Next week, all the book bloggers who participate in “Top Ten Tuesday,” a fun meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, will present their ten resolutions for the new year. But before I discuss my plans for 2016, I need to review this year’s goals that I set and evaluate how I did! I’m a bit nervous, because this is the moment of truth, but there’s definitely something about having hundreds of followers as your accountability partners that makes you get stuff done!
So let’s get started: of the ten goals I made for 2015, which ones did I pass with flying colors and which were epic fails?
1. Read 20 more books: PASS. As of now, I have read 22 books this year, and I can probably complete Ransom Riggs’ Library of Souls before this month ends. I’m already over 70% done, so I just need to hustle!
2. Read more fan-favorite romance novels: FAIL. “More” implies greater than one, and unfortunately I couldn’t even meet this requirement. This goal was to stretch my reading comfort zone by not falling back on familiar authors, so although I continued to read Julie James and Beth Harbison, I don’t count their novels toward this resolution. However, I did finish Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, which ended up being my favorite romance novel of the year!
3. Read more classic literature: FAIL. Following the same point in #2, I only got around to reading one classic: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Beowulf is still sitting on my nightstand taunting me. Perhaps I can convince my book club to pick up a classic novel next year, but if not, this goal will continue to challenge me–which is good, because classics are worth the work!
4. Reach 65,000 total blog views: PASS. Thanks to my loyal readers, I blew this goal out of the water! Currently, I have over 76,000 total blog views, 22,000 of which I received this year. Looks like I’ll have to set higher blogging standards for 2016!
5. Create more vlogs: PASS…ish. If more is greater than one, then yes, I will accomplish this goal. In September, I recommended classic alternatives to popular YA novels, and I’ll soon publish my vlog for my top five books of the year. I ideally wanted to produce videos once per quarter, but since I’m relying on the editing skills of my brother Nick Jarrett, I’m limited to creating vlogs when I have the time to make the three-hour road trip to visit my family.
6. Research monetization: FAIL. I’m not disappointed in not reaching this goal, because it’s not like I started blogging to make money. If people enjoy reading my blog and find great books through my recommendations, then I consider myself successful. I’ll continue learning about monetization, but it won’t be making my goals list for 2016.
7. Make significant progress on my novel: PASS. Finally, a goal I’m super proud of achieving! After this year’s NaNoWriMo, I have written a total of 44,000 words, which comes out to a whopping 145 pagesI I feel accomplished in reaching what I believe may be the halfway point of my novel, and I’m excited to keep going until the end!
8. Improve during NaNoWriMo: PASS. Related to the previous goal, I did extend my word count for National Novel Writing Month this year, increasing 2014’s count of 19,000 words to 25,000. Although that’s only half of NaNoWriMo’s 50,000 word challenge, any amount greater than zero is still winning in my opinion!
9. Attend more write-ins: FAIL. I think that I may have to nip this goal in the bud, because after attending two write-ins during NaNo this year, I felt that they weren’t that useful. My region was poorly attended, and I don’t see the point in feeling obligated to buy a drink at a coffee shop just to sit at a table with a couple other people and write silently. Writing is naturally a solitary activity, and that’s okay. I realized this year that I prefer it that way.
10. Attend more book signings: PASS. Sure, I only attended two book signings this year, but I believe this goal should be weighted more for quality rather than quantity. And boy, oh boy, did I get the highest possible quality! In 2015, I received once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to meet my literary heroes, Kazuo Ishiguro and Margaret Atwood. These two powerhouses were absolutely delightful in person, and I thank my lucky stars that I live in a metro that always makes the cut on just about every book tour.
With six passes and four fails, that would make my performance a solid 60%–in school, that would be a pathetic D average, but for goal-setting isn’t too bad! Think about how little we would get done in a year if we never wrote down our goals and held ourselves accountable. I’m proud of what I did accomplish and look forward to a whole new set of goals for 2016!
What are your New Year’s resolutions?