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My 2018 Bookish Goals!

#BoutofBooks has all wrapped up! I can’t say I did amazingly at reading last week. My ambition to complete three books wasn’t quite fulfilled, though I did finish Wide Sargasso Sea and — er — start Salt to the Sea. That’s pretty good, right?

*nervous sweat*

What can I say? My time was monopolized. I got caught up in reading Fire and Fury, and it always takes me a long time to read nonfiction (even gossipy, salacious, less-than-substantive nonfiction) and, in my defense, I also started reading this really amazing fic Dirt, from The Last of Us. If only GoodReads let you count 200,000 word fanfics towards your yearly reading goal, am I right?

Anyway, January is nearly half over (somehow. has anyone else accomplished exactly nothing so far this month? Just me? Oh, okay, cool. Just checking.) and it’s time to share some of my naively earnest goals for 2018.

My 5 Bookish Goals for 2018

1. Read 1 Hour Every Day

Last year was the first time in years that I didn’t actually meet my GoodReads goal! I have a horrible time of getting stuck on a book that I don’t particularly enjoy, spending weeks dawdling over reading it, spending ten, fifteen minutes a day with it before dropping it aside. That has lost me a lot of time that could have been spent reading books that I liked better.*

*I also get massive book hangovers, where after I finish one book, I can’t bear to pick another up for days or even weeks! This habit has to be broken!

So, my main goal is to set a timer and read for an hour every day, with a goal of about 60 pages read. A standard book, even should it be one that I don’t particularly enjoy, should only take about a week with this method. And, if after 3 days (or 3 hours / 100+ pages), I still really don’t feel motivated to read, I will drop the book aside and pick something else.

2. Read More Nonfiction

love nonfiction, and I have a big pile of history and science-related books that I desperately want to read … and yet I don’t. Nonfiction takes so much longer than regular fiction, and I usually get discouraged if two hours have passed and I’ve been a wholly unremarkable dent of fifteen pages. But, I want to read it more often, so I’m setting myself a goal of Five Nonfiction Books for the year.

Some nonfiction books I’m thinking about reading:

 

We Were Eight Years in Power, An American Tragedy, Ta-Nehisi Coates

From the GoodReads Description:

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

Promise Me Dad, Joe Biden

From the GoodReads Description:

In November 2014, thirteen members of the Biden family gathered on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, a tradition they had been celebrating for the past forty years; it was the one constant in what had become a hectic, scrutinized, and overscheduled life. The Thanksgiving holiday was a much-needed respite, a time to connect, a time to reflect on what the year had brought, and what the future might hold. But this year felt different from all those that had come before. Joe and Jill Biden’s eldest son, Beau, had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor fifteen months earlier, and his survival was uncertain. “Promise me, Dad,” Beau had told his father. “Give me your word that no matter what happens, you’re going to be all right.” Joe Biden gave him his word.

 

Moonshot, by Brian Floca

From the GoodReads Description:

Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure and discovery — a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away.

Dragonfly, NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir, by Bryan Burrough

From the GoodReads Description:

On 2/12/97, two Russian cosmonauts joined an American astronaut on board the only permanent manned space outpost, the 11-year-old Mir. It was to be a routine mission, the 4th of seven trips to Mir that NASA astronauts would take as dress rehearsals for the two countries’ partnership in a new Intern’l Space Station they were building back on Earth. But there’d been bad omens: a Moscow psychic who predicted a mysterious disaster; a Russian doctor who warned that the crew was psychologically incompatible. Within two weeks the omens were borne out, as the three were suddenly forced to fight the worst fire in space history.

3. Write More Reviews

I’ve tended not to bother writing reviews on this blog or even on my GoodReads account — usually at the end of a book, I’ll jot down a sentence or two about my overall impressions, slap a star rating, and call it a day. That’s fine and all, but I would like to exercise a little more reflection and analysis after I finish a book. So, maybe I’ll make a resolution to write a review of more than a few quick sentences for at least one book I read every month.

4. A Book-Buying Ban Until I Chisel Down My TBR

This is the big one. The one that requires self-constraint, and willpower, and tempering my trigger finger (i.e. the finger that taps the Complete Transaction button that fills my shelves with so many books.)

I have one bookshelf in my room and an overflowing book closet (and maybe a few dozen stacks of books crammed into my upper closet as well.) I need to read through (and cull) my shelves before I buy any more books. I just have to. This is a non-starter. I swear!

(Another habit I have that needs breaking: I’ll buy a stack of books, start reading one, and something in that book prompts me to order one or two others which are referenced or similar, but then once I read one of those, I repeat the process again, and none of the books from the initial stack are ever touched and this is a sickness and I need an intervention.)

