Hello fellow bookworms 🎇 It’s New Year’s Eve – time to recap the old year and look a bit into what I want to accomplish in 2018! I’m talking about my life, about my writing and about how writing went for me, as well as what my resolutions/goals for 2018 are! The events of 2017 are in order starting with the beginning of the year! I only highlighted the key events for this year 🙂 This also turned out to be super long, I’m sorry 😮
- I finished my first semester at university as well as my second 😱 I cannot believe that time has flown by and I’m now already in my third semester! It feels like I only started yesterday, but for a fact I have been living away from home over a year now. For those interested I’m studying psychology and sociology and still love it – I feel like it’s the right thing for me! The first two semesters actually went pretty well, of course there were ups and downs, but I managed to gladly pass all my courses! I also got the luxury of having an amazing, big library that I love to pieces ♥
- I visited Berlin again with my entire family 😄 I have been to Berlin three times before, but since my grandma hasn’t been in Berlin since the wall fell, we had to take her this year! I was looking forward to going again, as I was happy with spending the time with my immediate family that I love. There were also many amazing bookstores that I hadn’t visited before and I’m super jealous that I don’t have them right here. This also resulted in a larger book haul … oops. Overall, I had a great time and I felt like it was flying by and too short, like it always if when you’re on vacation.
- I went to my third Supernatural convention 👻 If you didn’t know, I’m a huge Supernatural fan and have the great opportunity to go to conventions that take place in Germany. This was my third time at a SPN con and the second time with a group of two girls that I found online. I’m so glad because now we’re con partners in crime and discuss the SPN episodes every week they are on – I couldn’t be more grateful for them ♥ It’s also worth mentioning that Mark Sheppard departed the show after Season 12, which made me rather sad as his character Crowley – my ultimate favorite character – was killed off, without any chance of returning. There was lots of speculation about this that I didn’t engage it, as long as Mark is happy with new projects and continues to do Cons (which he does, I’m meeting him next year!!!) I’m happy as well. I’m currently watching Season 13 even without Mark/Crowley and so far I’m surprised by how much I liked it. Still, my heart broke over Crowley, because characters don’t have less of an impact because they are fictional. There was great strength I derived from Crowley for a lot of reasons. The picture on the right is from Mark’s goodbye campaign, so of course I had to get it.
- I went to a signing + talk with Angie Thomas 😍 It’s hard to put this into words because AAAAAAAAAHHHH but I’ll try. It’s worth mentioning that this was my first signing/first time meeting an author, because we don’t get a lot of international authors to come to Germany. However, since The Hate U Give took off, Angie came to three cities in Germany and I was fortunate enough to live close to one and have time! I had a fantastic time ♥ There was a reading in German and English (with Angie reading the English part) and then a discussion, where everyone could ask her questions. Afterwards there was a signing and time for photos, since the crowd was not too big. That was actually pretty pleasant, because the atmosphere felt more relaxed. I got to talk a few words to Angie, got my book signed and my photo taken (shoutout to the girl behind me in the queue who took it). I was internally melting down. Angie was so nice to everyone and made everyone feel at ease, I have so much love for her!
- I took a spontaneous vacation to Hamburg – my favorite city 👍 I think I have been to Hamburg 8 times and I still love the city very much. There is a lot to discover and I decided to move the beginning of my writing project to Hamburg, which led me to do lots of research right on the spot. Since I didn’t do any summer vacation, it was luck that I managed to get to Hamburg rather last-minute. It was definitely worth it and a good way to end my long break from university.
- I finally moved my Blog to WordPress and surpassed 50 followers 💕 I blogged for over a year on Tumblr, because when I started the blog in 2016, I had no knowledge of any other platform and stuck to what I knew. I’m glad for the experience I gathered in this first year of blogging, but I wasn’t happy with Tumblr any longer because there wasn’t a good commenting system or way to interact with other bloggers. Therefore, I took a chance, figured out WordPress and started my blog there. This was nearly 3 months ago and I already surpassed 50 followers which is just … wow. Thanks for everyone who actually reads through my rambling posts and attempts to be funny 😀
- Frankfurt Book Fair took place 📚This is one of Germany’s two big Book Fairs and the one I also went to last year. This year I got a bit more organized about what events and signings took place, so I knew what I wanted to do. Last year almost no authors I was interested in attended, but this year was different. I only went on Sunday, because that’s when most events I was interested in took place. I stood a lot in line, but in the end it was worth it. I got books signed by Kerstin Gier (author of Ruby Red) – who was an absolute sweetheart and so nice – and by Jennifer L. Armentrout (author of Obsidian), who was very nice as well!
