It’s midway through February and I’m finally writing up a 2020 Reading & Blogging Goals post. Truth be told I thought long and hard about not doing one at all this year. I’m not the kind of guy who makes new year’s resolutions and ever since starting the blog I’ve been hesitant about setting goals. My reason is probably the same as many of you have for not doing it; I’m bad about sticking with them.
Last year I made way too many. I had like ten. I accomplished some fully, others partially, and there were a few I didn’t get to at all. This year I want to make a smaller list and hopefully do a better job sticking to it. I’m going to break them up into two broad categories; those related to reading, and those related to blogging. What I’m not gonna add to the list are things I’m thinking about trying. For example, I’m thinking about trying out some YA fantasy this year. But I’m not making it a goal because if I don’t really do it fine, and if I try it and decide to stop after one or two books fine. Instead my goals for this year will be those I really want to commit to and that I know I can accomplish. If other interesting things happen along the way then great! I’m also not going to list reducing the size of my TBR as a goal because isn’t that something anyone who considers themselves a reader does? I feel like that one is a given every year.
Read More Novellas
One of the first goals I settled on this year was to read more novellas. I’ve never been much of a novella reader. I think the reason for my hesitancy has been my belief that novellas suffer from a lack of depth due to to a lack of page space. And while that thought may have some merit, it isn’t totally true. Last year I read a couple of really well crafted novellas (The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark, and The Armored Saint by Myke Cole) and it totally changed my opinion of the format.
I also have to admit that once I read my first novella this year and it only took me like a day and a half to finish it that I realized I could really boost my book reading stats. So yeah…part of the reason for this goal is totally selfish but hey whatever.
My plan is to read at least one novella a month. I’m already off to a pretty good start as I’ve read The First of Shadows by Deck Mathews (click link for review), and The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark. I’ve got a couple more on deck to get me through at least April. These include All Systems Red by Martha Wells and The Gallows Black by Sam Sykes.
Read All of The SPFBO Finalists
If you follow me at all regularly you know I’ve become a self-published fantasy fan and cheerleader. Over each of the past two years I’ve made it a goal to read more self-published fantasy and now it’s just part of who I am as a reader and blogger. This year, and each year going forward I want to be sure to read all of the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO) finalists. For those of you who don’t know, SPFBO is an annual contest hosted by author Mark Lawrence that takes 300 self-published books, and with the help of ten judges or judging teams whittles them down to a single winner. Before the winner is decided each judge selects a finalist from a group of 30 books and they all then read and review each of the finalists.
I’m fairly certain I won’t get all ten finalists read before this year’s contest is over. Instead I’m gonna try to read at least one a month and get them all read by the end of the year. So far I’ve read one, Fortune’s Fool by Angela Boord and it was fantastic!
Once I finish the current round of finalists I then want to go back and read the winners and finalists from previous years. Then going forward I’ll keep this as an ongoing goal. I’ll also be reading other self-published fantasy books that don’t make it to the SPFBO finalist round, but I’m not making a separate goal out of them.
The Great Series Read
The idea for this goal actually came from Caitlin G. over at Realms of My Mind (@SCmoviegirl on Twitter). Caitlin decided she really needed to do a better job finishing series she’d started but not finished and wanted some goals and accountability. She’s even created a whole page on her blog to track it labeled The Great Series Read Project.
I’m basically stealing this from her and have told her so. I’ve been kinda horrible about starting a series and not finishing it because of all the other books on my TBR, or because I lacked the funds, or because of any number of other reasons. I think this will really help me get some of these series checked off and done. I’ll post more about this soon and may give it a special page on the blog. For now I’m starting to list all the series I want to finish. Keep an eye out in the next week or two for more on this.
Self-Published Fantasy Month
For those new to my blog, the past two years I’ve hosted Self-Published Fantasy Month in September. It is a month devoted to reading and reviewing, talking about, or just plain raving about all things self-published fantasy. I was inspired by SPFBO and decided to devote a whole month on the blog to it and invite others to join in.
This is a goal I’m not really sure about yet. What I mean is I’m debating whether to continue with Self-Published Fantasy Month. If I do I’m going to need some help in the form of another blogger who would like to assist with anything and everything. I’m not the most organized person and I don’t have a whole lot of extra time to devote to hosting on top of work, family stuff, and my regular reviews. I’d love someone to help with coming up with daily post topics, running the Twitter account, organizing guest posts, maybe a giveaway, who knows…there’s tons of things we could probably do that I don’t have the bandwidth for on my own.
Some of the SPFBO judges I’m friends with on Twitter came to mind but I really don’t want to ask them as they have A CRAP TON on their plate as it is with being a judge. I’m gonna keep thinking about this one and I’ll update more in the coming months.
More Non-Review Blog Posts
I see all my other blogging friends posting all kinds of different things throughout the week and then look at my blog which is mostly just reviews…and I want to be like the other kids. Now, I know, I do on occasion post non-review things. But most of my content is reviews. And sure that’s fine and all, but I feel like I need a little more variety. So this year I’m hoping to do a little better with my non-review content. This will include more Book Hauls, Guest Posts, What I’m Reading posts, maybe some lists, and then the odd things like book signing events. Here’s some examples of what I’ve done so far this year…
Clean Up The Blog
And finally, I really, really, really need to work on cleaning up my blog. I keep adding reviews but the rest of it needs some work for those occasional people who actually stumble onto it and look at specific pages. Here’s what I want to do…
- Update my review pages (one for fantasy, scifi, and horror/supernatural) with links to all my reviews grouped by author and series.
- Add a page for reviews of self-published books
- Add a page for keeping track of my Great Series Read lists (see above)
- If I continue with Self-Published Fantasy Month clean up the page associated with it
- Maybe get some new pics for the banner and whatnot
- One day pay for a professional make-over.
I won’t kid myself about how long it will take to accomplish each of these but I need to get started soon or I’ll never do it.
Well, that’s it. I’m gonna stick with just three goals for each topic. Let’s see how I do. Give me your thoughts and let me know if you’re trying to tackle any of these.