My Blogging Goals for 2017

I’m hoping 2017 will be the year I immerse myself in this blog and see where it can go.  I’ve been puttering along for a little while now, keeping it up but taking the time for other (needed) things.  In 2017 I want to return to some of the blogging activities I love, plus expand my knowledge of the blogoverse in a few ways.

In 2017 I want to:

  • Participate in more group activities: challenges, readalongs, conferences. More on challenges below.
  • Learn about developing graphics for the blog. I hope this will be the year I learn how to use PicMonkey.
  • Take the blog into the real world: I’m thinking about how to meet up with other bloggers, maybe go to BEA, maybe even join an in-person book club.
  • Learn more about blogging in general: I have one book about blogging that I haven’t read yet, called Everything But the Posts by Becca Ludlum. Any other suggestions about good blogging resources?
  • And a small but important thing: come up with a good blog nickname for the husband!  Husband just seems kind of stuffy and formal, and I don’t want to use his name.  I have yet to find one I like (Mr. CurlyGeek is my top choice at the moment, but it’s a mouthful).

My personal goals in 2017 are mainly to concentrate on my health, which means getting my migraines under control and improving my fitness (and cholesterol levels).  I really want to travel this year — our plan is London to visit friends, and then Spain and maybe Portugal.  I’d also like to complete my project of digitizing my parents’ old family photos – this has been sitting on my shelf since I started graduate school.  And I have a good friend who’s going through a very rough time and I want to be there for her.

A lot of this depends on life and work staying fairly stable this year.  I just moved into a new position and I’m excited to dig in to that and learn a lot more about the work.  I have no idea how the change in administration will affect what I do, but I hope I just get to continue to do my job.


This year I’m getting back into challenges; my Challenges Page has the details.  It may seem like a lot, but here’s my general approach to challenges:

  • I sign up for challenges where I mostly plan to do the reading anyway, just maybe need a little push. This year for example, I really want to read more diversely, and I know I need to push myself. Challenges help me stay focused and also I get good ideas from what others are reading.
  • I sign up for challenges that can overlap. So, for example, I’m signing up for three classics challenges, but my reading will support all three if I’m strategic.
  • I try not to stress about meeting every challenge and I pick challenges that are pretty low-key. When challenges become stressful, reading and blogging stop being fun. Some people like challenges with a lot of requirements, I like them pretty free-form.  This year though, I’ve got two challenges that are reading specific books at specific times.  Not sure how that will work for me, but we’ll see.

Here’s what I’m signing up for:

The Book Blog Discussion Challenge, hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction, is for posts that discuss topics related to blogging and reading.

Howling Frog is hosting Reading All Around the World, where you choose at least 50 countries and read books set in those countries and written by people who live there. This is not meant to be completed in a year.  I haven’t made my list of countries yet but I’ll post it soon.

Hibernator’s Library is hosting a read-along of Six Books to Help Understand Trump’s Win.  I’m aiming to read at least two: Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance; and Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

The Read My Own Damn Books challenge, hosted by Estella’s Revenge, is aimed at reading books we already own. I actually don’t own a ton of excess books, thanks to the library, but I’ve identified ten I’d like to read this year.

The Back to the Classics Challenge involves reading 6-12 classics in different categories, like a 19th century classic, a Gothic classic, or a classic with a number in the title.  To be a classic, the book must be at least 50 years old.

Roof Beam Reader is hosting a Classics Book a Month Club.  This club will host a specific book each month.  I’ve picked four I plan to read: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald; A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry; and Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather.

And finally, The Classics Club is an ongoing challenge where I choose 50 classics to read from 2012-2017.  Well, it’s 2017 now and I’m not close to finishing, but that’s okay.  It was never really about finishing for me; it’s about stretching my brain and reading more of the great works. I’ve read about 30 to date, which isn’t terrible.

If you see something here you like, I hope you’ll join me – that is, if you haven’t over-committed already.

That’s what I’m looking at in 2017, and now it’s time to get started!

  21 comments for “My Blogging Goals for 2017

  1. January 4, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Another busy year ahead!
    As for hubbie’s nickname – probably stating the obvious, but what about MCG?

    • January 4, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      That’s a great idea, I hadn’t thought of that! Thanks.

