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!