So, this year I am on a total book-buying ban. No, really. I’ll read what’s on my shelves and nothing else, save for books given as gifts (or books which I very thoughtfully preordered for myself before 2017 drew to its close), for one whole calendar year.

That’s probably possible. I mean, it’s worth a shot, right?

5. A Resolution to start and FINISH more writing projects!

2017 was a tricky year for me, in that I made a lot of forward strides in editing projects, and in outlining ideas for new projects, but it was the first year for quite a while in which I didn’t finish a single project. That, I would like to change. (I’ve got fancy calendar grids and goal sheets all ready.) For 2018, I would like to finish the edits on 2 of my existing WIPs, and I’d like to write first drafts for another 3 standalone projects.

I’ll also be working on an online certificate in writing from the University of Iowa, so I’ll have no lack of fun, writer-ly things with which to stress myself out over.

*again with the nervous sweat*

~

 There you have it, my 2018 goals. I’ll check in periodically throughout the year to keep you updated. I also have a GoodReads goal of 52 books for the year. (And I’m already ahead by 2 books! Heh. This lead won’t last.)

What are you goals for 2018? Are you participating in the GoodReads reading challenge? Or maybe you’re trying your own version of the book buying ban! Are you hoping to finish your Great [Insert Country of Origin] Novel in 2018? Comment down below, and tell me what you want to accomplish this year!

 

Top Ten Tuesday

This post is part of a link-up with Top Ten Tuesday, whose new home is now on ThatArtsyReaderGirl.com. (And yes, I realize that 1) I posted this on Monday and 2) could not think of ten resolutions. I tried, alright? The minimal amount of effort was exercised. That’s another motto for 2018: it’s not just good, it’s good enough.

~

Want to follow me around the internet? I do most of my wordy blabbage on Twitter, @chuffwrites, and if you’re bookish-ly inclined, you should definitely friend me on GoodReads! If you would like to follow this blog and get the newest posts delivered directly to your inbox, email subscription and BlogLovin’ links are at the top of the sidebar!

Happy writing!

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28 Comments

  • Reply Lauren Becker

    I don’t have a book buying ban, but I AM trying not to add too many books until I start reading more of the books that I already own. I also really want to work on my own writing. I meant to do this last year, and yea, I did a bit of a research but not much else.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    January 16, 2018 at 11:20 am
    • Reply happywriter

      You would think “reading our own books” wouldn’t be so difficult for bookworms, but it really is! 😂 I hope you do get some awesome writing done this year!!

      January 16, 2018 at 6:54 pm
  • Reply Alison Doherty

    I love these goals. Reading one hour a day would be a great goal for me too!

    January 16, 2018 at 11:23 am
    • Reply happywriter

      If you read about a page a minute, 60 pages an hour, you can finish a 300-400 page book in a week!

      January 16, 2018 at 6:55 pm
  • Reply Katie

    These are very similar to some of my goals! I love the idea of setting back an hour to read each day.

    January 16, 2018 at 11:47 am
    • Reply happywriter

      Yes! It’s nice to set the timer, hunker in, and devote my full attention just to reading. 🙂

      January 16, 2018 at 6:55 pm
  • Reply Amy Rush Da Silva

    Great goals! I am going to try and read for 1 hour a day too..it’s just finding the time! I too also want to work on my writing. I have a novel planned just need to get the motivation to start writing! Good luck! 🙂

    My TTT – http://www.amysbookishlife.co.uk/2018/01/top-ten-tuesday-bookish-resolutionsgoals.html

    January 16, 2018 at 11:50 am
    • Reply happywriter

      You can do it!! Planning is a huge step, you just have to take the next leap into drafting! Maybe you could do Camp NaNoWriMo in April or July — writing with a big community, doing word sprints with others on Twitter, always keeps my writing motivation ultra-high.

      Thanks for commenting!

      January 16, 2018 at 6:56 pm
  • Reply Jessie @ Dwell in Possibility

    We do have a lot of the same goals! I especially like your idea of setting a timer to make sure you are reading every day, and agree that book hangovers are the absolute worst. I hope we’re both able to read more nonfiction, chisel away at our TBRs, and write more reviews this year!

    January 16, 2018 at 12:55 pm
    • Reply happywriter

      Because they are the best goals, superior to all other goals. 😉 I definitely intend to spend 2018 chiseling my TBR and avoiding book hangovers. Best of luck to us both!

      January 16, 2018 at 6:58 pm
  • Reply Laura @ Library of Clean Reads

    I like your goals. I read at least an hour a day and if I can get more in even better. I make sure I carry my book with me if I’m leaving the house because with kids, I always seem to be waiting for someone. Hope you achieve them all!

