Reading and Blogging Goals Check In & New Goals For 2021

At the beginning of the year, I set myself some blogging and reading goals that I wanted to achieve and I thought now would be the perfect time to reflect on my progress so far! Once again this year has been far from normal, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m positive that things will start getting better soon! So far this year has been the best blogging year ever, not only have my views and engagement increased massively but I’m more confident and passionate about the content I love to create. I’ve become apart of such a loving and supportive community and I wouldn’t be where I am without any of you, so thank you. Anyway, here is my updated reading and blogging goals for the rest of 2021!

Current Goals

Goodreads Goal of 52 Books – At the beginning of the year I was smashing this goal, and although I’m still on track my reading has definitely taken a backseat. I think the problem is that I keep throwing myself into epic and intense fantasy worlds that are sometimes overwhelming so, and I cant believe I’m saying this, I think I need to take a break from fantasy books! I’ve just treated myself to a few romance books and I can’t wait to download some dating apps and wish for a romance of my own! If you want to follow along with my reading be sure to follow me on Goodreads @ Amy (A Fangirls Opinion).

Read Something Each Month that’s not ‘YA/NA Fantasy’ – I’ve tried but I just love fantasy so much! I am falling in love with romance books again, and I really want to star reading more memoirs/biographies so any recommendations would be wonderful!

Sort Out My TBR – Here’s the problem, I did clear out my TBR but like many other readers, I can’t resist buying new books and now we’re back at square one! One of my new goals for the second half of 2021, is to read all the unread physical books on my bookshelf before buying any more!

Post at Least Once a Week – I’ve had a few wobbles now and then but overall I’m really pleased that I’ve managed to stick to some sort of schedule! Having a dedicated and colourful spreadsheet has been a huge help, it keeps me organised and it helps me visualise my plans for the month, without it I don’t know where I’d be! I still need to find some sort of routine when it comes to balancing work, blogging and applying for jobs but for now I’m happy!

Invest in a Domain Name – Yes! It may sound silly but being able to type www.afangirlsopinion.com into my web browser will never fail to make me smile. These past 9 months have been some of the best months of my entire blogging journey, and I hope to bring that energy and creativity with me into the second half of 2021! Over the past months I’ve discovered my ‘blog identity’ and the style of posts that not only I enjoyed writing but others enjoyed reading and I once again feel proud of the content I’m sharing.

Start a Bookstagram? – This is something that’s been on my mind for a while now and I’m still undecided to whether I’m going to give it a go or not? I follow so many wonderful accounts that post stunning pictures and I’m eager to try it myself, so I might trial it for a month and see how things turn out.

Write at least 150 words a day for a year – A complete and utter FAIL! I don’t think I’ve written a single word this year, whoops! I’ve got a week off work soon and I’m thinking of treating myself to a little writing retreat and really focusing on getting my ideas out of my head and on to paper!

New Goals

Along with my current goals, here are some of things I want to achieve by 2022!

Reach 1000 followers – It’s crazy even setting this goal, and it still blows my mind that there are currently 900 people who follow this little blog! Over the past nine months my follower count has increased massively and I’d like to think that because I see blogging as a passion rather than a ‘job’ and that I’m enthusiastic and proud of the content I create. I love blogging so much, it the perfect platform for me to let my creative juices flow and interact with so many wonderful and like-mined people! So if you like books and bookish inspired posts then join in the fun and follow along!

Be More Active on Social Media – Earlier this year I revamped my social media accounts and joined the wonderfully chaotic community that is booktwt. I tend to overthink my tweets and end up not posting them, so I want to make it my mission to get involved a little more!

Participate in More Read-a-thons – I LOVE read-a-thons, but I just haven’t had enough time to fully participate in them! I love basing my reading around different prompts and challenging myself with ambitious TBR’s! I’m participating in the Merlin read-a-thon at the beginning of August and I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a read-a-thon! Merlin is one of my comfort shows, so when I found this read-a-thon on Twitter I knew it was meant to be!

Do More Blog Hopping – One of my favourite things to do in the evening (aside from reading) is blog hopping and catching up on all the blog posts I might have missed. I’ve discovered so many new and amazing blogs recently and met some lovely people along the way, and it’s definitely something I want to dedicate more time to.

