A Year in Review 2021 | The good, the bad, and the bookish

Wrap Up

Hellooooo, my lovely lemons! 🍋 It has been… a year. And now we’re at the end of it! I think we can all sit back, take a deep breath and say “we made it”. I can honestly say I don’t have much idea what was going on in the wider world for most of the year, because I stopped watching the news, retreated from the internet, and generally tried to keep to myself. But I think that was probably for the best since I can definitely say I have a much better idea of what was going on in my own life during 2021. And a lot of that was reading!

🍋 2020 Wrap Up 🍋 | 🍋 2019 Wrap Up 🍋 | 🍋 2018 Wrap Up 🍋

I write one of these posts every year, and every year I read back on the previous year’s post before I start writing. Usually, I get a good laugh out of this, because it seems like every year I have absolutely unfounded confidence in my future self being able to complete a million goals. But 2020 was a little different, and I can truly say for the first time I’m relieved to find I actually learned from the past year and held onto those lessons through 2021. My main goal at the start of the year was to keep things simpler for myself and I’m proud to say I actually stuck to that. I wish I had blogged more in 2021, I really do, because I don’t have a lot to look back on. But I know I spent more time outside, more time with friends and family, and more time doing things that make me happy just because they made me happy.

By this point last year I had already posted a round-up of my favourite books of the year, but like I just said I’m way behind on my blogging in 2021 and so I haven’t got one yet. I guess that just means I have future content to ease me back into the blogging life! Because it was a seriously good year for books.

Now it’s time to review my goals from the start of the year. I haven’t looked at that part of my old post yet so I’ll be typing up my live reactions. I genuinely have no idea what goals I set this time last year so this could be entertaining. And the fact I can’t remember what the goals are does not bode well for my having kept up with them…

Reading

🍋 Readings Goals from 2021 🍋

  • Read 52 books ✅ I absolutely annihilated this goal with a grand total of 75 books!
  • Complete my current TBR ✅ I’m being a little lenient here but I think I did enough to once again satisfy this goal!

Last year I had lockdown to thank for the completion of my reading goals; this year I have manga. Yes, this summer Japanese comics became my new obsession and helped to propel me to my best reading month EVER. In August I managed an amazing 21 books, smashing my previous record of 11 which I set back in June 2018. (Bear in mind I had just finished college and didn’t have a job that time, while this time around I was working all month!)

I’m so pleased that once again I managed to beat my TBR challenge! Basically, the challenge is that I have to read, unhaul, or DNF every unread book I owned at the start of the year, before the end of it. It’s really exciting starting the new year knowing you have a totally fresh slate of books, and I’m so happy I managed to hit this goal again this year. Now, the reason I said before I’m being lenient with this goal is that I actually have 4 books that I owned on Jan 1st which I haven’t read. BUT I’m letting this slide because I bought those 4 books just after Christmas, only a few days before the new year. So I don’t think they really count as “old” books on my TBR. I just need to get to them this year!

🍋 Reading Goals for 2022 🍋

  • Read 52 books It’s tempting to up this goal since I’ve beaten it by a lot 2 years running, but I think 1 book per week is plenty, and it’s a fun goal to try and hit. I don’t want to go overboard and put too much pressure on myself!
  • Crush my TBR Again, this is a really good goal for me! I accumulated a lot of books this year (oops, I think I need the book buying ban back) and I don’t want them hanging around haunting me for years. Read them or get rid of them!
Blogging

🍋 Blogging Goals from 2021 🍋

  • Publish 40 posts ❎ I didn’t even have to check to know I failed this goal. But I checked anyway, and it turns out I posted 13 times. Which is really sad! But I don’t want to beat my past self up over this, because I know for a lot of this year I was feeling really burnt out and needed a retreat from the online world.
  • Post more discussions ❎ I posted a grand total of 0 discussions in 2021. I, uh, honestly don’t know what to say about this one.

This wasn’t a great year for my blog. There’s no way around it. I’ve managed a few lists throughout the year, and I think nearly half of my posts are made up of me apologising for not posting. I’d like to not do that in 2022. It sucks because every other year I’ve been able to look back and see what I was up to throughout the year, what I was thinking about at the time. I see the posts I wrote this year and think “I made that because I was feeling obligated to.” I want to write posts that mean something to me, that have feelings and excitement behind them! I don’t want a repeat of this year. Having said that, here are my favourite posts I did manage to get out this year:

📚 My Biggest Ever Book Haul | Exposing how much I spend on books 😱
📚 Mid-Year Book Freak Out 2021 | In which I try really hard to not use the same space lesbians for every prompt
📚 Trying New Things | Finding a new comfort zone in romance novels and manga

🍋 Blogging Goals for 2022 🍋

  • Post more That’s it. I don’t want to make unrealistic goals, or pressure myself into feeling like I have to write posts just because. I just want more.
Creating

🍋 Creative Goals from 2021 🍋

  • Make time and have fun ✅ I’m actually shocked at how grown up I was making this goal! I totally scrolled to the creative section and was struck with horror at the thought of what I could have written here. But I was shocked to find a goal I could actually tick off!

I won’t lie, I did NOT make art this year. At all. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do creative things! I was more into crafting with my hands in 2021, mainly crochet. I also had a lot of fun with colouring pictures, rather than making my own art. I do miss painting though. I have so many lovely watercolours and it’s sad that I never use them. I’m hoping I’ll be inspired to get them out more this year. I’m going to be gardening more, and I love to paint flowers, so hopefully, the two go hand in hand!

🍋 Creative Goals for 2022 🍋

  • Make art I really miss making artwork. It used to be such a huge part of my life and now so often it’s an afterthought. I don’t make space for it. And I mean that literally – I don’t remember the last time I had room to sit at my desk. I want art to be accessible, and fun, and a passion like it used to be.

So, here we are at the end of 2021. I read my most books ever, I took the most time to myself I ever have, and I discovered new loves along the way. I wish I had taken more time to document it all here, but that’s not something I can change now. I can do better in future though. I don’t think the future of this blog is entirely book-based, but that’ll certainly always be the cornerstone. I can’t exactly read 52 books a year and not talk about them! I diversified my reading tastes this year, as well as my tastes in general, and I think my blog going forward will reflect that. So with all that said, here’s to a better 2022! Happy reading everyone.

Love and lemons, Abi

2 thoughts on “A Year in Review 2021 | The good, the bad, and the bookish

  1. Congrats on achieving your goals for 2021. I think you did really well. Perhaps you didn’t get to blog as much as you wanted, but like you say you were doing lots of other things. I think time away from blogs/online world can often be helpful so I try not to beat myself up about it when I take long periods away.
    This made me laugh so much “seems like every year I have absolutely unfounded confidence in my future self being able to complete a million goals” because yes. Apparently this is a yearly ritual for me too 😂😂
    Great post and best of luck with all your goals going forward 💜

    Like

  2. Congrats on achieving your reading and creative goals! I miss drawing too- I used to love it but then I stopped since I feel it wasn’t good enough lol. I’ve been really enjoying coloring books too so I think it’s a great way to start getting back to drawing again!

    I did crochet a few years back but never really finish what I made, which is weird since I had fun and it was a really calming activity… Maybe I should pick it up again!

    Like

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