My Goals for 2015 (Book and Writing Related)

Just as a point of reference, I refer you guys to my goal list for 2014, because I'm going to take on a similar format for this post


When I think back to everything that happened last year in terms of events, both personal and professional for me, I'm surprised I accomplished as much as I did, if not more.  But there was also a lot a massively bombed at doing, which I figure - it's a learning experience - I'll take it for what it is.


As far as the goals/achievements I've had for 2014 (some of which were listed on that post), I did the following:


  • Participated in my first (few) Camp NaNos:  I ended up participating in both events for April and July, reaching 60K in April, and getting a bit under 50K for the project I did in July.  I managed just over 50K for the project I did in NaNoWriMo in November, so I have a total of three projects waiting for me to complete edits for, which I'm proud of.


Problem is pushing myself to actually publish something.  Argggggh!


  • I definitely want to continue reading outside my comfort zone, but exercise more discretion about the books I pick up.  I accomplished this actually!  I read from a variety of genres this past year and had an almost even spread throughout the age groups I picked up (you can see this in my 2014 Favorite Reads post, Part I).  I also limited my NetGalley requests from last year, though I think part of it might've been from taking various hiatuses I took from reading during the year.  Part of it was personal (family issues and adjusting to a new job), and another part of it was various events in the book community that really hit home (in a bad way) for me.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make much of a dent in my NetGalley or Edelweiss queues because I didn't get to as many books as I wanted to get to last year, but I think that should change this year because I'm (finally) at a point where I can catch up.


  • Organize my book catalog better.  I accomplished this goal as well, as I went through and reimported my catalog on Leafmarks, restructured part of my shelves on BookLikes, and did some organization on Goodreads for shelving as well.  Many of you probably didn't notice because they were subtle changes, but it took a long time for me to get them up to speed.  I still have more to do with them as well (unfortunately, because I'm particular like that).  I think with the changes BookLikes and Leafmarks have made through the past year (thank you guys for your hard work), it's going to make it even easier to keep track of and share what I read on a regular basis.  I'm hoping that also helps me be more active in the community.


  • I had over 20,000 unique visits to my mainstay blog, and amassed over 1,000 followers: It was an insane amount of traffic this past year, at least for my little book blog over at Wordpress.  I've had it for 7 years, but it's the first time that I ever had that many visits and follows at one time.  I'm humbled to say the least, especially since I'm pretty much a one-woman, tiny little person over in my corner of the interwebs. *blushes* This was an achievement more than a goal, because how the heck would you plan for something like that? Goodness.


I will say in part I did blog on more platforms this past year (Google+, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.), so as far as exposure, that was a goal I set for myself and accomplished. I'm hoping I can be more active on my online communities this coming year.


  • I reached almost 700 submitted reviews/reflections on NetGalley.  That's huge for me too, but I still have a ways to go to get to that golden 100%.  Actually quite a long way to go, since my approvals are in the four digits now.




So now I get to the topic of this post, my goals for 2015.  Some of these are repeats from last year, because I aimed for them last year, but I didn't forsee a lot of things happening that would cut into my ability to achieve them, and I'm going to forgive myself for that because - there was just a lot on my plate I had to juggle. I'm hoping this year I can put my foot down and actually make strides to do what I want to do with them, and make note of them as I knock them out. =)


First things first:


Read 450 books overall this year.  I can always try for more, but this is the golden number I'm going for.  I actually did accomplish this in a year before, but it was a long time ago.  I have enough galleys and purchased books in physical, ebook, and audiobook form to accomplish this.  Plus I plan on taking more trips to my local library, so it's a given that I can reach this number.  It will mean that I'll probably end up reading more than one book a day on average (and I've done this easily before).


But...that means a few things in consideration, which leads me to my next goal.


