Challenges and Resolutions Update #2

challenges-resolutions-2

As the year has passed well into the second half, I thought it would be a good time to check what progress I’d made on my challenges and resolutions for 2016. In May, I bemoaned my lack of progress and felt kind of bad that I wasn’t doing as good as I’d thought I would be. But now, I just can’t bring myself to feel bad about this kind of thing – blogging is and should remain a hobby and as long as I’m enjoying it, I’m good. The same goes for reading. Let’s see how I’m doing:

Resolutions

  • I want to succeed at my reading challenges. Well – I finished my Discussion Challenge already but the others are less of a success.
  • I want to read more classics. Abysmal. I read one Little Black Classic which hardly counts because it has 40 pages, I think (it was Christina Rosetti’s Goblin Market, a really great poem – accompanied with several more of her poems that I never read before and I really liked them).
  • I want to finish more series. Okay so I’m not doing too bad with this one. I’ll consider this a good work in progress. I also dropped some series because I decided not to purposefully read bad books anymore, which was pretty liberating.
  • I want to get better at using Instagram. Er, no. Nope.
  • I want to read more non-English books. This isn’t too bad. I have already read six (I think?) non-English titles (though one was an English translation of a Finnish book).
  • I want to keep up-to-date with my ARCs. YES! I am doing great at this. Woop! :) My NetGalley ratio is currently 82% and I am not requesting many books, only those I’m genuinely interested in. YAY!
  • I want to post more of my reviews to Goodreads. I am doing way better with this. Putting reminders into my Google calendar for each review really helps.
  • I want to buy less books and read more of the ones I already own. I’m not QUITE keeping to my 3-to-1 ratio but let’s say I’m making some progress.
  • I want to post at least twice a week. Yep, doing okay with this most of the time!

So the tally is: 4 resolutions are a success, 3 are a work in progress, and 2 are fails. This is better than with my May update, which I’m counting as an overall success! :)

srcek

Challenges

As I said, I am doing very poorly with the Back to the Classics Challenge (hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate). My goal was to read six books and so far I can’t even say I’ve read one. I want to change that soon but I don’t know if I’ll manage. We’ll see. I’m such a mood reader it’s difficult to plan my reading in advance, though I’ve had some success with my Summer TBR list.

2016-Discussion-Challenge

The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight, and it’s the only challenge I’m acing so far. My goal was to write at least 13 discussions this year and I made it!! So this challenge is definitely a success and I will be participating in it next year for sure – it makes me write better posts that get the most engagement and I also met some great new people through it!

You can see my discussions here: Supernatural Love Interests, Should Romance Be Realistic?Are Bloggers Really Introverts?, How Are You?, All the HypeHigh Expectations, Watching People, Reading Novellas, Super Long Books, What Makes a Fantasy, Reading Bad Books, and Re-reading Childhood Favourites.

And I’m participating in the Retelling Challenge 2016 again. It is hosted by Mel at The Daily Prophecy. I am failing this one – I thought A Court of Mist and Fury would count towards this challenge but it really isn’t a retelling of anything as far as I could tell, despite the fact that the first part of the series was a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I also read Son of the Shadows by Juliet Mariller – the first book of the series was a retelling (The Daughter of the Forest), but this one just isn’t. So the only retellings I’ve read were Lock & Mori, a YA contemporary version of Sherlock Holmes, and The Wrath and the Dawn, which I’ll be reviewing soon.

So. One in three challenges – not horrible but not good, either. See – I won the challenge that isn’t dependent on my mood swings and current tastes in books. I think I’ll choose more challenges of this sort for 2017.

srcek

How are your challenges and resolutions coming along?

Do you feel guilty if you aren’t succeeding at them?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

  • It’s really hard to keep up with all the challenges. I always feel so motivated at the beginning of the year, but them life happens. I think you’re doing really well!

    • Thanks, Quinn! :)

      And yeah, I’m always feeling very optimistic when I set these challenges for myself but I’m a mood reader and have a hard time keeping up!

  • Maraia

    *high fives* I think you’ve done great on your challenges! I also wanted to mention that I love the pictures you post on Instagram, even though they aren’t usually of books. I would say you’re doing well at it. ;D

    • *high fives back* Thanks! :)

      And yeah, I know my Instagram isn’t really bookish but I wanted to use it more – not just for books but in general. I just never remember to take photos. Eh.

  • I feel your pain on reading classics. I keep meaning to…but I’m just not interested enough, or I don’t have the time/energy/patience to put into trudging through the different writing style. I’ve found that audiobooks are sometimes a better (quicker) way for me to get through them, and you can find free versions all over. Good luck!

    • I recently realized that most classics were free for Kindle (who knew?! It makes sense, of course) and now that I have some more reading time on my hands, maybe I’ll chew through a couple. We’ll see. I’ve optimistically downloaded three that I want to read.

  • Greg Hill

    You’re doing great on the challenges, especially the aRC’s. I’m terrible with classics too, I keep thinking I’ll read more but so far- nope. And I didn’t really do any challenges this year, although I may in 2017. I’ve seen a few that look fun…

    • I’m already thinking about challenges for 2017 as well, but I might do the ones that aren’t dependent on a specific TYPE of book (like classics or retellings). I’m thinking more in terms of finishing series, tackling my existing tbr pile, etc.

      And yeah, I put “read more classics” on my resolutions list EVERY YEAR and it’s just there to make me feel guilty.

  • AW you are totally making my DAY with the kind words about the challenge! I am SO happy it has helped you- and I do agree, I have met the most amazing people (and posts!) through it! I would do very terribly at the classics one. And the non-English books, since it is the only language I know, aside from some VERY basic Spanish and French ;) I also feel you with Instagram. It is HARD. And so very time consuming! I think you are doing amazing though! You have a LOT of challenges on your plate, so to be doing so well is really an accomplishment!

    • :) I am definitely participating in your Discussion Challenge next year if you’re running it again.

      As for the non-English books challenge, I count translations as well. For example, I don’t speak Italian but I read a Slovenian translation of an Italian novel recently. That’s what translations (and translators) are for! :)

      And yeah, Instagram is time consuiming, I admire people who manage to post beautiful, curated photos every day and actually have a consistent theme on their stream. *jealous* But hey, we can’t do everything.

  • You’ve reminded me I need to take another look at my challenges and resolutions. I feel like I have made no progress since I took a look in the middle of the year. I get bored too easily, I think that is my issue. I have taken a new challenge though in the form of Bookopoly so maybe I’m just bored easily and so shouldn’t take on year long challenges?

    I agree with you and your feelings on challenges, why worry if you don’t complete them. It’s not worth stressing over, it is only a hobby and if I’m not enjoying it then why bother?

    • Yeah, maybe you should do readathons or something, like weekend-long challenges that make you step out of your comfort zone. :) I’m thinking about more challenges like “clean out your tbr” or “finish more series” for next year, I’m not going to limit myself with genres anymore. It’s just a bad fit for me.

      • I think I need to stop doing ones which don’t fit with what I already own. I think lots of mini readathons throughout the year might be my thing… or not. We shall see. It’s good to start thinking now, though, right?

  • I’m with Quinn. It’s tough keeping up with challenges, and it sounds to me like you’re actually doing a great job! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the Discussion Challenge; that’s definitely one I should tackle next year. And I know exactly what you mean about being a mood reader. I joined a 2-week TBR Readathon. I had just finished a week in which I read 4 ARCs off my TBR, and I thought, piece of cake! Nope, not so much. Instead of TBR books, I plowed through 5 books in a series I’ve read before. Argh.

    • Haha, that’s a problem, yeah! But why force yourself to read stuff you’re not in the mood for – I always find that I enjoy books more if I read them at the right time. If a book isn’t pulling me in, I’ll put it away for a while and return later. And sometimes it’s just SO GOOD to re-read old favourites, I do that a lot. :)

  • Your discussion posts are always interesting and provoke good conversation, so if you can only ace one challenge I’m glad it’s that one! :D

    I do feel guilty when I don’t complete reading challenges, which is why the only one I’m doing this year is the Goodreads challenge. Informally, I’ve also been “challenging” myself to listen to more audiobooks and read more queer SFF. Those have both been a success so far, but I think that’s because I haven’t put too much pressure on myself!

    • Yeah, personal challenges are better, I think, because there’s no public pressure – you can’t really FAIL at them.

      And I am collecting your recs for diverse SFF in Goodreads – your reviews these past few months have been great! :)

  • I wish I got into challenges more but I never do because I suck at keeping myself on track with tbr lists >.< To me, your progress sounds like a success by and large – you're more on track than not and you seem to be doing really great! Way to go :D