“So often people think that when we arrive at a crossroads, we can choose only one path […]. We’re not walking the path. We are the path. We are all of the roads and all of the intersections. Of course you can choose both.” ―
Hello fellow bookworms 🎇 It’s time for one of my favorite posts: recapping the entire year in terms of what has happened. I love looking back and reflecting on the year that has passed. However, this year … was tough for all of us, so it’s weird to write a recap of 2020. This was supposed to be a brand new decade full of growth, but instead we got a virus (does anyone still remember that cursed Tumblr post that joked about 1820 & 1920 being plague years and that the trend would continue … and then the Virus actually happened?) and lots of injustice. 2020 was more eventful for me, as I finished my Bachelor and started my Master’s, but it’s going to be a year that’s hard on everyone, so it’s completely okay if you didn’t do many ‘productive’ things, just surviving is enough! ❤ As I barely remember what happened in what month, I’ll be going back to talking about my life in terms of non-bookish favorites, bookish, writing and life things!
- 2017 Wrapup 💗 2017 Recap & 2018 Goals
- 2018 Wrapup 💗 Goodbye 2018 🎇 feat. fave quotes & getting personal
- 2019 Wrapup 💗 Goodbye 2019 🎇 An Annual Wrapup
- Non-Bookish Favorites (TV Shows & Movies)
- Blogging & Bookish Life
- Writing Life
- Personal Life
- 2020 Resolutions & 2019 Wrapup
“Yes, talk to Murderbot about its feelings. The idea was so painful I dropped to 97 percent efficiency. I’d rather climb back into Hostile One’s mouth.” ―
- Dark (Season 3)
- Lucifer (Season 4+5)
- Sherlock (BBC, all seasons)
- The Witcher (Season 1 ~ we’re not talking about how I still haven’t seen the last two episodes 😅)
- The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)
- Queer Eye (Season 5)
- Sex Education (Season 2)
- I Am Not Okay with This (Season 1 ~ I hate that they canceled it 😭)
- Brainchild (Season 1 ~ it was never officially cancelled but also not renewed so I’m like ???)
- TOA: Wizards (Season 1 ❤)
- & I watched a lot of other shows I enjoyed with my friend Sandra 💞
- The Half Of It
- Ghibli Movies (The Cat Returns, Whisper of the Heart, Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service, When Marnie Was There, The Secret World of Arrietty) … yes I mainly watched Ghibli Movies this year 😂
- Christmas Chronicles 2
“There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself. I don’t really see the difference. We find ourselves through the process of escaping.” ―
➽ 2020 Book Blogger Awards (I actually won a category!! And I loved finding new great blogs) 🥺
➽ Buddy Reading two books with Caitlin at the beginning of the year (Vengeful & Wilder Girls) 🥰
➽ Reaching 600 followers omg! (+ celebrating my 3 Year Blogversary!) 🎉
➽ Generally books being my coping mechanism (for these trying times) 📚
➽ Getting a digital library pass & access to Overdrive (it’s incredible that you can do this for a library you don’t even live close to) 💻
➽ Getting a Kindle for my birthday (now I can hunt for great e-book deals) 🍰
There were a lot of highlights this year for me when it came to my bookish life, so that was incredibly nice! In the face of all the bad things, at least blogging and reading were great in 2020! Not only did I join many great Readathons and found many favorite books, but I also hosted my very own Reading Challenge (the Out of Comfort Zone Challenge) for the first time! I never thought that I was brave enough to do this all on my own, but I enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone with reading, even if it mostly wasn’t possible in real life! It’s a small challenge, but I’m grateful for everyone who participated and I cannot wait for year 2! 💗 I also celebrated 3 years of blogging on WordPress, reaching over 600 followers and I won a category in the 2020 Book Blogger Awards (for Most Supportive)!! Still shook over all the love my blog and I received this year, so a big shoutout to the lovely blogging community and all the people I interact with here, ily 🥺💕 (Extra shoutout to Caitlin for the great buddy reading experience at the beginning of the year, it was so much fun!)
