We are three months into 2022, which means it’s time for me to take a look at my goals for this year to see how I’m doing. I don’t particularly enjoy writing these posts – though you all seem to enjoy reading them – but I do find them helpful in taking a look at how I’m doing, seeing where I’m succeeding, and reevaluating the areas in which I need to do better. Sometimes my goals change if they’re not working for me or if they’re making other goals more difficult (doing one reading experiment post a month last year made it very hard to keep up with reading the number of diverse books I wanted to). And I think they’re a great way to help keep me on track.
So since we’ve completed the first quarte of the year, I thought I’d check in and see how I am doing so far. Honestly, I’m not feeling great with my reading habits at the moment, but hopefully this will make me feel a little better to see the areas I am not failing in. Let’s start with…
This year, I decided to create a few goals centered around this blog and my blogging habits. Partly to make it easier for me, because running a blog (especially one that requires doing a lot of reading) and having a full-time job is a lot. But also to make this a better blog for all of you to read. So here are three blogging goals I set for myself in 2022:
be better at writing posts in advance
Every single post that goes up on this blog is scheduled (I post Mondays and Thursdays at 12am PST, in case you were curious). However, the majority of those posts are finished and scheduled at like 9pm the day before. The first few months of the year were a little rough on the schedule, but I am working on trying to get posts written in advance this month so I can have a little more flexibility in my schedule and a better balance with work and blogging and life things. I do have post planned out for at least a month, so I have that going for me.
be more involved on social media
I kind of stopped posting a lot on Instagram a few years ago because there was a lot of pressure to be a “bookstagram” and take these gorgeous pictures and spend time editing them and having a cohesive, pretty feed. This year, I am trying to accept that I don’t run a bookstagram, I have an Instagram associated with my blog. So even though my posts are not these gorgeous shots of books so many other people post, it is a fun space to talk about what I’m reading, what I’ve enjoyed, and sometimes the posts I’m proud of. You can check me out on @advntrsofabibliophile on Instagram and @biblioadvntrs on Twitter if you want to follow me either of those places.
In general, I think I’m doing pretty okay with this goal. I could be doing better, but this also is kind of time-intensive and I just don’t have the time right now to dedicate hours to this every week. Hopefully I can find a better balance or schedule with this soon.
write more creative posts
This is a hard one. I haven’t done any reading experiment posts this year – I found that I wasn’t happy with the fact that so many of the books I was reading were for posts. While I did really enjoy writing those posts, I didn’t like giving up so much of my reading time to books I wasn’t super interested in and didn’t particularly enjoy. But I am trying to find other ways to be more creative with this blog that aren’t so reading-intensive. Definitely not where I want to be, but I have written some posts I’m proud of this year, and hopefully I can keep going and get better.
how am I doing?
I think I’m doing okay with these goals. This month has definitely felt like an improvement after a “meh” February and March. I’m excited about some of my future plans for this blog, and am feeling more motivated and starting to enjoy them more. I was definitely very burnt out for a while, but am starting to feel better so fingers crossed the rest of this year goes more smoothly
I have found setting reading goals for myself very helpful over the past few years. I end up feeling better about what I’ve read during the year as a whole when I set goals for me to work towards. They help me pay more attention to things like reading more diversely and widely, and I just really enjoy being able to see how I’m doing as I work towards a specific benchmark.
read one nonfiction book a month AND 25% nonfiction total
I have read at least one nonficiton book every month this year (so far), so I’m definitely on track for that. I’m honestly not feeling like I’m getting to all of the nonfiction books I want to be getting to this year. But because I’m also not reading as much as I would like to be overall, I’m still at 27% nonfiction currently. Which is really not bad. There are a lot more books I want to be getting to, so hopefully that stays around the same ratio. I think my sweet spot might actually be closer to 30%. I think I finished last year around there, and it’s a good balance of me feeling like I’m reading enough as entertainment but also learning new things. So I might try and get this a little higher, even though I am technically above my goal already. We’ll see how the rest of the year plays out.
read at least 50% by BIPOC authors
I am currently at exactly 50% right now. Though this will go up a bit when I finish all of the books I am currently reading. So I think I’ve been doing fairly well. While I would ultimately like to be at more than 50%, I don’t want to turn this into something that makes it difficult for me to read the books I want to read. Not doing my reading experiments this year has definitely helped a lot. Despite me making an effort to read more diversely last year, my reading experiments definitely skewed White, which is one of the reasons I haven’t been doing them this year. I don’t want to rule them out completely, but I’ll definitely be spacing them out more and working harder to make them diverse when I do bring them back.
