January Check-in on Reading & Writing Goals

I’m going to periodically check in on my reading and writing goals just to see that I’m on track. This is my record for myself, but making it public helps me be more accountable.

In January, I read 19 books, which Goodreads says is putting me slightly ahead of my goal. Yay! (Though the teen from book club I’m racing to our goal in a friendly competition is still ahead of me, alas!) And to be honest, 3 of them I DNF’ed: The Different Girl, Dance of Shadows, and Prophecy. I thought The Different Girl was well written with a unique voice, but the story was moving too slowly for my taste and we haven’t ordered it for the library. I was stoked for Dance of Shadows, but it was a big disappointment. I found the characters flat and everything about it cliched. I knew people who loved it, but I just couldn’t get into it. Prophecy started off with a BANG! but then quickly grew tedious for me to read. I figured I knew what kind of reader would enjoy it after reading 1/3 of it, so I know enough to book-talk it.

I listened to audiobooks! 3 of them! And I figured out ways to work them in to my reading routine (post forthcoming).

I crossed off 2 books from my list of 10 books from 2012 I still wanted to read: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang and I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. I loved I Hunt Killers (review here). What’s Left of Me came highly recommended by teens who frequent my library, and I did think the concept was really interesting, but the plot just didn’t do it for me. After the announcement of the Youth Media Awards and associated “best of” lists were released, I added a lot more 2012 books to my priority shelf.

I read adult books! Beautiful Bastard (which put the adult in adult) because I was interested in the whole pull-to-publish fanfiction angle. I might write a post about it some day…I’m still investigating this phenomenon. I also read some of the short stories from the Sookie Stackhouse and Night Huntress worlds that I’d missed. I still love Sookie but am over Cat and Bones. I am going to read some more literary grown-up fiction in February.

I read nonfiction! Bossypants and some poetry (Rumi and e. e. cummings).

I crossed one book off the list of NPR’s Top 100 Teen novels. It was fun to see people weigh in with their thoughts on John Green on my audiobook review of Looking for Alaska.

I managed to stay on track with all of my reading goals! I did go a little crazy at the library and even more crazy with ARCs, so I hope I can keep it up! I will say, I never thought I’d get approved for everything I asked for, and I wasn’t expecting a very nice colleague offer to pick me up some books from ALA Midwinter. But it is really helpful to read titles before they are released to help decide if they are something I should recommend the library purchase or to better promote them at the library. (And as a writer, it helps me stay in touch with current trends).

I was admittedly not as successful at sticking to my writing goals. I have made significant progress, however. New critique partner (yay!) and new scene outlines to fix that tricky second act. I have not been journalling AT ALL. I did pick which idea I will work on next. I’ve been happy with the new design here and with the posts I’ve got planned (for both here and the other places I contribute). So all in all, a good beginning to 2013.

If you set reading  and writing goals at the beginning of the year, how are they going? 

8 thoughts on “January Check-in on Reading & Writing Goals

  1. I keep patting myself on the back for my 2013 reading thus far…but it’s almost all graphic novels and short books. I think I’m only at about 6 or 7 on the full-length novel list. I am not surprised that you DNFed those books–I’ve heard mixed reviews on all three of them and definitely have a few friends on Goodreads who also gave up midway. I’ve also been trying to read mostly adult fiction. I was so burnt out from being on a Cybils panel that any YA SFF made me cringe.

    If you shoot me an email with your address, I’d be happy to lend you my arc of Game!

  2. I want to see how you’ve managed to stack all those books up in your house/apt!! :) Great job! I’m really impressed that you’ve not only taken on reading so many books this year, but that you’re actively delving into them, thinking about them critically and reflecting. Looking forward to book posts in the future!

    1. Well, a lot of them are library books so they live on that special shelf and them rotate them. It takes a lot for me to actually buy a book, and I prefer to read ARCs on my kindle for the simple fact that I can’t store all the paper copies. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. It’s part of work! (not that I get to actually read at work). And I think reading and critically thinking about books has improved my writing immensely.

    1. Oh, well reading is part of the job :) Since I read for work and beyond my own personal interests, that chances of DNFing books is greater…but worth those unexpected gems.

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