I also finally got an e-reader, meaning that I can now make use of good bargains and enjoy the practicability of having many books in one place! This was especially important to me, as e-books are usually cheaper than physical books and in the times of the Virus, really useful as you can just download them! I never thought I would read primarily e-books (and I hope to still switch things up with physical and audiobooks), but e-books are Good 🥰 Last, but not least, I may have left behind my library when I moved after graduating but I was in luck. I’d heard of people signing up for libraries that were not close to them, but I never thought it would apply to me. Then during quarantine Berlin’s library system (arguably one of the most extensive ones in my country) offered a three-month free digital library pass, finally giving me access to Overdrive! (Only very few libraries use Overdrive, mainly the bigger ones) It was a revelation as finally I could listen to audiobooks again and get e-books of newer releases!!!! After my free trial was over, I found out it was possible to extend the digital pass for a year without having to do anything in person so now I have access to so much more e-books and audiobooks! I’m very grateful for this turn of events as I know what a privilege it is to have such good access to books ❤
Reading has been a great coping mechanism for me, especially this year with everything going on. However, towards September, when I was preparing for a big change, I had to face that I might have to alter my reading habits as things got busier. I had a lot of time during quarantine (especially as I had a semester off university, as I’d just finished my thesis), so I used it to read as many books as my heart desired. Yet I also realized that I had sometimes stressed myself out with my ambitious reading plans … joining too many Readathons, borrowing too many books from the library, and always trying to read as fast as possible. I don’t regret reading as much, but when I really evaluated my reading I knew I had to slow down towards the end of the year, to not hit a reading slump, and avoid reading ever becoming a chore. So I didn’t sign up for as many Readathons as before and tried to read intuitively, without any schedule and just how much I wanted to read at any given time. It really helped me appreciate reading again and not feel a looming deadline. I might do a discussion post about this … someday 😄
- Reading Challenge Checkin 📚 Here&Queerathon, YARC, LibraryLove & StartOnYourShelfathon⭐
- My Physical TBR ⭐ Exposing myself with all the books I haven’t read yet
- Sharing the Blogger Love 💗 #2020BookBloggerAwards
- How many of my Anticipated 2019 Releases did I actually read? 📚
- 20 Books by Black Authors I’d Like to Read 📚 Backlist Books & 2020 Releases
- LGBTQ Recommendations 🌈 If You Like This … Then You’ll Like That
- Talking about my Good Reading Habits 📗 Rereading, Review-writing, and Reading Motivation
- Favorite Books by Asian Authors 🌸 + #asianreadathon TBR
- Arc Review: Cat’s Café by Matt Tarpley ☕ Wholesome comics about animals and mental health
- Favorite Books Throughout the Years 📚 bring on the nostalgia
- Review: Jackaby 💗 Mystery, the Paranormal and an eccentric Detective
- The Perfect Comfort Books 🌸 offering some escapism
- Female Character Love 💗 #1: Dynamics, Character Growth & Unlikable Heroines
- Winter Recommendations 2020 🎄❄ Festive & Wintery stories
- Review: Murderbot Diaries #1 – #4 by Martha Wells 💻 I’m OBSESSED with this novella series
- Recommending Spooky Books for Scaredy Cats 👻🐱
- Fall Recommendations 2020 🍂🎃 Cozy, Sad, Spooky & Atmospheric stories
“It’s weird, how you have no idea how far you’ve come until suddenly you can’t find the way back.” ―
➽ Starting my Revision (finishing the first developmental edits, plus a second round and started working on line edits) 💞
➽ Being asked to contribute to Margaret’s writing advice post (still so honored & grateful!) 🥺
Despite me not being that content with my writing process, there were some highlights this year! For once, I started my revision again and got more into my first developmental edits. I could finally dedicate more time and mental energy to finishing the first round of revision and managed to be successful during Camp NaNo! Unlike last year, I actually reached my goal this time, which made me really proud, especially as I was also done with revision. My second round was slower, but I did manage to finish it. Line-Edits aren’t really done but I hope to pick this up again next year 🖋 Another highlight towards the end of the year was being invited by Margaret to share my writing advice in her post in honor of NaNoWriMo! I was so honored that she thought of me and it made me feel so validated as a writer 🥺💕
I’m always trying my best to consistently work on my WIP but there were sadly many times this year when I didn’t manage to do that. Until May things worked out pretty well as Camp NaNo in April boosted my writing, but afterwards I began procrastinating more and more. I’m frustrated with myself for wasting so much time that I had for my revision, because I knew that now was the time to do something. But bad mental health days, doubts and fear wormed their way into me, so I was incredibly slow with my second round of revision. I managed to finish it all in a rush, but when my university preparations began, I was once again out of my routine. Line-edits were especially daunting to me, so I kept pushing them back which was easy with so many other things to do. I’m just sad I didn’t use all this free time more, but my motivation was at an all time low this year. Hopefully next year will bring better times! 🙏
- Getting Back to Writing #5 // Back from my writing hiatus, 2020 Goals, and Camp NaNo Checkin 🌷
- Getting Back to Writing #6 // Camp NaNo Wrapup and First Round of Revision Finished!! 🎉
- Getting Back to Writing #7 // Finishing the second round of Revision!