I also think I’ve just been gravitating towards more diverse books this year and authors of color. Obviously, that’s not all I’m reading, but I think I’ve developed better habits in that regard just from making an effort the past couple of years. Which is, ultimately, the goal. I don’t even have to think about picking up nonfiction anymore after setting that as a goal for so long, so I definitely want to get the same here.
read at least 50% books set outside the US
This is kind of an interesting one when I looked more closely at it. Because I am actually at 68% total, which is great. However, if we look at non-English speaking countries (which I think was really where I was trying to go with this), I’m only at 31%. So while books set in the US don’t make up the majority of my reading this year, books set in the US, England, and Canada definitely do. I’ve also read quite a few books set in Japan, so even the books set outside the US aren’t as widespread as I would have liked. So I think I do want to do better with this and explore some different countries that I haven’t read yet this year. Although I am very into Japanese literature this year, so it’s going to be hard to not read a ton more of those. But I’m kind of okay with it. Just want to even it out a little bit.
read 6 classics
So far, I have only read one book that can be considered a classic (The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin). To be on track, I would need to finish my second classic this month. I am really, really hoping to get to The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas in the next couple of weeks, but my reading this month has not been great. Still, I think I’m kind of okay with being a little bit behind on this one (for now), because I do tend to gravitate towards classics more at the end of summer and into the fall. So I still think this is totally doable. And hey, if I fail, I fail with the knowledge that last year I set this same goal and exceeded it… by sixteen books (including two over a thousand pages). I can’t be too mad if my brain needs a break from classics this year.
read 6 books with trans or nonbinary main characters OR by trans/nonbinary authors
I have actually read one book towards this goal as well. And while I loved that book (I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya), I’m struggling a bit to find other books that both sound interesting to me and have good reviews from the trans community. Also, I am very tempted to just read all of Vivek Shraya’s books, but I think that kind of defeats the point of this goal a tiny bit.
I thought there would be a bigger selection of books that fit this category so that I could choose ones I think I’m most likely to enjoy. But there definitely seems to be a gap in publishing in this area. I do have three or four more books that I’m planning to read this year, but I could definitely use recommendations, both for this year and also just to read in the future.
read 100 books
So I am actually fairly behind on this goal. As of my writing this (which is the day before it goes up, because of course that’s when I’m finishing this post), I have read twenty-two books. Which Goodreads says is five books behind my goal, though The StoryGraph says I need six more books to catch up. I’ve been about this far behind since like January, so I’m not falling further behind, but I definitely need to start catching up. Doable, but I need to work on my reading habits so I start reading more. Partly because I do want to meet this goal, but mostly because I’m just not reading as much as I usually do and I don’t like it.
…and a few more things
This year, I did also mention in my goals post that there are additional things I want to work on, but not that I specifically want to track. I still want to talk about them, just to kind of see where I’m doing with those, if I want to change anything, if there’s anything I want to focus on a bit more, etc.
The first “unofficial” goal I talked about was wanting to read more books with disabled characters. I was pretty proud of myself when I looked back on this one because not only have I read a nonfiction book about disability (which is one of my favorites of the year so far), I did already pick up another nonfiction book about disability (that I’m maybe planning on reading this year), and a fiction book about a character with a disabled main character (that I am definitely planning to read this year). So I’d call this one a win so far.
I also mentioned wanting to be better at reading new releases, particularly ones that excite me (and not ones I have to read). So far, I have read four new releases this year. Which doesn’t seem bad until we then notice that two of them were ARCs that I didn’t like, and a third was a short story that was a solid three-stars. Fortunately, number four (which was actually the first new release I read this year) was five stars. But I definitely want to get to some more.
My last goal was to have more fun with reading. Which hasn’t been going as well as I would like. But I just picked up a super fun book that I’m excited about, so hopefully that gets better soon.
how am I doing?
I guess I’m doing pretty okay with my reading goals for this year. I can definitely work on reading more books, obviously, but also reading more fun things, which I think will help towards reading more. I also need to make sure I stay on top of my other goals, because while I’m not behind, I’m getting a little too close for comfort.
But overall, I think I’m not doing too bad with my goals this year. Do you have any reading goals for 2022?
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