Saturday, November 14, 2015

Moving Forward: Year 4 Blogging Goals

So I had quite a few blogoversary posts in mind, and yesterday I was going to write an open letter to myself about Year 4, and then today I was going to ask you guys to fill out a survey so it’ll help me with some of the changes I want to implement. But then, I don’t know where my week went, and I ended up losing two days of it not posting. And then I just decided to push off the survey for a few weeks (when I have time to do it), and I also didn’t want to write the letter. But I still wanted to end the week on a blogoversary note, and I wanted to share my goals and resolutions for Year 4! :)

One of the biggest goals I have is to find a better balance with backlist titles, new releases, and ARCs. So far I haven’t done a very good job of that, especially when I let myself get too caught up in ARCs. But it was super fun over the summer to pick up backlist books and just read them without hype or anyone else’s opinions or release dates in mind. I think my reviews of the Shatter Me series are some of my favorites I’ve written, and they didn’t FEEL like work at all. And I think, if I keep going by mood and grabbing more books from my shelf from time to time, that it’ll make reviewing a lot less mechanical and generic, and more FUN. Plus who wants to read reviews of the same books over and over again? I want to bring you guys lots of variety in the next year. And that means having a better balance between the new and the old.

Another HUGE goal is do better at visiting and commenting on others’ blogs, especially to those people who find the time for mine. Let’s be honest, I’ve just done TERRIBLE at this. And I feel so bad that there are quite a few people who still consistently find the time to visit my blog, and I’ve never gone to theirs. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to, but I’ve had a lot of trouble just getting through my own blogroll. Also when I stopped caring about blogging, I stopped caring about doing the one thing I’ve always loved: commenting. So it was hard for me to WANT to visit anyone, let alone the blogs that I’ve come to adore. I’m not trying to excuse it, it’s just what it is, but that’s not how I want to go about doing this anymore. This month, I’m going to try really hard to get behind this, and to make it better for me, because what I’m doing right now is not working (and I’m ignoring a lot of people). I’m already planning on implementing the IntenseDebate system, and since y’all will be able to actually link up recent posts, I know that’ll give me the motivation to check them out! Some of you have been wonderful to me when I haven’t exactly given you the cause to keep coming back. But you have, and it means the world to me. And I’ve come to realize that commenting back is not expected: it’s just plain NICE.

Last big one: just have fun with it! I know this might sound ridiculous and stupid, but it’s not for me. Somehow over the summer, I lost the fun and passion for blogging. It started to feel like work, and not so much a hobby, and I started to resent writing up posts. But ever since I took some time off in August and September, I’ve given myself the room to figure things out, and it’s done wonders. Every single post I’ve put up since then has felt like I put 100% into it, and I hope it shows! I’ve only been publishing posts I’ve WANTED to, not ones out of obligation or a sense of one. And I feel guilt-free, and like I’ve put out quality content. After the summer I had, this passion I’m feeling again is so wonderful and I’m happy with where I’m at in blogging FINALLY. And I’m going to try harder to stop letting the insecurities and self-doubt ruin what is one of the best things in my life. My blog may not be big, and I may not get invited for ALL THE THINGS, but I’m pretty dang proud of what I’ve done in 3 years. Who knew I’d have stuck it out for this long, especially after the rockiness of this year? (I'm sorry that I keep talking about how proud I am and how bad this year was, but I'm just a *wee* bit excited about getting to Year 3 without quitting. :D).

Those are kind of the three main blogging goals I have, but there are a number of smaller achievements I’d love to accomplish in Year 4. OR IN ANY YEAR.