“And there it is, against all hope, like the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The smallest hint of a smile.”―
➽ Getting into my top choice Master Program! (still shook) 😱
➽ Relaxed One Week Vacation in July (it was so good to finally have a change of scenery) ✨
➽ Watching many great Shows (that really helped me hang on) 📺
➽ Discovering Notion for organization (this spoke right to my planning loving heart) 💻
➽ Moving to a nice flat & getting more independent 🏡
➽ Getting in the habit of taking walks 🌲 (great for clearing your mind!)
The year was hard, but I also need to highlight all the good times as well! The year was pretty busy at the beginning and end for me, because I finished my Bachelor Thesis in March. In May I finally got my result and I’m really happy and proud of the grade that I got both for my thesis and the overall grade for my Bachelor’s!! It was one of the best moments of the year to finally know that I had passed my Bachelor thesis (though there sadly was no graduate party this year) 🎉 After rejections and lots of waiting I also got into my top choice Master program!!!! I’m so happy that among my top 3 universities I wanted to go to, I got an acceptance letter to the one that was my absolute number 1 😭 I’m still so honored that I was accepted, especially as I talked to some of our graduates at the beginning of the year and they told me they liked studying at said university. It was a good omen!! These were the two big events this year in general and now I’m off for another two years to get my Master’s degree!
A smaller highlight was taking a 1-week vacation in July within Germany (we rented a vacation home and did lots of outdoor activities including long walks by the river and visiting many apple farms!) because we weren’t able to go on our Cruise in May. I was happy to get a change of scenery and doing some fun new things! I also watched so many amazing shows with my friend Sandra (ily 💕) and discovered Notion, which made me so organized in time for the new semester and is one of the best discoveries I made this year!
Though the workload of my new Master’s program is tough, I’m proud of myself for dealing with moving to a new city where I knew no one and adjusting to Online School! It wasn’t easy as new lockdown restrictions made it hard to get to know people and with me living alone, I wasn’t always able to meet up with others. I’m still grateful for the few classmates who went on walks with me and Skyped with me!! I also like my flat a lot, it’s not perfect but really quite, with a way nicer kitchen than I had before and lots of space. I finally got into the habit of taking walks to clear my mind after long work hours and I hope to keep that up next year. I also feel like I got more independent as I knew there was no one in the area who could help me.
➽ Questionable Mental Health (esp. concerning my sleep & the uncertainty) 😅
➽ The Online School Workload (esp. as I live alone and spend so much time sitting inside, doing work)
Obviously, times were tough for all of us with quarantine and The Virus going on. It was hard to stay grounded with so much uncertainty and the constant hum of danger in the background. I was fortunate enough that I just turned in my Bachelor Thesis the week restrictions began (which also resulted in so much stress, as there was barely any information on how to turn in my thesis with the new situation 😓). I was able to move back home (because I had a semester off until my Master’s and would need to move to a new city anyway), which made me safer than a lot of other people. Still, seeing all this progress was scary, especially with people not taking quarantine and the Virus seriously (wear a mask, please!!).
However, mentally this year was just tough. Going through such a traumatic event will always affect you one way or another. All plans being canceled and not having much to look forward to took a toll on my mental health. There was also so much uncertainty about my Master course: would I even get accepted? where would I move? I only found out in August after months of applying for programs and waiting. Especially as I had no routine during my semester off and no way to make the most of it as I had planned to, I was stuck in monotony for a long time. Though it was good to have some time without stress, there is only so much unrestraint free time you can have without boredom settling in. My sleep schedule was worse this year than ever before, specifically because I began taking a new medication, which had the side effect of sleeping problems. Combined with the general anxiety that causes me sleeping problems everything was amplified and I struggled a lot with not being able to fall asleep. I’m doing a bit better now, but starting my Master Course, moving, and being in a completely new environment at the end of the year was both good to get a change of scenery and also one of the most stressful experiences this year.
- What I’ve been up to in January ⛄ The Thesis Writing begins & Things to be grateful for
- What I’ve been up to in February 🌷 We’re in the (Thesis) Endgame feat. #WHM TBR#
- What I’ve been up to in March 🌺 The beginning of new things
- What I’ve been up to in April 🌻 My Birthday, OWL’s and Camp NaNo
- What I’ve been up to in May 🌼 I passed my Bachelor Thesis!!!
- What I’ve been up to in June 💐 Prideathon & A Difficult Mental Health Time
- What I’ve been up to in July ⛅ Vacation, Reading & Revision
- What I’ve been up to in August 🌞 I finally got accepted for a Master Course!!!!!
