So, I know that it isn’t quite the end of 2017 and I should be saving my New Year’s resolutions until the 1st January but I have a feeling there won’t be much blogging from me next week, other than a few scheduled posts, as my to do list is as long as my arm, and I can’t say about the weeks after that as school is out so I’ll be on mommy duty. With all this in mind, I thought I’d spend a bit of time today looking back at my year of book blogging and think about the things I want to accomplish next year.
For me, it’s been a good blogging year. I feel like I’ve gotten into a good routine with my posts (well, most weeks) and – after three years of blogging – a lot of those insecurities I used to feel have gone. I am happy with where I am and the way I work and I no longer look at other bloggers and what they do and feel anxious.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn from others and grow as a blogger – I do. It just means I’ve stopped comparing myself in a negative way and I’ve stopped worrying about blogging “rules” I just can’t follow. I think this has really helped my writing too – looking back at the same time last year, I feel my writing is more relaxed now. I’m not over analysing ever line of a post and reworking it until – sometimes – it doesn’t sound like me. This makes me happy.
In fact, book blogging in general makes me happy. I love reading books and sharing my thoughts. I love getting review copies of books by favourite authors and authors I have never read before but now class as clear favourites (like Joy Ellis, who I doubt I would have discovered were it not for NetGalley). More than anything though, I love that I feel part of a community of people who love books as much as me.
This year I’ve made a conscious effort to engage more with other bloggers, not just with comments, but also through social media. I’m not great at it – especially Twitter and Facebook – but I’m trying and that’s all you can do right? I have much respect for bloggers who have this down pat and still manage to post on their blogs because I find it’s like black hole – I go in and I’m not sure how or when I get out, but suddenly I’ve lost an hour and I’m feeling slightly dazed.
Outside of the blog, this has been a year of change for me, with me moving from full-time employment to freelancer (or trying to anyway – it’s still early days!). Finding I have had the time to do more than work, I have been working on my life and, wanting to share this with people, I set up a second blog called Every New Me for the “everything and anything” outside of books and to keep me motivated in my new life. It’s been a different experience but I’m enjoying it.
With all this going on, now I need to think about where I go from here. 2018 will continue to be a time of change for me and I want it to be a time of change for my blogs too, especially this one so I can keep it fresh as it is easy, with one subject, to get in a rut I think and I don’t want to do that. So, what are my plans?
First, I’m going to look at how the blog looks and feels. I began self-hosting last year and it’s been a steep learning curve which I’m not sure I’ve reached the top of yet. There is so much I want to do but don’t know how to – yet! So watch this space.
Second, I’m going to do more discussion posts. I did a fair few this year, taking part in a discussion challenge, but I want them to be more engaging and a more regular feature. My issue has always been being afraid of putting my voice out there. The challenge has helped me get the confidence I need to hopefully kick-ass with it this year.
Lastly, I’d like to do some buddy reads or linked posts / features. I’m not sure if there is anyone out there who would be interested in doing something like this with me, but if you do, leave me a comment below or drop me a line. I think this will be a fun way to keep me excited about reading and build friendships.
There might be more things as the year goes on but we’ll see how these things go first. Plus there will the usual challenges and memes that I take part in so there should be plenty of variety – which is what I’m looking for – more of a “mix”. Fingers crossed it will work.
What about you? Are you looking at your plans for 2018 – what do they involve?