Where do I begin with the year that has ended? Last year was many things for me but it mostly centred around books. I was able to attend BookCon in New York where I met so many authors and people; Victoria Aveyard, Laini Taylor, Deborah Harkness and V.E. Schwab and I was also able to attend the UK’s own book convention, YALC in London where I met Samantha Shannon, Tomi Adeyemi and breathed the same air as Jason Momoa *enter fangirling here*. Those were the bigger events of the year, to which I walked away owning many new books (some which I STILL haven’t gotten around to reading…) but there were some smaller events that hold just as much space in my heart. I met Deborah Harkness for the second time and I went to the Sarah J. Maas event in London which was beyond incredible to experience.
I surpassed my Goodreads reading goal by 50 books (125/75) which I am insanely proud of because of how busy the year was. I took only 2-3 reading breaks (each about a week long) and so I know that I could top that goal this year too if I wish. At one point in the year I was reading a book a day however for me, that isn’t sustainable and was inducing a burnout.
Top Ten favourite books of 2018:
• The Cruel Prince – Holly Black • Kingdom of Ash – Sarah J. Maas
• The Hating Game – Sally Thorne • These Rebel Waves – Sara Raasch
• Legendary – Stephanie Garber • Blood & Sand – C.V. Wyk
• The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang • Beyond A Darkened Shore – Jessica Leake
• Sanctuary – Caryn Lix • Kiss of Snow – Nalini Singh
Top Three favourite quotes of 2018:
“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting and I cant stop.” – The Cruel Prince, Holly Black
“Plenty of humans were monstrous and plenty of monsters knew how to plat at being human.” – Vicious, V.E. Schwab
“Rowan followed her, as he had his entire life, long before they had ever met, before their sous had sparked into existence. ‘To whatever end, Fireheart.'” – Kingdom of Ash, Sarah J. Maas
Goals for 2019:
Considering how full on 2018 was not just in terms of reading but in acquiring books and keeping up with bookstagram, I am taking a bit of a backseat for the year ahead. I felt that I missed out on time with my daughter because I had a book in my hand or I turned down invitations because I had a tonne of book pictures to take on the weekend. I want to be able to enjoy by life and live it at the same time.
The other main reason why I’ll be taking a step back from reading/bookstagram is because I have started to write my own book. The idea for the story came out of nowhere but the urge to set my characters on paper was so strong that I was able to flesh out the plot lines within a matter of weeks and start writing not long after. I was also gifted Scrivener for Christmas and its given me the confidence to really have a stab at this newly acquired dream. But to write, means I need time – hence why I’ve had to cut a few things. My writing goal, is to have a very rough first draft by the end of 2019 and to take part in NaNoWriMo if I don’t think I will meet it. I know that if I keep my confidence up and stick to my schedule (Mondays are official writing days), I can meet that target easily.
I’m not sure what I will do with the draft by the end of next year but I’m taking one step at a time and I just want to roll with the ball and see where this journey takes me. I’m not naive enough to think that my work will be snapped up by a publisher as soon as it’s written. A draft is a draft for a reason, it needs revision, fine tuning and copious amounts of research – that will be the goal for 2020. I’ve heard enough stories from published authors about how hard it was to get into the business that I’m giving larger goals such as getting published a much longer leash and know that a lot of work will need to go into fulfilling them. 2019 will be a bridge made up of 365 stepping stone that I will need to take one at a time.
Currently, I am unsure whether I will continue my bookstagram. I hope that I will be able to revisit the community at some point within the year but I will keep up to date with my reviews and general blog posts because I don’t want to set myself back in that respect and it will also help me keep track of the books I read etc.
So this year, I will:
• Largely mood read. I will still have a TBR for each month, however I’m using them as ‘guidelines rather than actual rules’.
• I will attend more author events. I found I really enjoyed the last two and it allows me to connect better.
• Goodreads goal: 100 books (as I’m being more relaxed, I don’t want to give myself too easy a target but still one that is attainable).
• Try to read at lease 1 ebook a month.
• I hope to focus on reading series & sequels, also generally catching up on my BookCon and YALC lists.
• To remember: It’s okay to DNF books if they’re not keeping my interest. There are many books out there worth reading and that I could be enjoying, I don’t plan to waste that time on a book I am forcing myself to read.
Most anticipated books of 2019
• 99 Percent Mine – Sally Thorne • The Bride Test – Helen Hoang
• The Wicked King – Holly Black • King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
• Kingsbane – Claire LeGrand • The World of Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
• Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson • Finale – Stephanie Garber