  2. January 4, 2017 at 7:54 am

    That’s a lot of challenges! I would find it hard to keep up with all these so this year I am just going to do short ones like Irish Lit Reading Month….
    You asked for resources on blogging – there is a podcast called ProBlogger which is run by an Australian guy. Some of the content is likely not relevant but I usually find good tips and they run chalenges where they get you to write different kinds of content that can be helpful. The show notes are all on their website

    • January 4, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks for the reference! That website looks like it has a lot of helpful material. Just the kind of thing I’ve been looking for.

  3. looloolooweez
    January 4, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Your 2017 goals (both personal and bookish) sound challenging but doable. I’m also doing the Back to the Classics Challenge (and watching my cholesterol). Good luck to you for 2017!

    • January 4, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks, and have fun with the Back to the Classics Challenge!

  4. January 4, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Well, our taste in challenges obviously is quite similar! 🙂 I wish you luck with all of these and hope they read to fulfilling and satisfying reading.

    I also hope you can find ways to get “beyond the blog.” I was planning to go to BEA this year but with the changes aimed at discouraging bloggers, I’ve decided not to. (Also, it would be a disaster for my TBR pile, and I’m determined to get that under control.) I’m really interested in meeting other bloggers though, and will try to organize another get-together in my area. If I visit Washington again, I hope you might be available for a meetup!

    Oh, and I have to say I quite like “Mr. CurlyGeek.”

    • January 4, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      I’ve heard that about BEA, that’s a shame if it’s not a good event for bloggers anymore. I should have gone sooner I guess! I do hope you come back to DC and we can meet. I’ll see you around the challenges…

    • January 5, 2017 at 11:19 am

      I just noticed that about BEA when filling out the registration this year. I’m wondering if I’ll get denied – it was a lot of extra steps.

  5. January 4, 2017 at 11:22 am

    I’m in London! When will you be here? If you’d like a local travel guide (or someone to have tea with), don’t hesitate to get in touch! (If you’d rather not, absolutely no hard feelings.)

    I always made up names for friends I mentioned during my university blogging days, and still use an alter ego for my partner (the Chaos). Focusing on a particular characteristic (what someone does) or deciding what literary character they remind you of is often a good strategy! (In the above case, he got his name because when I first met him, I wrote on the blog that “life has been pretty chaotic recently”, which he spotted. He was very pleased to have been personally providing the chaos in my life, hence the name.)

    • January 4, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      That’s a very cool idea about nicknames on the blog, thanks! That gives me some good ideas. Like the literary character idea too. I’m not sure when we’ll be in London, but some time in spring, visiting friends. I’ll definitely let you know!

      • January 5, 2017 at 9:27 am

        (I once named a friend Bunter after the butler in the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. It’s a testament to his character that he was amused.)

  6. January 4, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I’m doing a few of the same challenges, so I’ll “see you around.” I like for graphics; I find it a little more intuitive than PicMonkey. And if you don’t get too fancy, it’s free. (And just to throw it out there… I’m thinking about going to BEA again this year.)

    • January 4, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve only heard good things about PicMonkey — and I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting fancy with my graphics. 🙂 I’m going to look into BEA this year, but hearing negative things. If you’re in the DMV area, let me know!

  7. January 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I would love to develop my blog – I see so many amazing book blogs out there, and to be honest it just makes me feel overwhelmed, like I’ll never be able to compete with those professional-looking blogs! But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I love the idea of reading challenges, maybe I’ll look into a few this year!

  8. January 5, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I’m all for participating in more challenges or at least be more active in the book blogging community. It can feel overwhelming at times though! But it’s time to start strong in the new year, right? 🙂

    Also, I love PicMonkey! It’s my favorite free editing platform. I still only do basic graphics on there, but it’s a start and it’s fun.

    I wasn’t able to go to BEA last year (other people have mentioned a discouragement of bloggers; the registration fee is insane), but I went to BookCon instead, which was the two days immediately after BEA. It was fun and I was able to get a lot of books and go to plenty of panels, but I think it’s a completely different experience than BEA with different networking opportunities. If you decide to go to either BEA or BookCon, I’d be happy to meet up!

  9. January 6, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Happy New Year, and I hope you are successful in your goals! 🙂 PicMonkey is such a wonder, it’s a super quick and also free alternative to things like Photoshop and honestly, you can produce some fantastic stuff on there.

    I’d also love to get my migraines under control, but I don’t have much hope for that as I have no idea what my trigger is! Or even triggers…

  10. July 2, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Cool Challenges! Am particularly interested to see what you make of the Reading around the world challenge as I love doing this myself. Happy travels!

    • July 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      I love reading books about other countries, so I’m really enjoying this challenge. Thanks for the comment!

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