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!
Oof, December wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. It did follow through with 2021 being one of the shittiest years of my life, so that’s fantastic. From my family catching COVID and thus not getting to see them during the holidays, to my partner’s late night ER visit and general depression making even the daily stuff difficult; well, let’s just say that I’m glad to see 2021 good and gone.
Let’s check in and see how I did creatively this month.
What I Read
HA, wow, way to end my reading year on a note of reading nothing. 😭
Reading Challenges Update
What: A yearly challenge tracked via StoryGraph of how many books I want to read this year.
Goal: 50 Books
Status: 30/50 Books
(not pictured: the books I read for my poetry graduate class and my craft books)
Goal: 24 Discussion Posts (Chatty Kathy Level)
Status: 20/24 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
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Protagonists and Gender
- Let’s Talk Bookish: Book Blogging Masterminds
- Let’s Talk Bookish: “Failed” Posts
- Let’s Talk Bookish: The Hobby Balancing Act
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: 10/12 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: 13 of 28
(not pictured: books read for poetry class)
What I Posted
I kinda fell off the blogging bit for the past three months, December certainly included. It doesn’t look like it, since I added quite a few posts this week. But wow, do I miss routine and blogging regularly.
Read Around the Blogosphere
I FINALLY BLOG HOPPED. After like three months (and that’s not an exaggeration). Someone praise me. 😅 (But, for real: I really missed reading all of your content!!! If there was a post you were really proud of that I might have missed, hit me up in the comments.)
Other Posts I Loved
- Kal @ Reader Voracious posted the 2022 Book Blogger Spreadsheet and, as always, I am in love. Also, her post on why book blogs are relevant and valuable marketing tools was *chef’s kiss*
- I’m always trash for Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books‘ content, but I particularly loved these posts: What I Learned from Not Getting Into Pitch Wars, Blogging Versus Social Media and How to Take Better Care of Your Mental Health as a Content Creator / Blogger.
- Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense shares ten reasons why you’re not a bad book blogger and friends, it was the callout I didn’t know I wanted.
- If you’re wanting to learn Notion, let me recommend some fantastic guides from some fantastic bloggers, such as:
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane‘s how I use Notion for blogging
- Fadwa @ Word Wonders‘ how I incorporate Notion into my routine
- Your Tita Kate‘s refreshed Notion templates and Google spreadsheets
- Amber @ The Literary Phoenix writes a very important piece about why we need to be reading about the Jim Crow era that you all should read.
- CW, Joce and Skye @ The Quiet Pond are hosting The Pondathon II and WHY IS THIS THE COOLEST THING EVER!?
- Speaking of reading challenges, Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat shares 10 different reading challenge ideas to help shake up and stretch your reading habits! Also, her post on social media for bloggers is pretty fantastic!
- Fadwa @ Word Wonders shares fantastic tips on how to blog on a busy schedule that we all could prolly benefit from, honestly.
- Mackenzie @ Colour Me Read shares a really awesome discussion on sci-fi genres.
- Over at the Paper Procrastinators, Malka shares the benefits of unhauling books.
- Joyce @ The Writes of Passages shares eight things she’s learned from being published again after eight years and it’s so enlightening!
- Sabrina and Vera @ Wordy and Whimsical share what the book blogging community means to them and their guest writers.
- Gabriele @ QueerBookdom shares two fantastic lists of upcoming queer books (list one and list two) and I am just!! So excite!!
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
- Develop a reading routine
- Read one-two books a week
Oh 2022, I hope you’re kinder to me.
- 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!?
This has faltered in the past few months, but I’m excited to do a better job promoting this moving forward!
- Reach 1,000 followers
- Start: 878
- Update all older posts with new feature images
I didn’t get to stick to as much of a routine as I wanted, but I did set up a lot of prep for January, which has been invigorating!
- Find movement I enjoy and make a routine
- Read and learn about body positivity
- Continue therapy
Depression has been my ruler this year, but I’m planning to usurp her. I’ve had enough.
- 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
Excited to explore how I can do better and do more in this area.
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
- SURVIVED, and for now, that’s enough
I can’t say or stress this enough: 2021 was not my year. I’m over it. And while I know a new calendar doesn’t magically fix or change anything, I do hope 2022 will be better. I have to hope.