Last year, I decided my year was going to be a year of no expectations. I was tired of making resolutions and dreaming big every year and failing everything because in the last few years I feel as if I’ve been in a rut where I can’t finish a single thing. (Such as the books I resolved to re-appreciate last year…I read two.)
Except for this blog. It keeps going and going, and I keep loving it. So before I get to my non resolutions this year, I’m laying out a few bookish/bloggish hopes for around here this year.
Top Ten Hopes for 2014 (I really only have 5)
In the last two years since I’ve started keeping track of my books on Goodreads, I’ve sort of become obsessed with reading a ton of books every year and more than the last. Just last year I read 81–and I could probably still tell you about every single one of them. As a future teacher-librarian quantity is important because I want to be able to recommend all sorts of books to all sorts of readers. But I get too caught up in the numbers. So this year, I’m hoping to read for quality. Does a little part of me want to try for 90 reads this year? Yes! But seeing as how I’ll be in the classroom for the first time, that might not happen. Sure I’ll make use of my free moments (especially since I’m all caught up on Doctor Who now) but I want to expand my reading, enjoy each book for the book it is, and find new and exciting adventures.
I am so far behind on my archive it isn’t even funny. But last week I did get all of my MMGM posts listed so I’m making headway! Honestly though, in the past year and a half of blogging, I’ve changed some and I’ve grown in my own thinking. I think it’s time to update my about me, my policies, and by far get my bookshelf archive up to date. After all, if I’m about to enter the classroom and I want this as a resource, then I definitely need an up-to-date tally of reviews!
As I think about reading for quality this year, it makes me rethink my features as well. When I first started The Hopeful Heroine I was full of ideas for a new feature everyday and fueled by inspiration from others! I LOVE my weekly MMGM post because middle grade lit is my favorite but I feel should balance my YA thoughts as well. Then there are features like Classics for Credits which excited me about the classroom yet for some reason I dropped it. The same with Books to Screen. I’m pretty sure I read and watched every YA movie adaptation in 2013, yet I just didn’t write about it. I feel it could be a fabulous resource for the classroom so perhaps I’ll find my way back to it this year. This summer I created Soundtracks & Stories and my Friday Follies for some plain ‘ole summer fun. I really feel those two are more summer-esque features and I definitely want to revisit them again come May.
Mostly though–I just want to take who I am and put it out here on The Hopeful Heroine. I want to revisit features that excite me and not only share my love of books but could potentially hook others for reading and engage us in discussion. (So yes, Why I Love YA is totally coming back!)
Continuing with the quality vs. quantity, I hope to branch out in my reading this year. Sometimes I’m a book snob. I read the same types of books or genres of books over and over without giving other books a chance. But it seems that those rare moments when I have given a different book a chance, I have loved it. So this year, I created a new feature, Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Genre for that very reason. I’m going to focus on a different genre every month and read at least one MG and one YA book in that genre. I have to quit being a book snob if I’m going to relate to different readers. And I can only do that by branching out in my own reading.
Since day one here I’ve had my terrible doodles all over the place. After I started understanding the whole behind-the-scenes of blogging, I convinced my husband to put his art skills to work to create some better doodles as well as showing me how to navigate photoshop. But The Hopeful Heroine is sort of rooted in my terrible doodles. And even if my crazy sidekick Captain Nosy is gone, he’s still a part of this. So–my hope is to take my doodle banner and make it colorful. This isn’t so much my hope as it is my convincing the hubster to do it for me—but I’m getting closer. I’d like to revamp the blog in that way, but not to stray too far from the original. I won’t be revamping the whole blog or anything as I don’t want to lose what I feel I created this blog to be about–the power of story. So you won’t find me deleting my old doodles from older features because those doodles tell my story.
As for non-bookish hopes
Needless to say, if you’ve been a reader you know that last year was a very unexpected year. We had two really stressful moves, I lost two of my grandparents, and I lost my crazy awesome sidekick. But since I hadn’t set any resolutions–just to have no expectations–life didn’t get in the way of my goals.
In fact, life just happened. And yes, I was sad and stressed and angry and frustrated–but I lived. I really lived.
So this year, like I said above, I’m throwing aside the resolutions and goals. Instead, I have hopes. Hopes of things I’d like to do. I talk a little bit about it on my other blog but basically I’m just taking this year in small moments. Through reading, especially reading YA and MG, I’ve learned that story matters.
And so this year, I’m making my story matter.
Book Talk: What are some of your hopes for 2014–bookish or non?