What is this? A new banner?! A new feature?!!
And what’s this on the sidebar? Could it be….. the Instagram?!
Sigh. Well, as they say: if you can’t beat ’em you may as well join ’em.
One hundred million years ago (ok, January 2019) I mentioned a few goals for my blog. One of those goals was a new regular feature called ‘Conversations in a Coffee Shop.’
I pretty much gave you the feature name and skipped off into the sunset.
Now I was supposed to start this a little bit sooner than say… January 2020, but on account of life being pesky not only did I not start this when intended but I took a blog hiatus where I posted nothing for several months.
But yay we say! Yay for actually writing and posting a new feature! Yay for posting anything at all! All the yays!
But Gerry… what exactly is ‘Conversations in a Coffee Shop?’
Well my book-loving, book-blogging friends it’s what is technically known as a ‘whole bunch of hodgepodge’. I’m planning on using the category of ‘Conversations in a Coffee Shop’ to record anything that crops up into my mind that I would like to blog about.
I want to start my first of these with…
What is a New Year in the blogging world without someone expressing their goals for the next 365 days? And if a blogger doesn’t blog about their goals, do those goals even exist?
Yes, of course they do. But that feeling of embarrassment and shame at the end of the year when you look back and realise you haven’t achieved what you set out to achieve wouldn’t exist and who would want to miss out on that? 😉
To be fair, I don’t actually haul myself over the coals if I don’t achieve my goals because life doesn’t always work out the way we want. I would never judge anyone else harshly if they don’t achieve everything on their quite often too extensive lists so why would I do that to myself?
Well, I once would but not anymore.
Mischief managed. Lessons learned.
But because I do like goals here are what I hope to achieve for 2020 which is the year where the stars will hopefully realign for everyone.
For 2019 I set myself the below:-
- Read 52 books for the 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge
- Those 52 books should only be currently owned unread physical or Kindle books
- No more requesting ARCs until I have read all current requested ARCs
So how did I do?
FAIL just means First Attempt In Learning. It just means that I need to adjust the goals or adjust how I go about achieving said goals.
So, what are the book goals for 2020?
- Read 35 books for the 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge
- Those 35 books should only be currently owned unread physical or Kindle books
- No more requesting ARCs until I have read all current requested ARCs
I feel that 35 books may be a tad more manageable for me as someone who doesn’t just go lightly into reading slumps, oh no. When I slump, I slump hard.
I’m also going to be partaking in a challenge that should help with point number 2 because when it comes to motivation I perform best when part of a group. I will be joining The Quiet Pond’s #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge!
The aim is to read all currently owned unread books by 31st December 2019 and this is kick up the ass that I need.
I had mixed successes with my 2019 Blog Goals. How did I get on? I shall now tell you.
Re-brand My Blog and Tidy Up the Layout
To the best of my aesthetically challenged ability this was achieved.
Obtain Netgalley Badges
I managed to get a grand total of one!
But you know what? One is better than none!
Re-consider How I Do My Book Reviews
My confession last year was that I don’t enjoy writing reviews and so my goal was to not write a review for each book I read. This was a pretty easy goal to achieve because it was all about me not doing something.
Review My Blog Content
There were some tweaks which I made due to time restrictions and interest reasons. I decided to strip back on book reviews (see above), changed Top 5 Wednesday to Top 5 Tuesday, stopped doing Book Edits, and scaled back the Friday Fairy Tale to once a month rather than every other week.
I added Conversations In A Coffee Shop as a new feature (fine, we know this landed late) and I did one off features as and when I could.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got going on content wise but am always happy to receive feedback and will probably do a ‘temperature check’/ feedback poll at some point during the year.
Engage With Others
I didn’t do as much as this as I would have liked. No excuses, this is going to roll over.
Get Connected Via Other Social Media Sites
Yeah, I didn’t do this at all.
As I said last year, it’s great to have content but if no one knows it’s there then it can disappear into the abyss. I honestly thought I was going to be giving Twitter a go in 2019 but I couldn’t find it within me to try.
Twitter still scares me guys.
I have (slightly) less goals for 2020!
Review and actually post the reviews of the ARC’s that I currently have approved – I need to do this because otherwise what is the point of requesting them? I have an unread list of ARC’s that are stacking up and I need to get it sorted before they finally rise up and destroy everything I hold dear.
Engage with others. Yep. See last year’s entry and above. This is such an important part of blogging for me and I want to make sure I don’t let this slide. I’m not sure I can measure engaging with others, other than how positive I feel about how well I’ve engaged.
Get connected via other social media sites.
I thought I would go for Twitter but then I found Twitter too….. well…. mean. I wasn’t in a great head-space for 2019 and I think joining Twitter would have been more detrimental to me than I would have liked.
For 2020 I’ve bit the bullet and joined Instagram! I’ve added it to my sidebar and a few of you have probably noticed that I’m already following book-bloggers left, right and center.
I don’t know what I’m doing with it really but one of the things I will say is that although I will be posting book and reading content and a large amount of it will be those things I actually want it to be more personal. It’s my Instagram for me not for The BookNook UK.
I have a fair number of personal friends and relatives on there so if you decide to follow me on Instagram be prepared for some other things too.
Stay ahead of writing posts. Now this one is a top priority for me. Last year I took a hiatus for a couple of months because I was having some personal struggles which overtook a lot of things.
One of those things that ended up having to be ‘parked’ was this blog and so, in order to feel like I don’t have to hiatus this blog again, I would like to remain ahead of my posts so there is regular content without me rushing to put pressure on myself.
I didn’t set any writing goals for myself for last year and I’m beginning to wonder if that’s where I’m going wrong.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, setting goals doesn’t always mean you are able to achieve them but at least if there are goals than you have something to aim for and something to monitor your progress against.
Last year I wrote a grand total of 55,618 words which equates to 4,634 per month. That’s a lot less than I would have liked to have written.
For 2020 I’m stretching this goal quite a bit. Quite. A. Bit.
It looks a little like this: 120,000 words.
*Laughs hysterically in all the languages*
But if we break that into chunks it seems to be more manageable and 120,000 words look a little like this:-
- 10,000 words per month
- 2,500 words per week
- 500 words per day (if writing 5 days and taking 2 off)
I’m hoping that writing goals will include planning, outlining and editing so if I don’t reach that word count because I’ve been doing those things than I would still consider it as working towards my writing goals.
If I don’t reach that word count because I’ve been spending time playing Merge Dragons then well…. yeah.
The above feel quite full on when I write them all down.
While I won’t do an ‘official’ check in I would like to try and do an ‘unofficial’ check in at the end of each quarter to see how well I’m doing.
Unofficial means that I’ll log things onto my personal spreadsheet, see how far behind I am and then sob quietly so as not to alarm the cat.
Let me know your thoughts below on my goals and whether you have set yourself any for this year. I’ve already checked out a few blog posts on goals for 2020 and I have to say I love hearing about people’s plans.
If you need a goal buddy/ motivational partner than give me a shout because goodness knows I certainly need one.