January 1, 2013

2013 Bookish Resolutions

Read at least fifty books I actually own. I own over a thousand books and haven't read most of them. They've long since overflown my shelves, and though I'm slowly gathering enough boxes to store them properly, I'm not reading them nearly as fast as I need to be. In 2013, I want to make a dent in my unread stacks.

Pinpoint the most effective (and affordable) way to pass along my old books to new owners. Along with all those unread books, I have a few stacks of books I've read that I no longer want to keep. Some of them, I've already tried taking to the used bookstore, but the used bookstore in my town is... well, to be as nice as possible, they're ridiculously overpriced. As a result, they have far more inventory than is reasonable to the point that their stock is just lying around in bags on the floor. I've never seen anything so ludicrous; because of this overstock, they're accepting less than they used to (but not enough of a reduction in intake, obviously) and I'm stuck without a place to bring my books. In 2013, I'd like to experiment with taking books to the local thrift store and library, as well as trying out some book exchange services or clubs. I would really like to pick one by next January.

Complete at least the lowest level of every challenge on my 2013 Reading Challenges page. Amusingly enough, this is the first year I've signed up for reading challenges, and so I'm going to be testing the waters, so to speak. I don't know how much I can handle in a year, and I'm going to try to meet my lofty goals in 2013; if I don't, at least I'll know what not to do next year!

Finish three fanfiction stories to put up on Archive of Our Own this fall. I have a bunch of half-written plots lying around on jumpdrives, and I'm going to do my damnedest to make 2013 the year that they finally see completion. ('Course, I said this for 2012, too, and that obviously didn't work out...)

Finish a manuscript, even if it's so terrible I never want to see it again. When it comes to me and writing, I have a process. That is, I get 30,000 words into something, decide I hate it, and drop the project. Obviously, it's not the most productive way to do things, so a 2013 goal of mine is going to be to conquer my Inner Editor, to borrow some NaNo terminology.

Write a cumulative minimum of 350,000 words. Last year I wrote just shy of 270,000 words ranging from book reviews to blog posts to private journal entries to fanfiction to (Camp) NaNoWriMo attempts. Since I'm going to be blogging much more in 2013, I'm raising my goal by 100,000.

Focus on reading more new releases and more popular books. Compared to most people, I read a lot.  But the books I tend to read are older and none too popular, so when events like the Goodreads Choice Awards come around, the polls are filled with books I haven't read (or heard of!). I want to change that in 2013 and try to find some balance between the new and the old as well as the popular and the obscure.

Try to get ahead of schedule with Amara's Eden by utilizing the schedule post feature. At the moment, I'm only a few days ahead of schedule. If at all possible, I'd really like to stay a few weeks ahead of schedule at least, so I can always be sure I'm prepared for power/Internet outages, writing/reading slumps, overwork or lack of time, or just simple forgetfulness.

Be more social on Goodreads and in the blogosphere. I don't know if it shows or not, but I've never been particularly comfortable in social settings. Socializing and making friends isn't the easiest thing in the world for me.

Stop requesting books from the library that I won't be able to read within the check-out period. I have a library problem. Whenever I log onto my account at the library's website, I inevitably request something. A lot of somethings, usually. I can fill up my twenty-five hold slots within a few minutes, and when they arrive at the local branch so I can pick them up... they end up sitting in my bedroom for the full three-week, three-renewal check-out period before finally being returned, unread. In 2013, I hope to learn to the art of only requesting what I'll actually get around to reading.

Find my reviewing voice, and get a handle on this whole blogging thing. I haven't been reviewing long, so I often feel a little unsure of myself. I haven't found a distinct voice to write with, I haven't yet developed a knack for picking books I'll enjoy over books I'll find mediocre, and I find myself having much more to talk about in negative reviews than in favorable ones. In 2013, I want to develop my blog, my reviewing skills, and my writing voice.

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