*Reach 500 Bloglovin’ followers! This would be such a huge milestone, and I’d love to hit it. :D
*Receive another HarperCollins approval. This hasn’t happened since The Queen of the Tearling last June, and I’d probably CRY if they suddenly gave me another approval after a year of trying.
*Blurb a book. Okay, now this is kind of impossible, but I think it’d be super awesome to be blurbed in a book (esp if it’s a fave) AS A BLOGGER. I mean, what an amazing opportunity that is!
*Receive a Macmillan physical ARC. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’d love it if it did! Mac is one of those publishers I’d just about die to work with. (Ok I did just receive Firsts from St. Martin’s Griffin, but I’m talking about one of the other BIG imprints).
*Update the “My Reviews” tab. No, but seriously.
*Use more gifs! I love gifs. I love gifs in reviews, esp if they’re placed perfectly. Why don’t I use more gifs? ALL THE GIFS.
*Start a readathon/reading challenge. Oh, I’d love to host one of these two someday. I once had an idea for a read-a-long and gave up on it, but it’s still something I want to do.
*USE THE LIBRARY MORE! omg I seriously need to stop buying so many damn books that are at the library! FREE READING, HOLLY. FREE READING.
*Get that coveted 80% approval ratio on  NetGalley. It will happen! SOMEDAY. SOMEDAY, IT WILL.
*Write more discussion posts. For some reason, even when my other posts received less anything, my discussions always got more attention. And you know, I really love it when you guys share your thoughts, even if you disagree or bring your own perspective into it. So yes, I need to keep doing this, I think. It’s a good thing I have PLENTY of ideas to keep me going for a long while. :D
*Ooh, and I know, beta-read! Since I’m determined to be a better writer than I’ve been, I would also love to start beta-reading for people. I think it would help ME out with my own stories, and also how much fun would it be to see a book in its earlier form? So all of you NaNoers out there.. *nudge nudge wink wink*

And I do believe that is all! I know some of them are pretty improbable, but I’m hoping to accomplish some of these smaller goals throughout the new year of blogging. I also, am for sure, going to make a survey and open the floor to my readers about what they’d like to see changed about The Fox’s Hideaway. I would love some genuine advice as 2015 ends. A new year means a new start, and I want to take advantage of that by going into 2016 with more heart for blogging and a better attitude, and a fresher blog. And I hope y’all will stick out Year 4 with me. :)



Don't forget that I still have a giveaway going on that ends SOON! A signed/personalized copy of Winter by Marissa Meyer is up for grabs, so you should get on that if you want to. ;)

3 comments:

  1. Yes yes, I know how it goes. I've been feeling the same way about blogging lately. I hope you get out of your slump. There is a really awesome online ebook library. (I hesitate to tell you this because now you'll probably fight me for books ;) Good luck with all your goals!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your #1 goal, to find balance between the books you read, is one that I'm currently trying to work on, too. It's so very hard, though! All these shiny new releases and ARCs are making me abandon older books - and don't even get me started on old AND not popular books.
    I don't think you should worry much about #2 - I believe most people know what it feels like to not want to do ANYTHING that is somewhat connected to blogging, and that includes commenting.
    I totally agree with #3! It's something that I've been working in since the end of summer and I'm starting to really find fun in blogging again.
    I used to go to the library like, every week but I haven't been there in more than a year! That's crazy and terrible!
    I'm so glad you're back, Holly, and I absolutely can't wait to see these changes happen! <3 Wish you all the luck to accomplish your goals!

    ReplyDelete
  3. WORK ON ALL THE GOALS HOLLY. I am glad you are looking forward to a year 4 because YOU SHOULD BE. I will never let you quit. And also, I totally think those goals are manageable!!! like 500 followers? PIECE OF CAKE YOU CAN DO IT I KNOW YOU CAN. Receiving ARCs? ALSO EASY TOO YOU CAN DO IT I HAVE FAITH IN YOU :) On the other hand, updating the "My Reviews" tab? Nah. Too hard. JUST KIDDING hahah. But I also need to do that.

    I love writing discussion posts, but I'm never good at writing them. I end up getting straight to the point, and my post ends up being too short. BUT I AGREE ABOUT WRITING A POST YOU WANT TO WRITE. I find that I am much happier when I put my 100% in a post as well :)

    ROOTING FOR YOU LITTLE DUMPLING

    ReplyDelete

Comments always make me smile. :) Seriously. Even if you comment on the post weeks or months later, it makes my day! So don't hesitate to leave your thoughts even if it's been a long time since the post was published. I'll try to reply to you, especially if you ask a question, but sometimes life happens. But I do read and appreciate every single one of them because I know how hard it can be to find the time or energy to comment. So a heartfelt THANK YOU for brightening my day when you do. <3