Just to be clear: These are blog-related. Let’s leave jogging and housekeeping out of it.
Last year, we ended the year quietly. Partly, that was because I was exhausted from the stuff that led to the Blogger Blackout, and partly because, well, life became busy. This year, instead of trying to meet what will most likely be an unrealistic blogging schedule, I’d like to commit to 5 goals that will make blogging fun rather than something that feels more like a duty.
Here we go.
1. Read 5 books that challenge my assumptions of what stories I’ll enjoy.
I hate to say it, but I think I’m beginning to feel weary as a reader. Stories are starting to sound the same, fewer blurbs interest me, and I’m accumulating a pile of books abandoned before the end of the first chapter. So this year, I’m going to read at least five books — not much, I know, but that gives me a couple of months in between to find the next book! — that make me uncomfortable. I can’t promise not to a kill a fairy, though. Let’s be clear on that!
2. In online conversations, always start with the assumption that the other person is interacting in good faith.
I don’t regret speaking up against authors stalking reviewers, or participating in the Blogger Blackout. (In fact, I’m thinking of making the blackout an annual event for this blog — a kind of blogger retreat, if you will.) But I’ve been uncomfortable with some of the interactions online for some time now between bloggers, authors and everyone in between. Some, not all. But there are times when I feel that the unintended consequences of some of these interactions are detrimental to the vibrancy and diversity of the online reading community. But I can’t — and don’t want to — police these discussions. The only part of the conversation I can control is how I act and react. So this year I’m going to be more conscious of how I engage in dialogue with readers and authors, and any assumptions I’m inadvertently bringing to the conversation.
3. Connect with more local bloggers.
I love the romance reading communities that I participate in. These circles on blogs and Twitter generate some of the most interesting, intellectual, challenging and clever conversations about reading that I’ve read anywhere. But after meeting other book bloggers at the National Book Bloggers Forum last year, it became very obvious that there’s a world of bloggers out there with very different interests, focus, and approaches to blogging. Their methods and motives sometimes make me uncomfortable, but they have also caused me to question some of the implicit rules within other reading communities.
There are also romance bloggers in Australia whose communities don’t really intersect with mine. At first glance, it seems to me that ‘romance’ as a genre or label has different meanings in these communities. I’m fascinated by these differences, and I’d like to better understand these readers.
4. Try new things.
This is a not-so-subtle attempt at saying…we have secret projects! I’m blogging in a creative field. I need to be more creative. Otherwise, it all starts to seem like a thankless job.
5. Fall in love with more books.
Last year, I found some keepers. But my book reading schedule was so hectic that I don’t feel as though I was able to properly bask in the loveliness of those books. This year, I’d like to give myself more room for reading delight, and more space in between books to savour the fabulous ones.