I sort of fell off the map towards the end of 2015. I'm sure that's not news to anyone. I talked a bit about it in my Autumn Ennui video (during which I was so hardcore ennui-ing that I couldn't even be bothered to copy and paste the code to the video into a blog post for those of you who visit me here...), but Fall has just become a weird, lackluster time for me, in which I'm not really motivated to do much of anything. There are a lot of reasons for this of course, but judging by many of your comments on said video, I'm hardly the only one to lose interest and motivation in things as the year comes to a close. So maybe it's just part of a natural cycle.
But the upswing of that is that there is an upswing -- January comes like clockwork, bringing with it a new start and a fresh, clean slate full of possibilities, and I'm not immune to the cheesily gung-ho, do-it-all spirit which that engenders. And though I can't help but acknowledge that blogging has lost a bit of its shine, and I do sometimes question whether I want to continue, for now at least, I've been bitten by the overly-ambitious bug and am still game.
That said, onto my goals, plans and approach for 2016!
GOALS AND PLANS
- As with last year, I want to continue to bring more me into my blog. There were a number of new features I toyed with last year, that I want to reprioritize, and I have some new ones I want to bring in. I also occasionally want to have more non-bookish posts
- I need to bring some memes back, yo! They were among my most popular posts, and I've had numerous requests to bring them back (Friday Face Off, especially), but also, they're fun and light and help build up better blogging habits.
- But along with bringing some old staples back, I also want to usher in change. This will be my 7th year of blogging, and it's time to reassess and reprioritize. And some old favorites may find themselves on the chopping block...
- I want to continue moving in the direction of QUALITY over QUANTITY. For a long time (and I'm sure still, today), bloggers were being told over and over that they needed to churn out content, have daily posts if possible, always be blogging. It becomes very impersonal (which is the opposite of what a blog should be), and it becomes very much like work. Soulless work. Drudgery. I don't want to write that, and you don't want to read it.
Though it's a hard habit to break, I want to continue to shuck the daily-post mentality and focus more on giving you things that are actually fresh and interesting, and that I can take pride in. Or at least things that are fun to me, personally. But the fun, creative things take more time, more involvement, and honestly, can be a lot more draining that churning out mass-produced filler posts and run of the mill things, so shifitng a focus to something like that means that there will probably be fewer posts -- but they'll be better for it.
- And as always, because this is such a difficult one for me, I want to encourage and participate in more community interaction. I say this all the time, but the reason I got into blogging and vlogging was for the community, and sometimes I just feel like I'm throwing things out there, but not engaging with all of you as much as I could. I don't go into your spaces and see what you're up to often enough, and when I do, I don't always comment and let you know I'm there -- and we all need that. None of use wants to feel like we're shouting into the void; I think we all do this for the community, and I need to be a better member of it. I know you guys are out there, doing really cool things, and I need to let you know that I see it. I need to be better at commenting and interacting, and appreciating.
- And on the same note, I want to encourage more interaction across my own platforms. Polls, book talks, liveshows, group reads and twitter chats and movie watch-alongs -- these are all really fun to me, and I love how it pulls some of you out of the woodwork, and I want to do more of this.
- And lastly, I want to work in a better variety of books. I've gotten into a lot of ruts lately, and I think it's because I'm sick of the sameness. I used to read a much wider variety of styles, genres and types of work, but since blogging, I've been forcing myself into this little hole where I feel I can only read certain types of books because that's where the audience lies, or they're quicker so I can burn through more of them -- and again, it's about quality. I want to pull in more backlist titles, more adult titles, non-fiction on occasion, more poetry and short stories. I want to vary what I'm reading, AND help bring anything but the same old same old to you. (That said, I am still a total sucker for a lot of the hot new YA books, and accepting all the bright, shiny things will be a hard (maybe impossible) habit to break, so you'll probably still see a lot of them. But I want to begin laying the groundwork of rounding out my reading and blogging-about habits.)
APPROACH TO BLOGGING, TO VLOGGING AND TO LIFE
- 2016 will (hopefully) be the year of building better habits. But we all know how that can go (after all, 2015 was supposed to be the year of habit-building and routine-setting...). I feel better and things are so much more manageable with routines made and schedules kept, and I want to build and reinforce those habits this year, both on the internet side of things and in my real, day to day life.
- That said, I also want 2016 to be the year of following my bliss and seeing what works. Finding what makes me happiest and helps me be my best self. That is possibly the most saccharine thing I've ever written on this blog, but I can think of a better way to say it; it's cheesy, but it's true.
- To that end, this blog will probably become more vlog-heavy. It's been headed in that direction for awhile, but it's time to just admit that I enjoy blogging (most of the time), I love vlogging more.
- This blog also may become less about trying to reach goals and quotas (posting X-number of days, etc) and more when I really feel there is a reason to. This year is almost going to be a trial period for me, of whether I want to keep blogging, and how, and do posts may be sporadic at times and regimented at others, as I try to find what works for me and what I like best.
- In an effort to keep things more personal AND to make the whole process more enjoyable for myself, I'll probably be changing up how and when I review books -- more on this to come.
- And again, QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.
And there's more, I'm sure. I'm constantly reevaluating and plotting and toying with ideas. And I'm fairly indecisive by nature, so there's that. And you don't find out what works until you do things, and then readjust.
But for now, that's the general thrust of things.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR THIS BLOG
I'm not gonna lie, there will probably be dry spells. Finding what works and seeking to decide if blogging is still the thing for me will naturally mean that there will be gaps while I readjust and reassess. And if I'm going to prize quantity and personality over quotas, there will be times when there's not much going on here because I'm working on the next thing I'm excited about.
All of these goals also mean that I've value even more input from you. The community interaction, as I said, has always been a thing I've prized, but especially if I'm changing things up, I want your feedback. Let me know what works for you, what you like to see. Let me know when a new idea excites you, or how you feel about certain posts or approaches to blogs/vlogs. Your feedback is crucial, truly.
And so that is what the future of this blog looks like -- for now.*** Everything's a bit up in the air, I know, but I hope you'll stick with me, chat with me and help pull me out of my hole, and continue being the amazing bookish community that I love being a part of.
Here's to a great 2016!
*** That said, I am currently without internet and have been for over a month now, and I'm not sure how quickly that's going to change -- or if I even care to change it. I'm kinda enjoying the internet cleanse, which is why I haven't rushed to find a different provider. So though I'm feeling gung-ho at the moment, things will still probably be sporadic for a time, and very light on vlogs until I have a decent enough connection to upload them. But I'll pop on and chat with you all when I can!