Dear 2013, Let’s Do This Thing

3 Jan

Resolutions for the New Year

There are so many things that I want to improve upon and accomplish this year in my reading and blogging, not to mention the things I would like to do in real life. (Mostly those involve eating healthier, losing weight, getting eyeglasses, and not spending so much money.) If you know me just a little bit, or have seen me mention it on Twitter, I’m generally bad at keeping to my to-do lists. I find that I write things down so that I can focus myself and plan and be all organized, but then the list CHAFES ME, friends, and I find myself taking sharp left and right turns off the list towards other things JUST BECAUSE. Primarily this applies to my reading schedule: I just can’t tell myself that I’m going to read these 10 books in the month of January and then expect myself to read more than 2 or 3. It’s like I have bookish ADD. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make the lists! It doesn’t mean I can’t try! So here are a few things that I want very much to do for my blog and my reading in 2013. My fingers are crossed!

1. Schedule posts

I need to work a little bit more on my time management, friends. I need to organize myself better, and I need to take away some of the feeling I often get of needing to read books faster and write my reviews immediately so that I have something to post. It’s a stressful way of doing something I enjoy, and I want to be able to forgo the former and keep the latter, if you feel me. Scheduling reviews ahead of time is a way to help because I do have books I can review. I have a handful right now this instant. They are all books that I’ve finished, in most cases, some time ago. None of them have reviews written. I’ve even slacked off on taking notes! I need to be better.

2. Read 100 books

I’m going to be posting about my specific reading goals and challenges tomorrow, but this is my main biggie challenge: 100 books. I was a little bummed that I didn’t meet my goal for this year, which started at 150, got lowered to 130, and ended at 123 books read. If I hadn’t started listening to audiobooks this year, the number would have been even smaller. But I can do 100 this year, guys. I WILL. I love reading too much to read much less. (Says the girl who does not believe in jinxing oneself.)

2a. Read at least 30 books that I already own

A corollary to number 2. Buying books is one of my biggest pleasure expenses that I allow myself. Other people spend their fun money on going out, or  the movies, or other things. I save my extra money for buying books. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to curb my itch to purchase books, but I certainly need to make more of an effort to actually READ the ones I do buy. I bought a TON of books this year; way too many of them remain unread. I need to make my money work for me, friends.

3. Reply to all of the comments on at least three posts a week

So I know that I’m kind of giving myself an out a little bit by not saying that I’m going to reply to ALL the comments, but the truth is that I just don’t know if I’ll be able to manage the time. Because commenting doesn’t take me 5 minutes. Or 10 even. I need at least a half an hour to do it right, and when I get home from work and finish dinner, it’s already 7:30, and it’s a contest between reading, writing posts, and doing other real life chores until 10 when I go to bed. So I don’t want to make a promise that I know will be asking too much, but I need to be better at doing this. So many awesome people comment on my blog and I need to find more time to reply to them and return the visit in kind. This one is really important to me, and I’m going to do my very best to stick to it.

4. Comment more!

See number 3. I need to focus more effort on sharing my thoughts and taking part in the community of bloggers I follow and the bloggers who visit me and new bloggers that I meet. I need to interact more and have conversations with you guys.

5. Start self-hosting my blog

Wanna know something a little pathetic? I actually have been paying for hosting services for about two months (it’s super cheap, but still), I just need to find some time and get my act together to move everything over and set everything up. It’s CRAZY daunting to me, and confusing, and I’m more than a little out of my element. But I need to do it. Sooner rather than later.

6. Limit myself to requesting no more than 2-3 books from NetGalley/Edelweiss per month

Ahh, NetGalley (and Edelweiss to a much lesser extent). You are crack to me. I need to take my foot off the pedal with this a little bit, and request ONLY books that I REALLY want to read. I sometimes feel like, because I don’t really get physical ARCs at all, in order to be reading the buzziest books–in order to keep up with the blogging Joneses, as it were–I need to use NetGalley hard core. But I’m overloaded and behind, and it makes me feel like a greedy tool. The only thing I can say is that I always intend to read the books! I just don’t always get to them. I need to get a better handle on my time.

7. Read and review at least 3 NetGalley/Edelweiss books per month

Friends, I need to uphold my end of the NetGalley/Edelweiss bargain a little bit better. Even saying that I’ll read and review 3 a month feels like I’m doing very little in the scheme of things. But this is part of the reason why I need to cool it when requesting books. I need to make the time to read the books I do get because that’s part of this blogging thing, too. It’s an obligation that I feel for myself, even if there really is no way the pubs can force bloggers to read and review their books from NetGalley. But I understand the give and take, and I agree to it every time I request an ARC. I feel like this answer straddles the issue of blogger obligations and what pubs can and should expect from us and what we as bloggers should be responsible for. To me, the answer to this is more of a personal manifesto kind of thing than a “written in stone” kind of thing. I appreciate that I’ve asked to read a book, and the pubs have agreed to let me read it early, as is their prerogative, with the understanding that I’ll do my level best to read and review it honestly, and so I feel like I need to stop dropping the ball as much. In Amyworld, it’s like an electronic gentleman’s agreement that I’m not honoring as well as I can. But seriously, I’m just doing me.

8. Take a breather when I feel like taking a breather

Honestly. I know it’s basically blogger cliche to say that my blog is supposed to be FUN and I should feel no worries nor have any qualms about shutting it down for a few days or a week or two if I’m feeling burned out or too busy or uninspired. But it’s really the truth. I don’t feel so worried about not posting every day as it is, mostly because I never really have, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t relish the little breaks I give myself. We all need to recharge the batteries, friends. It makes me feel fresher and better, and keeps me excited and eager.

BRING IT, 2013.

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7 Responses to “Dear 2013, Let’s Do This Thing”

  1. missprint January 3, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    Good luck with your resolutions! A lot of them mirror my own goals for 2013. (At first it felt like I was reading my own post there were so many similarities!)

  2. Kelly January 3, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Great resolutions! I need to be better about scheduling posts as well. I always go on a good streak for a few weeks, then slack off and end up awake until 2am making a post for the next day. Gahhh. Much more fun when I have a few reviews lined up for the coming weeks.

  3. Alexa Loves Books (@alexalovesbooks) January 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    This is such a great list of resolutions! I’m with you all the way when it comes to reading more books I own, and being more selective about what I request from Netgalley & Edelweiss. There are so many awesome books that I haven’t gotten to yet because I keep adding new books to my to-read pile! I need to work on that.

  4. picturemereading January 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    These are great goals!

  5. Quinn January 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Those seem like excellent goals. I am also pretty bad at following TBR lists. I am such a mood reader. What sounds good when I writing my list, doesn’t necessarily sound good when it comes to reading a different book.

    Good luck on your resolutions 🙂

  6. Lisa January 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Amy, you’re playing it so smart. Nice blend of bookish and community goals and also for putting YOU and your sanity first. GO AMY.

  7. Hannah @ So Obsessed With January 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Such a great list of reading goals! Reading 100 books, reading books I already own, replying to comments, commenting more and scheduling posts (including taking notes) are all on my list of resolutions for the year. I’m so with you on commenting though. I love it and want to do it more, but I also want to do it the right way. If I’m going to comment, I want it to be meaningful and actually say something. And that takes time and energy. I’m still struggling to find a good way to balance my time so that I don’t feel overwhelmed by reading books, reading blogs, reviewing books, replying to comments and commenting on stuff I’ve read. Doesn’t it just get to be too much sometimes?

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