I’ve always been a person who enjoys setting and achieving goals, but have never bought in to the new year resolution thing. After all, if you want to change something about yourself, why wait until the new year? I realize there’s the whole symbolism of “new year, new you,” but I have found that if I implement the changes I want to make in small increments throughout the entire year, I always get the results I want without the added pressure of trying to do them all at once. That said, last year was the first year I declared ten bookish resolutions, and I thought it was kind of fun. Looking back I am tickled to say that I achieved five out of my ten goals from last year:
2014 Goals Achieved:
1. Stick to my new “Read 4, Buy 1″ rule to A. Save more money and B. Enjoy the thousands of books I already own and C. Make me more selective of what I bring home.
Because of this reward system strategy, I am now incredibly conscious of what books I’m bringing home, have managed to make a sizable dent in my collection, and have reduced my book buying considerably. I love the system, but it is slightly skewed when you compare the average teen book to the average high fantasy. Basically, there’s no incentive to read anything but teen books. Going forward, I’m implementing the change Read 1500 (pages), Buy 1 instead. It’s not as catchy, but I believe in the long run it more accurately reflects effort versus reward. For the record, I ended the year having purchased just six books more than I earned – all of which were acquired this month with gift cards… Not bad!
2. Read only the books I’m most excited about, rather than the ones I feel obligated to read.
I had this epiphany in early 2013, and my life has never been the same since. Reading is so much fun without obligations, and I firmly believe that life is too short to push through books I’m not enjoying.
3. Continue streamlining my book collection, getting rid of everything I won’t read within the next ten years.
I have gotten rid of so many books that I truly feel like I achieved this goal, even though I know I still have some work left to do. I truly was getting tired of staring at books I know I’ll never read. The biggest bummer is that many of them I still need to part with are personalized… doh!
4. Limit my Netgalley and Edelweiss requests to only the special ones, thereby furthering the intent of goal #1.
I’ve finally done it! I have weaned myself off of that terribly addicting request button and am now only requesting things occasionally. Like, one every couple of months. Throughout the beginning of the year, reading felt like a chore. Now, however, reading has never been so much fun!
5. Finish the first draft of my new novel.
Seriously – I did it! I have a long road of revision ahead of me, but I wrote this baby from start to finish. The cool thing is, I actually think I’m getting better at it. :-)
Overall, 50% isn’t bad. I’m even including a couple of last year’s goals into this year’s plan.
Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2015!
1. Continue my 1500 for 1 reading challenge.
Or as I like to call it, a lifestyle choice. The only thing extra I would like to add this year is an additional goal to not get behind in my reading requirements. At one point I cashed in several cards before actually reading the books required… I blame all those Barnes & Noble coupons. Anyway, although I was able to catch back up, it did take a little of the fun out of the challenge. I highly recommend this method for anyone who wants to moderate their spending, work through the books in their personal library, and reward themselves for reading. It’s a win-win-win!
2. Stop worrying about how many unread books are sitting on my shelves and just enjoy whatever has caught my interest at the moment.
In my 7 Deadly Book Sins post, I explained that I am a “Glutton” when it comes to books. No matter how much I’m enjoying my current read, I always have one eye on my shelves, wishing I could be reading those books too. If I could forget for just a little while how many books I want to read and focus on the amazing books that I am reading, life would be good.
3. Get rid of all the books I didn’t like.
In contrast to last year’s goal of doing away with books I won’t read within the next ten years, this goal revolves around letting go of some of my less-appealing titles. This is going to be tough, as every read book on my shelf represents a mini badge of accomplishment. It’s kind of hard to let them go, you know? I’ll never read them again, so I just can’t justify keeping them as prominently displayed alongside the awesome ones. Maybe I could sell them online and use the proceeds to buy more books…
4. Only review the books I feel strongly about.
After all, I read enough of them to pick and choose which make it to the blog. I think I currently have somewhere around twenty unreviewed titles from last year to pick from. I used to blog on a schedule, with two reviews allocated per week, but over the last six months have taken a more casual approach. At first, it really stressed me out because I was getting further and further behind with reviews. It occurred to me the other day, however, that just because I read a book doesn’t mean it has to make it to the blog. Maybe I’ll do a couple of mini-review posts for the “meh” titles and call it a day. For the record, I’m pretty sure book reviews are the least popular posts I do… kind of ironic when you think about it.
5. Add a few more buttons to my social media task bar.
Because it has been bugging me. Not to mention that Tumblr is where I’m seeing my biggest follower growth and I don’t have a link to it anywhere on my website. I also am way too proud of my Pinterest page to not have it represented here. I’ve been stalling for months because it’s a pain in the ass.
6. Stop being a phantom follower.
There are at least half a dozen blogs I visit on a daily basis, but no one would ever know because I rarely leave comments. If I have commented on your blog within the last three months, there is a chance you’re one of the websites I’m stalking. Keep up the good work, and I love your content, lol.
7. Find my voice.
While I feel like my blogging voice is only getting stronger, my literary one is having an identity crisis. It’s hard enough to compose an entire novel (knowing what to say) without also struggling with voice (knowing how to say it). I’m on the verge, which is why I’m so serious about the writing goals I’ve set for myself this year.
8. Write and submit a short story to WOTF.
This was an un-achieved goal last year. I am determined to change that in 2015, and even started working on my first attempt yesterday… wish me luck!
9. Work on a writing project every single day – even if it only a ten minute Writing Prompt.
This is another carryover from last year, it coincides perfectly with a project I started independently of the new year resolutions – my Writing Prompt page. Inspired by a Christmas gift from my best friend, these prompts are already encouraging me to write more often.
10. Revise both of my WIP novels at least once.
While I am finally honing in on my personal writing process, I have yet to master the art of revision. Mostly because I don’t do it very often. In any case, I’d like to practice on the novels I’ve already written and maybe even see if I can get them publish-ready.
What are your 2015 resolutions? Are any of them bookish?