Hello, my friends! I hope you’ve had a lovely start to the year! So far I’ve spent it tidying, rekindling hobbies I lost throughout 2019, and generally trying to shape myself into a more positive person.
In the interest of saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new one, I wanted to do a wrap-up and goals post! It’s been a while since I did one of these! I obviously won’t be detailing everything I read and wrote during 2019, but if you’re interested you can check out my 2019 Year in Books on Goodreads! I’ll just be sharing my highlights here – and there are some good ones!
According to Goodreads (my holy grail for reading stats since I’m not one of those uber-organised spreadsheet bloggers) I read 10,020 pages across 44 books in 2019. That’s down from 2018 when I managed 17,826 pages across 46 books, but I’m happier with this year. Maybe I read fewer pages – so what? In 2019 I beat a reading slump, I found time to enjoy books even though I was busy, and I started to tackle my TBR which made me feel happier with my reading again. This is made doubly impressive by the fact I worked full time for the entire year – 11 of the books I read the year before were in my break from college when I had 0 commitments (oh how I miss those days).
Related post: My Book Buying Ban
Some of my favourites from the year:
- Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
- What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
- Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson & Emily Carroll
- Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks
- Feed by Mira Grant
Reading Goals for 2020:
Read 45 books. This number hasn’t risen much – I’ve only increased it by 5 – but I wanted to keep it nice and manageable. I’m planning on doing a lot of other projects outside reading in 2020 (more on that later) and I don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on myself by setting unrealistic goals.
Crush my TBR. This is a really important one for me. I’m still under a book buying ban (exceptions only for super highly anticipated releases and sequels) so getting through most of the books I own is a huge priority. I want this to be my year of less – book-buying included.
Keep up with book reviews. I currently have a list of books awaiting reviews. There are 11 on it – the oldest of which I finished in July. From now on I’m aiming to review books as soon as I finish them, even if it’s just a mini summary.
This year (well, last year now I suppose) has been quite up and down in terms of blogging, with my number of posts per month ranging from one to eleven. It’s the highs that stand out to me though, and it’s those that I want to celebrate here.
I went all out (pun intended) for Pride Month in 2019. It’s a huge thing for me and it proved to be a great time for getting inspired. I spent the whole month putting out content that was both fun and that mattered to me. It was honestly the highlight of my time blogging so far – I put out an incredible 11 posts that month and I was so proud of all of them. One of my favourites was my post of Asexual Book Recommendations, which allowed me to shine a light on my particular letter in the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
During the summer of 2019, I went blog-hopping. It was more of a huge binge than a sustained effort, but I found some great blogs and made amazing friends from the experience. It was a super inspiring experience that helped me make new connections and really fueled my creative fire. Consuming different and interesting content is great for coming up with ideas of your own! Here are some of my favourite blogs I found this year:
- Margaret @ Weird Zeal
- Sophie @ Me and Ink
- Laura @ Laura Herondale’s Book Blog
- Olivia @ Purely Olivia
- Xandra @ Starry Sky Books
Blogging Goals for 2020:
Write 26 posts. That makes one per fortnight! It would be nice to do more than that, but if I can get something out every two weeks for the whole year I’ll be pretty happy.
Blog hop more. After just listing all the reasons blog-hopping was one of the best things I did last year, it ocurred to me that I should maybe definitely do it more often. It’s a chance to read wonderful posts and meet wonderful people.
I can’t say I had too much to be proud of creatively for most of the year. It wasn’t until October – and the arrival of annual drawing challenge Inktober – that I started to invest back into my creative pursuits. I began Inktober with the theme of bookish fan art, all of which you can see in my post about the challenge. I also finally, after years of dreaming about it, launched my Etsy store ScribblesStories! (Never one to miss an opportunity for self-promotion: I make book sleeves and you can order internationally so… go get one!)
Creating the store was both easier and harder than I thought it would be, but the feeling I get every time that little sold notification pops up is incomparable. I love carefully wrapping things and sending my creations out into the world.
Creative goals for 2020:
Expand my Etsy shop. I want to make and sell more stuff! I always loved the idea of creating pins and stickers, but I’d love to do bookmarks and artwork too! Making a living from this sort of stuff has always been my dream, and I see every product and sale as taking me a step closer towards that!
Make more art. The amount I draw has slipped. It went from every single day in 2017 to barely at all. While I don’t think making 365 drawings will be realistic this year, I would like to be sketching consistently throughout the year. Since art is something I struggle to fit in around all my other goals, I feel like bookish fanart is a good way to go!
Do life drawing monthly. Life drawing is one of the best things you can do to improve your art. There aren’t any classes near me, sadly. I used to do them at college but I’m not a student anymore. Luckily, there are other options! My favourite is a YouTube channel called CroquisCafe (beware nudity if you click on the link!). They post short videos of life models so you can do drawing sessions without ever having to leave your house.
Phew! That was a lot! Turns out it takes quite a while to sum up an entire year, haha. I’ve set out a lot of goals for 2020, but I’m trying to keep them all achievable. In my personal life, I’m just aiming to prioritise self-care, keep my room tidy and get rid of all the unnecessary stuff I own. This year’s off to a good start. Here’s hoping the rest of it follows on!