    January 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm
    • Reply happywriter

      Always having a book physically on hand is a perfect way to make sure you get your pages in. Good luck to you as well!

      January 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm
  • Reply Susan

    Ha ha. I feel the same way about January this year. Have I managed to do ANYTHING in the last couple weeks??

    I need to make the same #1 resolution as you did except with a tweak: read ONLY one hour a day. I spend way too much time reading and not enough time folding laundry, doing dishes, mopping floors, etc. My poor house 🙁 If only housework were as pleasurable as reading, my house would be immaculate!

    Good luck with your resolutions. Happy TTT!

    Susan
    http://www.blogginboutbooks.com

    January 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm
    • Reply happywriter

      January is disappearing at an ALARMING rate!! I was just settling in to my new year attitude of productivity only to look up and find two weeks had passed without any … actual … productivity having taken place. 😂

      That’s actually a REALLY good goal, to LIMIT writing time as much as scheduling it. If I get swept up in a book, I’ll just sit there for six hours until I finish it — I’m not good at staggering out my time. If only it were easier to hold a book open while vacuuming efficiently…

      Thanks for stopping by! Good luck with your resolutions, too!

      January 16, 2018 at 7:02 pm
  • Reply Thought Student

    I am doing the Goodreads challenge but I don’t track everything there so my goal is pretty small. I hope your non-fiction is interesting and engaging.

    January 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm
    • Reply happywriter

      Thanks! I hope so too. 😀

      January 16, 2018 at 7:03 pm
  • Reply Hannah

    I love the idea of reading for an hour each day! This is something I should have put on my bookish goals, I probably wouldn’t manage an hour each day but I’m going to try for 30 mins 🙂 happy reading!

    January 16, 2018 at 4:35 pm
    • Reply happywriter

      30 minutes a day is a GREAT goal to work towards! You can knock out a couple books every month that way!!

      January 16, 2018 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply imyril

    Good luck! I know exactly what you mean about getting hung up on a book you’re not enjoying – it’s so frustrating, and yet weirdly so hard to just stop reading it already and move on…

    January 16, 2018 at 9:21 pm
    • Reply happywriter

      DNF-ing a book feels like some weird personal failure, I’m always compelled to push through to the end even if I’m not remotely enjoying it!! 2018 is as good a time as any to stop that nonsensical behavior…

      January 17, 2018 at 1:12 am
  • Reply Rebeccah @ The Pixie Chronicles

    Good luck on your goals! I’m also trying to push myself to read more this year since I failed super hard on that last year 🙁 And my writing goals are almost opposite of yours since this year I need to focus on editing! Of course I do still hope to get some first drafts done but editing is important too. You got this!

    January 16, 2018 at 10:57 pm
    • Reply happywriter

      I’m been stuck in the editing quagmire for SO LONG, I’m definitely looking forward to finishing (or at least pausing) my current edits so I can work on something ELSE. Good luck with your writing this year!!

      January 17, 2018 at 1:11 am
  • Reply Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    Your blog is SO PRETTY!!! Anyway, I need to finish some writing projects also. Stories that I want to write are always on my mind (it’s pretty much all I think about during down time) but the execution sometimes is SO HARD. I need to set aside more WRITING ONLY time. Good luck with your goals and happy 2018!!!

    January 17, 2018 at 6:40 am
    • Reply happywriter

      Thank you so much!! I totally relate to the struggle of actually writing down the story circulating in your head. It’s so much easier to just plan in mentally than to actually, ya know, write stuff down!!

      January 17, 2018 at 5:47 pm
  • Reply 1girl2manybooks

    I try read every day as well if I can, even if it’s just for a little while. I don’t always get a chance to sit down and read in the day but I try to do a little bit before bed, just to keep it as part of my every day routine.

    January 17, 2018 at 10:05 pm
    • Reply happywriter

      Reading before bed is a great routine — especially because I tend to conk out pretty quickly if I try to read in bed!!

      January 22, 2018 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply Brian (Brian's Book Blog)

    My wife LOVED Promise Me, Dad. I just lost someone super close to me and she warned me that it probably wasn’t time for me to read that yet, but it’s on my list (and audible, since she bought it!)

    I love your list and look forward to your journey this year! To more reviews!!!

    January 24, 2018 at 12:06 am
  • Reply Emily @ Mixed Margins

    These are great, applicable writing goals. 🙂 I feel like it could also be MY list. Reading one hour every day would be so difficult for me. I’m the same way about reading 15 minutes before throwing something aside. I need to build up my stamina!

    January 24, 2018 at 1:10 pm
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