- I got Netflix and I’m watching so much more TV Shows & Movies 🎥 I’m not someone who watches a lot of TV Shows or Movies, but I did want to try to get into my Shows and actually finish them and therefore got Netflix to get access to at least a few of them. The access generally isn’t that good here in Germany, because a) most TV Shows take forever to get into German TV and b) I have no interest in watching the Shows in German. Gladly, my library is also a lifesaver and has lots of movies/shows that Netflix might not have. Let’s hope that I’ll finish more Shows in 2018 because I still am not up to date. The four shows above are my Top 4 favorite Shows I watched in 2017.
- The last part of the year wasn’t so good. This was for a few reasons that I’m not going to get too into, but I felt like this was worth mentioning. Overall, my personal year wasn’t catastrophic but the last months did make me doubt that a bit. University suddenly got super stressful in my third semester, unlike before. I mentioned this a few times, but everything I planned got turned around and so much suddenly got changed that I could hardly get a break.Sspontaneous changes make me anxious, especially if there is nothing I can do against them. I’ve taken a break from university, since currently there are holidays, but I still have to write lots of papers. Around Christmas more personal things were going on, that I’m not going to get into, but they weighted on me a lot. Therefore, Christmas wasn’t the best and things have not quite passed yet, so I cannot completely leave them in 2017.
Writing Progress 🎇
Aesthetic made by Lia from lostinastory
- I wrote a 130K failed First Draft 📖 That’s right, this actually happened to me, but I do believe it happened for a reason. Hopefully. I had this story idea for over 5 years and reworked it numerous times, because the world building I came up 5 years ago of course didn’t make any sense. Needless to say, I failed this time and wrote a draft that I was not happy with at all. I tried to edit it, but this didn’t work either. I wasn’t happy with the plot, world building or anything else, so I set this aside, when finals were going on. I do think it’s good that I wrote this draft though and gained experience, because afterwards I turned to lots of writing resources.
- I learned more about writing 📖 After said draft fail, I tried to learn as much about writing as I could, especially on how to write plot and character arcs. I can highly recommend Susan Dennard’s website as well as everything K.M. Weiland says as it really helped me a lot while I was searching for advice. I had doubted my writing a lot after that first draft, therefore getting more into the craft really helped me.
- I finally found a new idea, wrote it during NaNoWriMo and reached 85K 📖 When NaNoWrimo was on the horizon I managed to get everything together and finally find the version of my heart project that felt right. I realized that I had tried to write the story in a High Fantasy setting when it truly belonged in an Urban Fantasy setting. Now I worked out a new magic system, altered the characters to fit their new surrounding and managed to get a plot together! I did write 85K of this story during NaNo and it just felt right, like everything finally worked together. I’m currently about 75% done with the story (I have just started Act 3, as I outline with the 3 Act Structure) and wanted to write a bit more, which didn’t happen as December was intense. But I’m very close to finishing this novel!!
- Wrote 8K in a day 📖 I feel like I have to mention this, because I am super proud of myself. Basically I set aside a day to write, because my inner ambitious Slytherin wanted to break my longest NaNo novel record. To do so I had to write this much and I actually did which I have problems comprehending still, because 8.000 words is a lot.
Reading Goals from 2017 🎇
- Goodreads Goal 📖 108 out of 50
- Read more diversely 📖 43 Books 📖 Not Ownvoices: 23 📖 Ownvoices: 20
- Read more Historical Fiction 📖 6 Books
- Read more by German Authors 📖 7 Books
- Try out Adult Books 📖 6 Books
- Participate in Tome Topple and Spooktober again 📖 Done
- Keep reading and not fall back into any kind of slump 📖 Done
My Year in Books (Goodreads) 🎇
Reading Goals 🎇
A 2018 challenge side is to come! I’m going to work out something tomorrow 🙂 This year I don’t have as many reading goals, because in 2017 so many resolutions were getting stressful and I really do want to avoid that this year. I’m going to talk a bit more about what 2018 Challenges I’ve joined on Wednesday, so stay tuned!
- Read 65 Books 📝 I know that I just mentioned how I read 108 books, but I don’t know if I can or want to do this again. There is no saying how the new year will go for me and I’d rather surpass my Reading Challenge goal again, instead of stressing myself out if I’m behind on the Challenge. I don’t want reading to turn into a chore, so my goal is lower now. I want to read 65 books which means about 5 books a month. I mainly choose this number because that’s how many books I read in 2016, so hopefully it’s my lucky number.
- Try out more Adult Books 📝 By adult books I also include New Adult, basically everything that’s not YA or Middle Grade. I do want to join in on the 2018 NA Reading Challenge, but I might alter a few things for myself, but I will make a post on that. Basically, I do want to branch out a bit more and not only read YA. I’m doing my best to find a few NA/adult books to enjoy and get a bit more out of my comfort zone with what I’m reading!
- Read even more diversely 📝 Obviously this is going to be a goal this year as well, because reading diversely and supporting diverse books and creators is very important. However, I won’t join in on any official challenges. I don’t think that there is a 2018 Diversity Bingo yet, but even if there would be, I wasn’t planning on participating. I didn’t have access to books for all prompts last year, so I want to create my own personal diverse bingo, giving me more freedom to choose what I want to!
