Hello, lovelies! Welcome to another Bookish Breakdown post, my monthly wrap-up where I talk about last month’s reading, as well as life musings, blog hopping links and intention updates!
So, you may notice that is post looks a little different! I was lucky enough to hire Kal from Reader Voracious to teach me some of her book blogging ways, tips and tricks (because I was and am trash for her formatting, okay). And let me tell you, that hour was magical.
Obviously, I learned a lot and have been itching to start implementing it all! I really hope you all like it. (It also took me a LONG time to get this all set up initially, so would definitely not mind a lot of traction on this post. 😅) It’s going to be a bit of a doozy to update all of my older posts, but since I’m planning to do anyway, I am really excited I got this sorted before starting that project! I’m so happy with this and I hope it makes everything easier to read!
Aside from majorly leveling up my blog, what else did I do this month? Well:
- Slayed my day job by completing over 200+ graduation plans and meeting with over 100+ students
- Also was slayed by said day job, mentally and energy wise (see above)
- Started two classes for graduate school and then promptly dropped one!
- Got to see visit my local bookstore in person!
- Learned some hard news, family wise (we’re all doing okay, but the next few months are going to be hard; positive vibes welcome)
- Redyed my hair and I’m in love!
- Went back into the office full-time in-person
- Met with a freelance client via Zoom for the first time
- Caught up with a few friends via Zoom and phone
- Redid my budget and realized how poor I am (RIP)
- Jammed out to Twenty One Pilot’s new album
- Discovered I really enjoy playing Diablo
Let’s check in and see how I did creatively this month.
What I Read
I only read one book this month. (Well, technically, two: I finished The Harp of Kings, which I started in July. And then I started Banebringer, which I’m almost halfway through at the time of writing this post, so…)
What I Hauled
Thank you so much to Orbit Books for these ARCs and review copies!!
Reading Challenges Update
What: A yearly challenge tracked via StoryGraph of how many books I want to read this year.
Goal: 50 Books
Status: 28/50 Books
(not pictured: the books I read for my poetry graduate class and my craft books)
What: A yearly challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight where you write and share your bookish discussion posts!
Goal: 24 Discussion Posts (Chatty Kathy Level)
Status: 16/24 Posts
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Blogging Insecurity
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Posting Process
- Social Media: Or, the Lack of Boundaries, Safety and Nuance
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Content Ratings
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Cover Versus Plot
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Book Blogger Appreciation
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Creating Bookish Content
- Book Changes I Want to See
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading Affecting Mental Health
- Let’s Talk Bookish: How To Make Me Read Your Book
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Diversity in Publishing (And What Book Bloggers Can Do About It)
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Diversity in Books
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Why BookTube Isn’t For Me
- Let’s Talk Bookish: How Book Blogging Changed My Relationship with Reading
- Genres: The Avoided, The Committed and The Obsessed
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Romance as a Subplot
What: A personal challenge I’ve put upon myself to read at least one ARC a month (or, 12 a year), to attempt to keep my ARC pile under a bit of control.
Goal: 12 Books
Status: 8/12 Books
What: A personal challenge where I read a book a month (or, 12 total) that I currently own that I haven’t a) purchased this year and b) aren’t ARCs.
Goal: 12 Books
Status: 4/12 Books
What: A personal challenge where I want to do a better job that of reading books written by and featuring protagonist that aren’t the publishing “standard”, i.e., white, male, able-bodied, straight and based on Western cultures or Christian/Catholic religions.
Goal: More books read this year that break away from that “standard” than books that do.
Status: 12 of 28
(not pictured: books read for poetry class)
What I Posted
At first, I thought I hadn’t posted a lot this month. I missed quite a few planned post due to being burnt out at work. But, I ended up posting more than I thought, it seems! Below is my round-up and a quick summary of what each post is about!
Posts Published August 2021
- August 2021 Reading TBR: another TBR I didn’t even get remotely close to completing
- The Jasmine Throne: book review of my most anticipated read of the year (spoiler: didn’t disappoint!)
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Posting Process: I explained my (very type A) posting process
- Updating the Blog: Archive Edition: my ambitious plan to update my blog’s archive
- Looking Ahead: (Attempting To) Survive the Rest of 2021: a status update on my life
- Allyship Check-In: No 17: resource round-up to help us all live more anti-racist lives (with new formatting to make it easier to use!)
- Novels and Narrations No 13: where I battle doubt as a writer
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Blogging Insecurity: discussing what I consider to be blogging insecurity and how to fight it
Read Around the Blogosphere
Blog-hopping is one of my favorite things to do! I definitely didn’t get to hop around as much as I wanted to. So, hopefully I’ll have many more post to share next month! But, I’m glad I do have some awesome posts to share!
Other Bloggers’ Posts I Loved
- CW @ The Quiet Pond shares tips and resources on co-blogging!
- Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat writes about blog maintenance and I just love her content (and graphics) okay?! This post was just so bloody helpful.
- Get prepared to celebrate Self-Published Fantasy Month!!
- Caitlin @ Realms of My Mind starts a SUPER cool new series, “If/Then,” comparing books and video games. I LOVE IT.
- I love both following and supporting R.K. Brainerd @ Awake Dragon in her writing journey. Following her blog and reading her posts outlining her writing process is one of my favorite ways to do so!
- Hasini @ Bibliosini shares an awesome lists of adult SFF releases still to come in 2021!
I’m one of those people who loves to write out intentions at the beginning of each year. I’m also one of those people who doesn’t do the best job of keeping them. Here, I check in each month and see how I’m doing!
- Develop a writing routine
- Edit and query BLOOD PRICE
- Write first draft of UNTITLED adult fantasy romance
Thanks to a lovely day job (sarcasm), I didn’t write at all. Battling writing depression didn’t help either. BUT, the class I’m keeping this semester is a fiction writing course. It has all of my favorite people from my grad class PLUS my favorite professor. After our class last Monday, I was so fucking inspired. Will this be the key to change? God, I hope so.
- Develop a reading routine
- Read one-two books a week
Obviously, reading has been mostly on the back burner. I usually have the best chance of reading during my lunch break. However, most of my lunch breaks were non-existent in August. And reading routine? Who knows her? Definitely hope I can solidify a routine soon!
- Work with at least one client each month
- Continue to self study and level up my editing skills
- Get better at marketing these services
- Work with a romance client!?
I am honestly really proud of this! I have managed to work with (at least) one client every month–including two this month! I have also started to connect with other editors, which has been awesome. Still need to improve my marketing skills, but I’m pretty stoked.
- Reach 1,000 followers
- Start: 878
- Update all older posts with new feature images
I didn’t start the updating archival work project as soon as I wanted (since, you know, I announced this in August). But, I know it’s a very long project, so I’m okay with that! Plus, it allowed me the opportunity to learn this awesome formatting!
I’m also currently at 906 followers!
- Find movement I enjoy and make a routine
- Read and learn about body positivity
- Continue therapy
No movement routine yet (though, working back on campus has definitely increased my daily movement). I would like to get back into lifting and walk Dovah much more regularly. I haven’t read a body positive non-fiction read yet, either. But, still going to therapy (despite my insurance doing it’s damnedest to prevent me).
- Learn more about the systemic racism in America
- Learn how to better have difficult conversations to help combat systemic racism, racial injustice and fight for LGBTQIA+ rights
- Continue to move away from performative to actual allyship
Though I haven’t read a new non-fiction book related to this goal, I did just buy Stamped from the Beginning by Dr. Ibram X Kendi, which I think will be instrumental. Still engaged with and learning from Anti-Racist Daily. Also excited to learn from Movement for Black Lives’ new newsletter, The Tea.
List of smaller intentions I’d love to complete:
- Work on home projects
- Take better care of my hair and learn new ways to style it
- Lessen my social media intake
- Stay connected to friends better
- Write more letters and have penpals again!
- Adopt a more sustainable lifestyle
- Survive another year of grad school
- Pay off some debt?
- Explore our local nature spot more
- Visit friends in America (pandemic pending)
- New tattoo(s)?
- Get more nerdy clothes
- Cook more new recipes
- Manage my finances better
- Complete some day job work projects for my students
- Learn how to be a wonderful auntie to my new niece
- Deep cleaned the bathroom
- Lessened social media (by accident, since I was so damn busy, but I’ll take it)
- Made a new financial plan that will hopefully help me pay off debt and save
- Made substantial progress on work projects
- Splurged a little and got some hair product to help take better care of my hair!
Well, August was a much busier month than I anticipated! While I burned out a bit from my day job, I also have some positive forward motion in other areas of my life! I’m going to try and focus on that, while celebrating the small victories. Plus, with September looming, that means it’s practically fall, which we all know is not only my favorite season, but also when I THRIVE.
So, here’s to thriving! And please, let me know what you think of the new layout for Bookish Breakdown! I’m very proud of it, but I want to make sure it’s working for you!
Realms of My Mind says
I love how this looks Nicole! Especially your reading goals progress tracker, seeing all the covers is wonderful! And thanks for sharing my If/Then post!
Aww, thank you so much, Caitlin! I’m super proud of it! And of course, I just loved your post so much!!!
Kal @ Reader Voracious says
*YODELS LOUDLY* yooo this looks soooo good?!!?! I love how you’ve implemented some of the things we discussed in REALLY cool ways. So aesthetically pleasing to look at!
Congrats on all the work you did last month and I hope things slow down a bit so you can rest.
I AM JUST SO GRATEFUL TO YOU!!! I am seriously in love (how cheesy is that, in some ways)?! But I AM STOKED. 🥰🥰