-imposed deadlines, there are fewer repercussions if you miss them. You’re not going to fail a module or have to ask for an extension; life just carries on. So if I’m going to achieve this goal I’m going to have to set some tough deadlines and be harsh with myself. Or I’m going to have to get you to set me some and hold me extremely accountable.
5. Respond to blog comments faster
Well. It’s March and I’ve already failed on this one, so I decree January and February free months. I mean, I hadn’t posted this post yet, so technically, I wasn’t bound by this goal… OK, that’s weak I know. But I’ve had a very busy couple of months with some big life changes and responding to comments sort of dropped down my list of priorities. It’s terrible, I know. I love reading all your comments and when I find the time, replying is so much fun. So that’s it settled. I’ll start this goal from right…
6. Read and review more ARCs before they’re released into the world
I’m lucky enough to receive ARCs and I want to do more to review them (not only for publishers, but for other readers too) before they’re released. But I’m already finding this a challenge, because I’ve been sent quite a few March and April ARCs and getting through them all at once is proving tricky. But, I’m determined to get better at this and be more efficient. All I can do is read fast and review faster. Basically, I’m going to be Kate at x100 speed.
7. Just review more in general, damn it
I think the reason I struggle with getting reviews out is that I always end up writing so much for them. An average review for me is 1000 words, and that takes a fair bit of time to sit down and write. Knowing that other posts will take me less time means I often end up focusing on them instead, and reviewing starts to feel like a lot of effort. So for 2019, I’m going to try and vary the length of my reviews, and upload some mini reviews as well to take the pressure off.
8. Continue to read diversely and support smaller/indie authors
Last year I aimed to read more queer books and books by people of colour, and this year I want to do the same again, if not more so. I want to make sure I’m also promoting smaller, independent authors whose books sometimes get overlooked on the hype train.
I think eight goals is a good amount for now. Writing all these out has motivated me to renew my efforts to stick to them, so as we head into the weekend, I’ll be writing a few reviews, replying to your comments, and reading fast.
Have you set yourself any reading goals for 2019? How do you think I can best achieve some of these goals?