A New Blogging Year

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Happy New Year, everyone! After my holiday break, I wanted to take a moment to look back at how I did on the blogging goals I had for myself last year, and see what I want to add this year.

Accomplishments

  • I added new monthly features: a Discussion post, a Wrap-up post, and a Link Love post that grew out of the wrap-up when it got too long. I’ve found all of these to be excellent ways to introduce different kinds of content and also to keep track of my own reading. I’ll definitely plan to continue them this year.
  • The monthly wrap-up posts encouraged me to stick with my goal of keeping records of every book I read this year. I tracked title, author, publisher, date, page count, and format. So far I’m too lazy to do spreadsheets or fancy statistics, but maybe I’ll get into that at some point. Now at least I know how many books I read in 2015! (140, in case you’re wondering.)
  • I completed the Back to the Classics challenge, reading one book from each of the twelve monthly categories. This added welcome scope and variety to my classics reading, and was a fun way to connect with others who love to read the classics.
  • This wasn’t a goal last January, but in the middle of the year I switched to self-hosted WordPress and can’t imagine doing without it now.
  • As the year went on I limited the ARCs I requested more and more. I’m going to try to continue to pare these down because although I like to present a mix of new and old titles on the blog, and I find it exciting to be part of the initial launch buzz for books I really love, having too many deadlines makes my reading feel like homework.

Goals

  • Having enjoyed the challenges on other blogs, I created my own year-long challenge for 2016, Reading New England, and now I have to keep up with it! I have so many ideas for books to read and places to visit that I know I won’t be able to fit them all into one year, but I’ll do my best. I’m also planning to do the Back to the Classics challenge and the Book Blogger Discussion challenge again.
  • Along with continuing to read classics, and exploring my usual favorite genres (historical fiction, fantasy, children’s books), I want to push myself into some areas that are not so congenial. I’d like to read some nonfiction about topics that scare me (like climate change, death, and the criminal justice system) and more edgy contemporary fiction, like the titles discussed at the Socratic Salon. I’ll hope to read at least three or four books from each category.
  • I not only want, but need to organize my blogging time better. If I blog every day it eats up all of my time because I enjoy it so much, but there are other things I ought to be doing! So I’m trying to limit my blog writing, reading, and commenting time to three days a week (to go with my usual posting schedule). Wish me luck.

What are your blogging goals for 2016? Is there anything you’re proud of achieving last year?

28 thoughts on “A New Blogging Year

  1. I’m with you on the need to organize my blogging time. I often get on my blog with the intention of writing a post, but instead I get sucked into the joy of reading everyone else’s. And, that can go on for quite a while. I have to figure out how to focus and be more efficient. I feel like I’m always running out of time. Let me know how your 3-days-a-week thing goes!

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  2. Congratulations on a great year of blogging Lory.

    Our blogs as a chronicle of everything we read are a nice fringe benefit.

    My goal this years is to read and blog more. That also involves better time management.

    May 2016 be a great year for reading and blogging.

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    1. Thank you, Brian. I want to spend less time staring at my screen and be more efficient when I’m at the computer. Good luck to you in your goals as well.

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  3. You are so organised that I’ve no doubt you’ll manage all your goals with ease! As for me I’m fully intended to join in your New England challenge of course; my main other challenge is to reread and review speculative and fantasy series I’ve enjoyed, leaving the pace and completion of them open-ended so that I don’t feel too pressured (no fun, that! Most of us have been too pressured for too much of our working lives). Finally I’m hoping to schedule posts regularly: every two or at most three days — a good discipline but I’m hoping not too onerous.

    And Happy New Year, I almost forgot!

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    1. A little bit of pressure can be helpful, but I agree that too much is no fun. May you find the balance between spontaneity and discipline that works for you.

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  4. I totally agree with your sentiments re: ARCs. I LOVE being part of all the buzz, but yes… start to feel overwhelmed and bogged down my deadlines. I’m limited ARCs this year to only 1-2 max per month, in order to leave room for other reading. Great goals, and I can’t wait to see what you get up to this year 🙂

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    1. I think no more than 1 ARC per month would be good for me. Problem is the ones I get excited about tend to appear in clusters…oh well, not such a bad problem to have!

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  5. I don’t really make blogging goals, but I think your list is perfect. It’s especially great to read more about the things that scare you. Right now I’m reading a book of Stoic philosophy that comforts me when it comes to death. And right now I’m kind of blogging whenever I get the chance (mostly the weekends) but I like the idea of blogging on my days when I have posts – I’m going to try that!

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  6. I really need to establish some kind of budgeted time for blogging, instead of just doing it willy-nilly. Three days out of the week sounds good — I could be flexible about which ones, but it would be nice to have that additional structure in place in my mind.

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  7. Happy New Year to you too! I wish you all the best with your goals. I am also hoping to read plenty of classics this year; as I only have a year and a bit of the Classics Club to go. I also hope to continue to read a good mixture of fiction and non-fiction, plus make more time for comforting re-reads. Happy reading in 2016 🙂

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  8. Happy New Year! I only use my blog to participate in the Back to the Classics Challenge really. I would like maybe to participate in more on-line challenges in 2016. I will have to poke around to see what is out there and I should consider blogging about other books I have read, not just Classics. But finding the time is key.

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    1. The Back to the Classics is a good one. It’s always interesting to me to see what different lists people come up — we’re not all just reading the same thing over and over. But it’s great if you decide to blog about other things as well. Yes, finding time is the real challenge!

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  9. Happy new year and congrats on 140 books read! Keeping a record does help (with motivation, too, sometimes). I love the non-fiction idea, lots of knowledge on the way! I plan to read more classics, Dickens in particular, and balance out my stats a bit. Last year’s goal was to read as much as I could (after years of several goals I wanted to keep it simple) so that was achievable.

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    1. I actually kept records for years but then stopped and threw them all out. Now I’d be really interested to look at them again — especially when I can’t remember whether I’ve read a book or not.

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  10. Looks like you had a great 2015! I started one new monthly feature last year and I’m pleased with how it’s been going (reading and discussing a book with a family member). Best of luck with your goals this year.

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    1. It was a great year, but honestly, I have never had a bad reading year. 🙂 I’m glad you’re enjoying your Family Reads series. I think it’s a great idea.

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