- Get to the books you’ve been wanting to read for forever 📝 Generally, I of course want to get to a few books that have been on my TBR for too long. I have narrowed it down to 10 books I really want to get to! There is a Post to come on which books on January 10th for T5W!
- Participate in the Supernatural Reading Challenge 📝 This is a German Challenge, but I will translate the prompts when I talk about them/put them on my challenge side. I wasn’t sure if I would participate in thus, but I couldn’t resist, because I love Supernatural, so here we are. For this one I’ll have no set TBR and take things a bit more slowly, not focusing too much on the points that can be gained during the challenge.
Blogging Goals 🎇
- Promote my posts a bit more 📝 I’m really not that good with promo, because I don’t want to annoy people, but I’m trying to get better at that. What I mean is that I want to share my posts a bit more on Twitter and to remember to join Linkups. Basically I want to use social media a bit more for my blog.
- Improve my schedule further 📝 I love my schedule, but I have to rearrange a few things. I quit a blogging meme a few weeks after starting it and I want to only post 2 times instead of 3 times. Especially in December I posted 3+ posts a week and it was getting too stressful to maintain. My goal is to post Wednesday and Friday, with Reviews coming on the other days. If I feel like it, I can always post something on Sunday, a little bonus post! I also want to schedule as many posts as possible and find a system for scheduling. Right now I prewrite posts whenever I can, but I don’t have a real system behind that. I’m a huge lover of organization and planning, so I do want to develop a schedule plan.
- Discover a lot more blogs and people 📝 This is a perfect excuse for browsing all the blogs and discovering new people. I would love to start commenting more and getting to know more people, because I only had good experiences so far. I’m trying my best to engage with other bloggers, but I’m very awkward and shy, so bear with me.
Writing Goals 🎇
- Finish the draft of my WIP Intoxicated & Edit it 📝 Like I said earlier I’m 75% done with my first draft and really want to finish it early this year. Then, I can leave it for a while to simmer and figure out how to best edit it later. When the time is right I want to spend lots of rounds editing and improving the first draft into something that’s hopefully halfway decent. That alone will be quite the accomplishment for me, because I have never really edited a draft of mine. I did finish one project, but never got around to improving it. Let’s see how editing will go for me. Hopefully, I’ll like what I’ve written and not completely hate everything (I haven’t looked at my draft since November)
- Outline the second book 📝 After I hopefully finish my WIP Intoxicated, I want to outline the second book so it’s ready to go. I’m quite excited to be working on the sequel, even though finding a fitting title is going to be hell. I have no idea if I’ll get around to writing this, but I hope to write at least one project during CampNaNo in April and NaNoWriMo in November.
- Outline a completely new idea 📝 I don’t want to spend time only working on my one project and therefore I’m going to turn to one of my shiny ideas that have been waiting. Which one? I have no clue and that makes things hard again. There are so many possible candidates and I have no idea how to choose from them. I’ll likely go with an idea that is already more coherent and formed. Of course what I choose will also depend on what I’m itching to write next.
Life Resolutions 🎇
- Get more healthy 📝 What I mean by this is that I haven’t been happy with my habits lately and want to improve that. I don’t eat out a lot or anything, but especially in the last months I find myself stress snacking a lot and it’s not good. I want to eat more healthy snacks and also do exercise of some kind. I hate excercise with a fiery passion, but it does make sense, especially as I have been having some intense back pain lately.
- Keep up with my new Happy Journal 📝 I have tried to keep up with a happy/gratitude journal this year, but somehow it never works out for me. At one point I always slack and then get demotivated. In 2018 I want to change that and I’ve already created my own Happy Journal with a simplistic layout. I was inspired to do so by the bullet journals going around. Only that I don’t use this for organizing and planning, but for this. I do this, because I really want to focus on the positive sides of life more!
- Draw once a Month 📝 I love using my adult coloring books, which is what I mean by drawing. I haven’t been too good with finding time to relax and draw this year, at least not consistently. However, I really want to because drawing in the coloring books relaxed me so much, yet I can never bring myself to just sit down and do it, because I’m always on high alert and trying to be productive. I’ll have to find a way to make myself stick to this. I’ve set myself the goal to at least sit down once a month, which seems the most realistic to me.
- Fix my sleep schedule a bit 📝 My sleep schedule has been getting worse this semester, because I no longer have any morning classes, making it tempting to stay up late and sleep in too long. I hate myself for it, but I cannot seem to get up in the morning and actually do stuff, which is not very productive. In the New Year I want to try to get into bed at a reasonable time and really get up in the morning. Let’s hope this actually happens.
- Catch up on TV Shows 📝 I’m super bad at this, because I start watching something and then never continue. However, I really want to finish the Shows that I started, because they are so good and deserve to be finished. I also have Netflix now so I’ve been getting better at keeping up with TV Shows.