Surprising and Disappointing Reads of 2020

Happy Blogmas Day 9!

No matter how hard I try, I always start a book with expectations and it is through these expectations that I either end up falling utterly in love, being pleasantly surprised, or disappointed with my reading experience. It is from these expectations and bookish hype that has enabled my to create this list and it’s not guaranteed that all my 2020 disappointing reads will be low ratings and vice versa, it’s purely down to whether it reached or surpassed my predicted ratings. I’ve tried my best to pick books that actually unintentionally surprised me rather than some staple favourites, I’ll leave those books for my 2020 favourites/wrap up post!

Surprises

The Song of Achillies by Madeline Miller – Don’t get me started on my thoughts about this book, I ADORE IT! I’m still trying to fully comprehend my thoughts and I don’t think I’ve experience a book-hangover like this since I read The Final Empire two years ago! This book just left me in awe and I just want to re-read it again and again. I knew the story. I knew what was going to happen. But the enchanting quality in Millers prose lures us into the comfort of caring for these characters. The emotions shared between Achillies and Patroclus are profoundly physical, and those last five chapters tore the heart from my chest, leaving me empty and alone.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – I read a bit of Wilde whilst studying at Univeristy and there’s always that worry when reading ‘a classic’ that I might not ‘get it’ or enjoy it as much as others, but this one surprised me greatly! I found it super easy to read and I certainly wasn’t expecting the intrusively personal thoughts it left me with. This is a true masterpiece that was the perfect read during Halloween and is filled with beautiful quotes that will stay with you long after finishing!

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning – If your new to this blog then you probably don’t know about my obsession with trashy highlander romance novels, they’re so bad that they’re good! You may be think Amy, why on earth is this book on your surprise list? Well, its because I truly love this book! I’m just as surprised as you are, everything was great from the plot to the characters (it was an enemies to loves relationship and we all know I’m a sucker for one of those). So if you’re ever struggling to find something to read then I highly recommend anything that has a shirtless man in a kilt on the cover!

The Witchling’s Girl by Helena Coggan – Another complete surprise! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review but I got so much more. Like I’ve mentioned before I’m usually a read driven by plot rather than character but this book completely subverted that. Coggan’s beautifully evocative prose and world building surrounds a battling story of love and death that will break readers hearts. The characterisation and development is what makes this book truly stunning, Haley’s succession to becoming the Witchling is one heck of a journey that I’m thankful to have experienced.

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes – There’s that stigma behind YouTubers writing books, and although I fully trust Hazel and her ability to create beautiful and meaningful prose as seen through her Time of the Month series and short film Happy, there was always that element of doubt. This was on my list of most anticipated reads for 2020, so I had all my fingers crossed that it would live up to my expectations, and thankfully it did!

Disappointments

The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao – This is probably one of my biggest disappointments of 2020 and it breaks my heart to admit that because I was hooked by this book’s synopsis but sadly this is one of those rare cases of a great premise but not so great execution. Nevertheless it was still a fun and easy read filled with a unique world that I’d love to learn more about.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer – Please don’t hate me! It’s not that I don’t enjoy this series but I don’t think that this book lives up to the hype. It’s a solid Beauty and the Beast adaptation with a intricate storyline and good characters but I swear if I read another Beauty and the Beast adaptation I’m going to DIE, there’s a whole world of untold fairytales than need updating so pick something else! ACOTAR will forever be my favourite adaptation because Maas cleverly uses it’s framework to build a greater and more complex story. I will probably continue with this series because I’m curious to see where Kemmerer takes these characters and her storyline!

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman – One of my reading goals this year was to start and finish this series, and although I was hooked with the haunting concept and world of book one, sadly book two didn’t have the same effect! I remember really struggling to finish this book and I probably couldn’t even tell you what happened! I do hope to pick up this series again in the future but right now it’s not at the top of my TBR.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – What is it with sequels? I think my problem is that I fall utterly in love with the first book and I’m so eager to start that second book that my expectations creep higher and higher. I knew it was going to be difficult for this book to top its predecessor but I just felt like something vital was missing. I felt like we were missing the camaraderie and brotherhood of the first book, I understand that it’s good for each characters to have their own time and storyline but it just felt a little empty. 

