If you have been following Adventures of a Bibliophile for a while, you might have noticed I’ve made quite a few changes over the past few years. Most of the big changes came last year, when I stopped doing book reviews (I didn’t enjoy writing them and felt, as a result, they weren’t really that good) and archived a LOT of old posts. And while that was honestly not easy, since I put a lot of work into those posts, it felt really good. After writing this blog for six years, it was time for a semi-fresh start. And while I don’t necessarily plan on making such big changes again anytime soon, I am really happy that I did and want to keep improving and growing as a blogger.
I do have a general idea of the direction I want to go with this blog and what I want to write more of, I do also want to do more of what you all enjoy reading. I definitely see a correlation between the posts I have fun putting together and am proud of, and what gets the most engagement. But I thought it might be interesting to actually share what I want to work on this year and get some feedback from all of you! It’s definitely important to me, and it’s absolutely something I take into account when writing new posts.
These are mostly kind of vague goals – I’m honestly pretty happy with this blog as it is right now – but there are some things I do want to work on doing more of or doing better.
Publish One Reading Experiment Post Each Month
Last year, I did a few posts where I did things like let Buzzfeed decide what I read or read retellings of my favorite Shakespeare plays. And I had SO MUCH FUN putting those together! I think the Buzzfeed post is genuinely one of my favorite things that I’ve ever done. And I really want to do more posts like that. So, this year, I decided to try and publish one of them every month (starting in February). They do take a lot more work to put together than posts like this, but I just really enjoy doing them. It makes blogging fun, and the feedback I get from all of you on those posts is some of my favorite. So I’m working on a few ideas (including one I got very close to completing last year before 2020 got the better of me). But I’d love to hear any ideas you might have for reading experiments you’d like to see in the future. (I do kind of want to do one where I read books suggested by all of you – so maybe leave those in the comments, too?)
I just think these posts, even though they are genuinely a lot of work, just make blogging more fun. And I do need more of that going forward. I’m very excited to share what I’ve been working on!
Share and Talk About More Diverse Books
One of the reasons I am making such a big effort to read more diverse books is because I talk a lot about the books I read on this blog. I realize I have a platform with this blog, and I want to use it responsibly. For me, that means boosting diverse authors and sharing diverse books. Reading diverse books, and setting challenges for myself to read as many diverse books as I can, has honestly made me a better person. I’m so happy with what I’ve accomplished in that regard, and I absolutely want to keep working on it. I also want to encourage all of you to read more diversely, too. Whether that means paying more attention to the books you pick up, making an effort to read more diverse books and more books by diverse authors (whether that means two books or twenty), I do think it’s important. Some of my favorite comments have been from the post where I talked about trying to read more POC authors last year and exploring the reasons it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. It absolutely made my day when I reader commented that they would be joining me this year in continuing to try and read more POC authors.
One of the reasons I personally want to share and talk about more diverse books is not just to encourage you to also read more of them, but to make it easier for you to discover them. Because unless you are specifically seeking out diverse books, they are probably not the majority of what you hear about and read. That is kind of just how the book world is at the moment, and even though I don’t have a huge voice, I still have a voice that I can use to try and make a difference. So I really want to take advantage of that. If there is anything in particular you’d like to see – certain recommendations, ways I’ve discovered to find more diverse books to read, diverse books in particular genres, etc. – please let me know, because I would love to share!
Write More Fun and/or Interesting Posts
I know every single post I’ve published so far this year haven’t exactly fit into this category. But I’ve been working on planning cool things for the future (they’re just taking a bit of time to come together). I really want to get better at planning out my posts (and writing them earlier than the night before they go up). And I want to write more posts that I’m proud of and excited to share. This definitely includes my reading experiment posts, but it can be other posts, too. Like when I shared reading recommendations based on your favorite school subject or talked about why a four-star book isn’t a bad book. This year, I just really want to focus on putting together more of these posts. I feel like it’s easier to just write simpler posts all the time – nothing against those kinds of posts, I just want to work on not only doing that. So, again, if you have any posts you’d like to see me do, let me know in the comments! I always love hearing your ideas and being inspired by other readers and bloggers.
Give Myself Breaks When I Need Them
If I learned anything last year, it’s that it is sometimes necessary to take breaks. I am hoping these breaks are less noticeable once I improve a little bit with pre-planning and writing my posts. But I recognize that I still need to take some breaks, and that’s okay. In addition to posting on this blog three times a week (and reading enough books to write that many posts), I do work a full-time job. And I also occasionally like to do other things. Like binge-watch TV shows on Netflix. And that’s absolutely okay. It’s also okay to recognize that I need to rest. I missed a few posting days recently because I wasn’t feeling well (I’m fine, just expected – but still not fun – side effects from the covid vaccine and a new medication). And I had to remind myself to not feel guilty about that. I’m sure most of you didn’t even notice that I didn’t post on those days.
So, I’m going to try and take a day or two off here and there when I need to so that I hopefully won’t have big gaps in posting like I did last year. And I’m not going to feel guilty about having to take those days to do some self care or even just have a few days when I do nothing. That has not only been a huge challenge for me with this blog, it’s been a huge challenge for me in general after being diagnosed with a chronic illness a few years ago and having to adjust to my energy not being as high as I wish it was most days.
In the past, I would force myself to have a post to publish, regardless of what was going on in my life. I would push myself to write them even when I had a migraine and staring at the screen hurt my eyes. I once even finished writing a post on my phone while at a party because it had taken longer than I anticipated to write and I didn’t finish before I had to leave my house. Which is absolutely insane, I know. It’s also why I decided to work on being the best book blogger I can be, while also not letting it control my life so much. That said, I would currently like nothing more than to go to bed early and continue reading the awesome book I’m in the middle of, so I’m going to finish this post here.
Like I said, I would absolutely love to hear your feedback on what you’d like to see from me this year and going forward. Any posts you’d like to see me write? Any ideas for reading experiments? Even anything you’d like to see me do less of? Let me know in the comments!