In 2013 I had a personal reading goal of 65 books and ended up reading 90 books. That amounted to 30,731 pages and countless hours spent reading.
Here at Late Nights with Good Books, I participated in the 2013 Debut Author Challenge (I read a total of 14 YA/MG debuts) and the 2013 Standalone Reading Challenge (I read a total of 10 YA standalone titles).
For 2014, I’ve once again joined the Debut Author Challenge, but that will be my only formal reading challenge here. It was fun to have the opportunity to read specific types of books, but these challenges do take up a lot of time so I am not committing myself to more than one. Of course, I’ll have my personal reading challenge (trying for 70 books this year). I also have a deep and unabiding love for chunky books, which somehow was ignored for most of 2013, so another personal goal of mine will be to read a few lengthier novels. If you’re interested in tracking my progress, please refer to my Challenges tab.
My main challenge for this new year is not a reading challenge, however. As the title of this post states, I plan on making 2014 a year where I really focus on my own personal writing.
Back when I started Late Nights with Good Books in May of 2012, I was lonely and uncertain of my future. After spending four years at college critically analyzing writing (I double-majored in English and Spanish), I actually missed that I no longer had to do so. Two things that have always comforted me are books and writing, and so upon the discovery of Goodreads and book blogs it just made sense for me to start my own book blog.
I have absolutely no regrets in creating Late Nights with Good Books. I’ve read some fantastic books, and have had the opportunity to interact with many authors, publicists, and fellow book lovers. In no means do I know everything about the publishing process or the current market for YA books, but I’m learning. And I love that. I love that I have a reason to read a ton and write my thoughts about books — and that others actually care to read my opinions.
The issue herein is this: for the past year and a half, the vast majority of my free time after work has been consumed by blogging. I love reading, yes, but I also love writing. Writing’s been a passion of mine for nearly as long as reading has. My ultimate goal is to get some of my works published. While this blog has enabled me to better see what books are getting contracts, I’m no closer to getting any works of mine ready for submission. And this is my own fault; I’ve succumbed to the pressures of reading, reading, reading and blogging, blogging, blogging.
All of this is to say I need to change my priorities a bit. I won’t stop reading and I won’t stop blogging. Honestly, I don’t think I could even if I wanted to. But they’re going to take a bit of a back seat for a while, and I will start interchanging books to review with books on writing and those for inspiration (which probably will not be reviewed). My ultimate resolution for 2014 is to get back to writing. I have a partially finished novella I’d like to work on, and I would ideally love to finish a full draft for a novel. Blogging at Late Nights with Good Books has not only made me respect and appreciate published authors more, but has made me realize just how much I would love to count myself among their ranks someday.
Again, this is not a goodbye — my current plan is to publish at least one review and one additional post a week, maybe more. I also still plan on interacting with bloggers, authors, and the book community. Just not to the same degree right now. This is the right direction for me right now, and I am excited to spend some time really focusing on my writing dreams.