Reading Goals Check In & New Goals For 2020

At the beginning of the year I set myself a few blogging and reading goals that I wanted to achieve, and I thought now would be a good time to reflect on my progress so far! This year has been far from normal, and these past couple of months have been a bump in the previously peaceful road but I pleased to say everything is starting to get back on track and into a new routine! Anyway, here is my updated reading and blogging goals for the rest of 2020!

Reading

A New Goodreads Goal of 40 books – That’s five more books than I originally planned and at the rate that I’m reading, I hope to increase it even more! Every year the aim is to read 52 books (one book each week), so maybe this will be the year I finally achieve my goal.

Read Every Book Club Book – I’m surprised that my university book club is still going, I was convinced that come the end of March we would have all given up! We’ve read everything from highlander romance to music biographies and war fiction, it’s been an interesting mix and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them!

Clear Out My Bookshelves – Done! I’ve just posted a new blog post about unhauling books and my gorgeous new bookshelves, so I’ll leave a link to it here! All I need to do now is to start selling them on ebay!

Read More Books By Diverse Authors – I want to actively explore and change my reading habits, as out of the 25 books I’ve read this year only 3 of them have been written by non-white authors. So, for the rest of the year I want to read at least one book a month written by diverse authors in order to broaden my understanding and celebrate different and successful representation in literature. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is definitely on my list for this month but any other recommendations would be fab!

Blogging

More Active Role in the Blogging Community – This is one I really want to work on, as I feel that recently my activity and role in the blogging community has taken a backseat. I also want to apologise profusely to anyone who has recently commented on any of my posts, lately I’ve been terrible at replying and checking my stats! It means the world to me whenever someone comments and interacts with my posts so please don’t take it personally.

Post at Least Once a Week – My posting rate isn’t perfect but its defiantly better than last year and up until lockdown I was posting twice a week and had a clear schedule. I’m slowing getting back to my usual routine, it’s just difficult finding that new work/life balance, but I’m confident that by the end of next month I will be posting twice a week again!

Reach 600 Followers – At this moment in time I’ve got 551 followers which is amazing and I want to firstly thank every single one of you for supporting me on my blogging journey! I would love to end the year with 600 followers so if you like what you see then please give us a follow!

Reading and Blogging Goals for 2020

I am terrible for sticking to New Year’s Resolutions but I’ve reached the point now where it’s frustrating me so much that this year I really really want to achieve them and prove to myself that they are worth making. Reading and blogging have both taken a back seat this year and that’s something I want to change in the New Year as they’re two things I really enjoy doing. So I’ve decided to set myself an array of different goals some of which are realistic and some which are more challenging…

Reading 

Goodreads Goal of 35 books – Last year my goal was 26 books which worked out to be a book every two weeks, but this year I really want to gradually increase my goal until I reach 52 books! I also want to maintain some sense of organisation with my Goodreads profile, and try to keep up with my reviews.

Read every book for my ‘Reading between the Wines’ bookclub – At the end of last year my university friends and I set up a bookclub as a way of staying in touch and catching up each month. We’ve got a mix of trashy highlander romance novels and academic texts to last us the whole year.

Clear out bookshelves – This is an easy one and something I’ve been meaning to do for a very long time! I’ve seen so many people on Booktube doing book un-hauls and I know if I want to make room for new books on my shelves then I’ll need to donate some either to different charities or even children hospitals. I want to pass on the joy I had from reading these book onto someone else.

Blogging

More active role in the blogging community – This is something that is really important to me, I love blogging and I really want to play a bigger part. I want to get involved in more discussions and comment more on posts and tags!

Post at least once a week – Like I’ve said blogging took a back seat last year and is something I do enjoy doing. I love sharing my opinions on books and films and also reading other peoples posts and discovering new books.

Incorporate a blog plan into my bullet journal – I’ve finally started a bullet journal and I really want to create a dedicated page to my blogging and post ideas. I’ve been spending far too much time searching ideas on Pinterest and Instagram.