I think it’s safe to say that Reading Retrospectives have motivated me to make more time for reading. So has getting a Goodreads account. I’ve picked up a lot of good habits over the year – reading two books at once, listening to more podcasts and doing listening to audiobooks while doing housework.
My best month was May, the numbers eked out by the history books I got for novel research and by my discovery of Audible. My worst month was October but only because I was reading two very heavy hitters: Vanity Fair and Anna Karenina. More on the best and the worst here.
I could set a target of 100 books for 2019 but, on further consideration, that is far too ambitious. I need some time to write. And play games.
And I have a full time job as well.
So, I’ll play it safe and set myself a target of 85 books. That might shift to 100 if all goes well.
In the interest of diversifying my reading, I’ve decided to take on some reading challenges as well. It was tough to pick just one or two but, in the end, I went with:
- Book Riot’s 2019 Read Harder Challenge
- #Ampersand2019 Reading Challenge
- Dancing with Fantasy and Sci-Fi – A 2019 Reading Challenge
Now, what was that I was saying about playing it safe? *nervous laugh*
I participated in all three Nanowrimos this year. I learned the hard way that trying to reach a 60,000 word target leaves my brain feeling like scrambled egg. Not going to be doing that again. I also learned that planning while you’re writing as well as before you start a project is brilliant, especially if you’re like me and have a habit of veering off-piece as soon as you touch a keyboard.
I also found some excellent beta-readers on Goodreads which gave me the confidence to start sending short stories out to magazines again. I’ve been rejected by all three but I got some nice feedback from two of them so that’s as good as an acceptance.
I want to be more on top of submissions next year. To that end, I’ve made a note of which magazines are open for submissions for each month of the year and I intend to make a list of the agents and publishers that haven’t already sent my work to.
I’m also going to be a lot more organised with my writing, setting a task for each month.
January: Redraft my first novel and have it done by the end of the month!
February: Write and redraft short stories
March: Redraft second novel, ditto for January
And that should take me to Camp Nanowrimo, where I can take stock and decide what I can do for the next three months.
I’ve certainly made these blogs a bit more active with book tags, First Line Fridays and an attempt at regular reviews. My Reading Retrospectives have certainly given me an incentive to start blogging more regularly as well as reading.
I’m painfully aware that I’m not putting in as much effort as I could into my blogs. That’s because I have a very crammed schedule with a full time job, long commutes and writing fiction.
I am going to make an effort to make more interesting reviews. 100 Words or Less isn’t doing very well and I’m not happy with them personally. Instead, I’m going to start In One Word reviews. Before you say that sounds even lazier than 100 words or less, I’m going to make it a bit more interesting than that sounds. I’ll pick one word to define the book and write down my rough thoughts, each thought’s first letter spelling out that word. e.g:
In One Word, Goodbook is
- God, I’ve been waiting for this so long.
- Oh my word, I love this character
- Over-the-top action, I love it!
- Damn it, why did it end like that?
I’ll start those in mid-January. I’ll be posting those a lot more regularly, three times a week rather than once, and I’ll do a bit of catch-up by reviewing Herland, Successor’s Promise, Fahrenheit 451, The Last Wish and The Well of Ascension, just to get things going before going into what I’m currently reading.
I’m also going to actually make some graphics for this blog e.g. book tag icons, In One Word logos, etc. These posts really look scruffy without them, hence my feeble effort to make this post a bit more interesting with gifs.