I’m not really into celebrating the new year but during that odd time between Christmas and New Year I was reflecting on how much has changed for me over the past 12 months. I stopped studying and changed jobs and while, on the surface, that doesn’t sound like a lot there was a lot of upheaval surrounding both of those changes. I went from doing 6/7 days a week at 50+ hours per week to 2-4 days and 14+ hours to 5/6 days and an average of 35 hours. The plan I started the year with went completely out the window and I never envisioned ending up where I am now. Don’t misunderstand, I like my new job, the pay and benefits are good and it gives me a good amount of free time (perfect for reading!) but I never expected to end up working in the industry I’m now in.
These changes have been huge for me on a personal level, my goals have vanished because they no longer apply and I have no plan or idea for my future. I know I’m incredibly lucky to have found a job I enjoy with a short commute and good pay but getting used to the rest of the changes in my life is going to take a bit of time.
Unfortunately this huge upheaval has impacted my blog. I had plans to have numerous authors on this year and while some of that was successful much of it wasn’t and I’m disappointed by that. I have managed to keep up with blog tours for the most part, if I hadn’t done any I would have read very little and as reading helps my stress levels and overall health, clearly this is something I want to ensure I keep doing. I am hoping to still have some authors on the blog in the coming year, I need more than an hour or two to properly sort things out but I’m hopeful it will happen soon. I’m also making some changes, some are minor and cosmetic and others less so. After a discussion with the lovely Kelly from LoveBooksGroup I am considering having a special feature for myself and blog tour guest posts, this is still in the pipeline at the moment. I’m changing my profile picture for twitter, Facebook and Instagram and having a general overhaul of the blog. I am also hoping to have a guest reviewer join me but this is in the early stages at the moment so we’ll see how it goes.
Because of last year’s changes I’ve also decided to take on less blog tour reviews this year. I will still do other tour posts but not as many reviews as I want to have a proper go at reducing my ever increasing to-read list and be able to read what I fancy more often than I have been able to of late.
I enjoy doing blog tours and they are important but as I get older I’m realising that I need to find a balance in my life that works for me and getting my to-read list and Netgalley percentage under control is going to go a long way to achieving that.
I haven’t made many plans for 2019 but my biggest one at the moment is my first ever trip to the US in April. I’m visiting Boston and New York and making sure I a) visit some book shops and b) have space in my luggage to bring a few books home. I’m so excited about this holiday, I’ve had to renew my passport because it’s been so long since I’ve been abroad.
In a bid to be better organised and make the most of my non-work time this year I’ve decided to try bullet journalling instead of keeping a normal diary. It’s off to an interesting start so we’ll see how it works out.
I’ve got some cracking books lined up for the beginning of the year, both tour reviews and ARC’s and also some reviews of books I read last year but haven’t yet reviewed. I’m thrilled and hugely grateful to all the publishers, blog tour organisers and everyone else who emails and sends me books. I never thought this would happen when I started my blog and while it may still not be the biggest blog out there but it’s mine, something I started from scratch and grew myself and that is what makes it special.
Despite the upheaval and changes in 2018 it still had a lot of good points and I’m hoping that now things are starting to settle down, there will be even more good things awaiting me in 2019. Time will tell.