Read more books along an even spread among genres/age groups, and reading more books that appeal to me.  I figure I need to treat myself a little better in 2015, because there were times when I did hit a reading wall in 2013 and 2014 both, which led to me stepping back a few times and being emotionally exhausted.  I'll still be reading outside of my comfort zone and taking many reads "for the team", but I think I'm going to spread out the types of reading I do a little better.  That means probably curbing some divisions for reading a little more than others (*cough* New Adult *cough*), and incorporating more reads that I didn't read as much last year (middle grade) and more that I enjoy (YA, non-fiction).  This is going to take some organization on my part, because I want my mainstay blog to reflect the spread, and I may have to consider redesigning my mainstay blog to help facilitate this.


I figure I'll make a rule for myself on this.  If I see that - for example, I've read three books in YA in a row (of my usually random choices), that's a cue for me to switch it up.  My next several reads may be middle grade, or something like that.


Which means you guys will probably see me making more TBR jars in the future. =) (I promise I'll share pictures!)


Get to 75% for my reading ratio on NetGalley, and 100% on Edelweiss: This is feasible and a good starting point. (Heck, if I can get to 100% feedback on NetGalley that would be awesome, but I kind of want to set the bar low because that's still a lot of books and I don't know how I'm going to be for time this year.)  Edelweiss I know I can knock out this year for feedback, because I don't have that many approvals for them, but I want to try requesting more and being more active on their site as well.


Do more reading challenges: Definitely starting back up with this, since I failed massively last year.  I think Reading Challenges help me set minor goals for reading, and they give me structure to accomplish reading sprints better, so I'm definitely going to work better with that and track my progress more than I did last year.


I want to publish three projects I've written in the past for 2015.  That's my goal.  I have the resources to do this, so there's no excuse for me not to get off my bum and SP something, as much as I've written.  I write 1,000 words everyday, it's habit for me, and even if it's rubbish, I know that I'm good at editing down after writing something. It's something I've been doing for well over 12 years - I really want to put my words to action this year.


If I'm being realistic about the status of my projects right now, the three stories that I will likely publish this year will be the following:


"Stuffed" - this was the YA horror set in the creepy amusement park and character mascot that I ended up winning Camp NaNo for in 2014.  This will likely be the first project I publish, and I'll post more on that in the coming months.


"The Heart of Dark Machines" - this was the YA cyberpunk project I wanted to publish last year, but didn't get a chance to - for time, events and also self-edits.  I'm triage editing it now, and there were things I ended up scrapping which made me push it back further than I wanted. (Grimmmm! I'm working on it!)


"The Eyes of Caramel and Clover" - YA project about two book bloggers who end up standing up for themselves when they write a critical review against a really popular book and dealing with the very real backlash that results from them being a minority opinion.  There's a part of me that feels like no one else has ever written a YA book on this kind of thing before, and I want to try my hand on it because it addresses some very pertinent things I see in the book community at present, and I think that would be good for discussion and mirroring some my own experiences as well.  I did have a fear, at first, on releasing this project at all, but I'm going to try it for the heck of it.  I don't know when it will be released, but it's getting triage edits now, and I'm finding that I have more material to add to it.


And if for some reason I'm ambitious and can scoot a fourth book in this year? "Break Our Balance" will be it.  (My NA Twin Peaks-esque parody.  I'm having way too much fun with this narrative right now.)


And my last goal: Creating Video Tutorials, and possibly trying my hand at doing V-blogs: I honestly haven't forgotten about the video tutorials, and I've gotten more equipment to do recordings this past year in prep for accomodating for this.  This was something I wanted to do last year, but as BookLikes (and even Leafmarks) started making more changes to their sites, I held off on doing anything because it was more than I could keep up with for the sake of introduction, and I wanted to wait until I could show as much as I could of the sites without having to backtrack. I'm going to try to release some of the recordings I've done beginning in February/March, and then work from there.  I also have some tutorial videos that I'm working with the writing software Liquid Story Binder that I've done on my YouTube channel, and I want to complete that series of videos this year.


I might also try my hand at V-blogs, but that's a stretch. I don't have a webcam, but I can do voice recordings and screen effects with the software I have.  (I use Camtasia Studio 8 - it's pricey, but it's a really good software and I enjoy using it to make the videos I've designed.)


I think that's it as far as my 2015 Goal List is concerned.  If I think of anything else, I'll let you guys know.  I hope all of you have a wonderfully productive year.