Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and appropriately enough, this week’s Top Ten is all about goals, bookish goals specifically! This is my first year participating in this particular Top Ten, and I’ve had lots of time to think about what I’d like to accomplish this year. Here are my goals for 2013:
1. Read more books. This is really a no-brainer for me. After all, my love of reading is the reason I even have a blog, so I’ve increased my Goodreads Reading Challenge by ten books this year, and I hope to surpass even that. But increasing the number of books I read means cutting back on my latest obsession – CASTLE! Castle, starring the amazing Nathan Fillion (that’s him right there) is in its fifth season, but I’m playing catch-up and I can’t get enough of this fantastic show. I even briefly considered changing this blog name to “Books, Bones, Buffy & Castle,” but that would just be silly, don’t you think? I haven’t talked much about my love for Mr. Fillion, but one of these days I’ll get around to it…
2. Write my reviews in a more timely fashion. Which is fancy talk for “write faster!” Sometimes I’d just rather keep reading, and even when I finish a book, I’m anxious to start the next one, so it’s easy to push the review off. But when I wait too long, I lose the desire to write the review at all, and it just escalates from there. I’m sure I’m not the only blogger with this problem. Am I?
3. Complete FOUR Reading Challenges! I recently blogged about the reading challenges I’m signed up for in 2013 here. It seems like an impossible task, but most of these books are in my reading schedule to begin with. I’ve also started my own challenge called the 2013 Catch Up Reading Challenge. I’ve noticed some other challenges around blogland that have the same idea, but mine is less structured. If you’d like to check it out and maybe join me, click on the blue Reading Challenge button on my sidebar *hint hint* *wink wink*.
4. Work on my blog design. I have a design background, and I love the design part of running a blog. But I get tired of the same old thing very quickly, so this year I’d like to update Books, Bones & Buffy on a regular basis, and maybe even do a complete blog overhaul at some point. (But I’m cheap, so I don’t want to pay for it! I’m willing to use whatever free resources WordPress offers.) I’d also like to design my own meme buttons for the memes I regularly participate in, such as Waiting on Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday.
5. Schedule posts ahead of time. I know lots of bloggers who already do this, and I’m going to try to do more scheduling this year. I’m generally a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of gal, so this one is going to be hard for me, but I think it will make me more organized overall.
6. Continue to grow my stats. Since I started this blog in July of 2011, my stats have grown steadily every month. And I plan to keep it that way. I know in order to accomplish this I need to post often, use social media like Twitter and Facebook, and visit and comment on other blogs, which leads me to my next goal:
7. Make more blogger friends. I am a loner at heart, and it’s always been difficult for me to make friends, even as a child. Unfortunately, that trait has followed me into adulthood. But it’s important to me to connect with other bloggers, readers, authors and publishers, and even though it’s hard for me to stretch my neck out and get to know strangers, it’s something I want to get better at this year.
8. Be more careful about the books I select for review. In the past, I’ve agreed to read and review just about every book that anyone has asked me to, which means I’ve recently found myself buried under a pile of books that don’t fit into my preferred genres at all. So although I admire and respect all the indie authors that are struggling to find a foothold in the vast publishing arena, I’m taking a break from reading indies for a while (although I do have about ten indie books that I have promised to read and review, which I will be reading soon.) Likewise, when I first started using Edelweiss and NetGalley about six months ago, I went a little crazy and requested too many books. As most of you know, it’s like being a kid in a candy shop! But I ended up with a bunch of books that are all coming out in January and February, and I’m finding myself dreading being able to read them all. So this year I’m planning more carefully and keeping a spreadsheet so that I don’t overschedule.
9. Diversify my content. I love reading and reviewing books, participating in blogging memes, hosting giveaways, and helping authors promote their books with blog tours and interviews. But I also have more to say about books, movies and tv, and I want to schedule more personal posts that give me a chance to really voice my opinion about things outside of book reviews. I have a category for this called “Ruminations” but I rarely use it. This year I’d love to delve deeper into talking about book collecting and other book-relating things that push my buttons. It’s so easy to get stuck in the rut of Stacking the Shelves on Saturdays, Top Ten Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesdays and other scheduled posts. (Don’t get me wrong—I love those memes! I just want to go beyond them once in a while.)
10. Connect with publishers and publicists directly in order to secure ARCs. Every blogger loves printed ARCs, and I’m no exception. Sure, it’s nice to be able to get free digital ARCs from NetGalley and Edelweiss, but it’s especially nice when you get a physical ARC in the mail. In order to make this happen, I know I’m going to have to take the initiative and start approaching the people who actually have the power to mail me these ARCs: the publicists. This goal will require bravery!
So, what are your bookish goals for this year? Do we have any similar goals? I’d love to hear from you! (See, I’m already working on #7…) And for your viewing pleasure, here’s a great scene from Castle: