Friday, July 1, 2016

Reading and Blogging Goals 2016: Mid-Year Check-In (plus, a short blogging vacation!)

Yesterday marked the halfway point in 2016: six months down, and six months to go. Since I set myself quite a few goals at the start of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to check in and see how and whether I have been progressing. 

Goal #1 Fumble Through Fantasy

I am fumbling just as much as I thought I would, and my original reading list has changed quite a bit already, but I am sticking with it, and I have every reason to believe I will have finished 25 fantasy novels by the end of the year. Here are the titles I've done so far:

Goal #2: Organize my social media content. 

When I made this goal, I had the idea that I would start keeping track of where and when I posted things, and try to schedule my Facebook and Twitter posts more regularly. For a while, I even designated Sunday night as the time when I would schedule out all my social media posts for the week. Interestingly, though, others have started sharing my content very efficiently on Twitter so I haven't felt that it was necessary for me to do more than have the links automatically posted there each time something new is published. And I post enough to Facebook to feel like I am giving people a reason to visit the page, so I haven't done anything more to formalize this process. And I have figured out Instagram, and I will keep working on improving that, but that's more because I enjoy it than because I'm trying to promote the blog. I would still like to look for ways to find new readers, but I think I have to work on figuring out my blog's true identity and focus before I do anything else major in the way of promoting it. 

Goal #3: Participate in more read-a-thons and challenges.

So far this year, I have done Bout of Books twice and joined in Armchair BEA. I'm also reading a book a month for Newbery Through the Decades, which has been a lot of fun and has helped me fill in a lot of gaps in my reading. I was disappointed to learn there wouldn't be a 48 Hour Book Challenge this year, since that's one of the few events that really involved a lot of children's book bloggers, but even when I'm one of the few kidlit readers, it's still fun to join other challenges. I also did the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April, which was a great way for me to take a break from my  regular blogging style and try something new. (I read 26 picture book biographies. You can read about them here.)

Goal #4: Write a page of fiction five days a week. 

Less than a week after I gave myself this goal, I had already crossed it off the list. Either I don't enjoy writing fiction anymore, or I just have too many other things going on to really focus on it, but the idea was to write for fun, and there was nothing fun about it. My new goal is to write some shorter children's poems and see about submitting them to magazines like Highlights Hello, Highlights High Five and Babybug, but this is more of a long-term goal and not something I plan to focus on very heavily during the rest of 2016. 

Goal #5: Relocate, rebrand and rename the blog. 

I have lots of ideas in the works for this, but this will not be the year for putting them into action. I think I know what I want to do, but it's going to require more work than I can accomplish in the remaining six months of 2016. This may be a goal that comes to fruition in 2018 instead. 

In over five years of blogging, I have never really taken a formal break, but that is about to change. Today's post is one of only a handful I will be publishing during the month of July. Old School Sunday will continue throughout the month, with a couple of Fumbling Through Fantasy reviews thrown into the mix, but otherwise, it will be mostly quiet here until August. See you then! 
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