- What I’ve been up to in September 🍂 Master Preparation & the Start of Autumn
- What I’ve been up to in October 👻 Moving, Halloween & other Disasters (+ Hiatus Announcement)
- What I’ve been up to in November 🍂 A busy, new semester of online school
“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.” ―
Life (0/2 😅)
- Fix my sleep schedule ⛔ … my sleep schedule was even worse than last year due to new medication and so much stress, which honestly makes me so sad. I really wanted to finally tackle this goal.
- Practice all the self-care ❓ I still need to be so much better at self-care, so I have no idea if I actually succeeded!
Bookish (2/3 👍)
- Read 65 Books ✅ YES TO THAT! I read more books than ever (partly because of having more time and quarantine), and I also found some new favorites this year!
- Allow myself to write shorter reviews ⛔ Lol nope, I don’t seem to be able to stop rambling and share all my thoughts even though I attempted to write shorter reviews for books I didn’t have much to say about!
- Keep up with my own Out of Comfort Zone Reading Challenge ✅ I’m so proud that I hosted my own challenge this year and I’ll do it again in 2021, I read lots more outside of my comfort zone!
Writing (2/4 ❓)
- Finish 1st Round of Edits of WIP Intoxicated ✅ I didn’t do as much as I wanted but I tried to do as much revision as possible! I hope to finally get farther ahead with this WIP next year and get some feedback!
- Outline the sequel ⛔ I decided to put this on the backburner and focus on revision and new projects first.
- Brainstorm a new project ⛔ I did some very light brainstorming, but not as much as I wanted to!
- Participate in Camp NaNo ✅ I partcipated in Camp NaNo April and finished my first edits!
“Maybe is a rope in a hole, or the key to a door. Maybe is how you find the way out.” ―
- Keep up my daily walks ➽ At the end of 2020 I finally got into taking a 30-minute walk per day and I want to keep up that habit in 2021, as it helps me clear my mind and recharge after sitting inside for online classes 🌲
- Taking time for self-care ➽ This will be my theme for the year, as I need to take better care of my physical and mental health. The workload of my Master’s Program has already gotten to me and I want to find a way to decrease that as the stress as it has harmed me so much in my college years already. That means taking my walks, maybe starting Yoga again, learning to feel at ease not being productive all the time, carving out time to relax and not obsessing too much about my grades or workload 🙏
- Set up a themed Notion Spread ➽ I got into Notion at the end of last year & I like my pages, but I would love to do an overall theme for them. I don’t know what yet (leaning towards Zelda) but I’d like to use my semester break to redo my pages, as it’s going to be a lot of work 😄
- Read 65 Books ➽ I set myself this goal every year as it’s attainable for me and therefore not likely to stress me out, especially as this year will be my first full year in my Master’s Course!
- Keeping up a healthy reading habit ➽ Like I said the big 2021 theme will be relaxing and not stressing myself out with arbitrary rules. For reading this means picking up what I’m in the mood for, not feeling guilty for putting books down again and trying not to make too big TBR’s/Readathon commitments 📚
- Learn to use the Block Editor ➽ I’ve mainly been using the Classic Block and formatting my post like I used to do. The thing with the Block Editor is that it has a very steep learning curve and arrived just when I got into my Master’s program so I didn’t have the time or mental energy to learn how to use it. During my break I want to finally figure it out, especially as I saw Sumedha’s incredible post where she explained how to make the most of it!
- Finish Line-Edits for my current WIP ➽ Line-Edits are intimidating, but I want to tackle them in the new year, so I can finish this project (maybe get some beta-readers, another scary scenario) and move on to doing something else! I love my WIP but it’s also time for new writing ideas 🙏
- Brainstorm a new project ➽ I already started this over winter break (for one day only though) and want to make it into a habit to work on my project for a couple of days per week. I need to set myself certain times and carve out time to dedicate to my writing! ❤
- Get into a healthier writing mindset ➽ I’ll talk about this at length in my next writing update (coming in March), but the constant pressure of being ‘successful’ and getting published might be the reason I never stuck with writing. It got too intimidating and stressful, especially as I struggle with this feeling of running out of time. I think it’s got to strive for your dreams and learn about the publishing world, but for me writing with publication in mind isn’t working. I’m staring to write for me in 2021 and will stop stressing out about anything publishing related. I need to get back to the joy and wonder of writing and while I’m still hoping to improve my craft, I don’t want writing to feel like a chore instead of a dream.
How was your 2020? Let’s also focus on the positive: What were your favorite moments, shows, movies, and accomplishments? 🎇