Shaina Reads in 2016!

January 03, 2016

Welcome to 2016, friends! It's time for some long-winded, new-year reflecting.

2015 was a wonderful blogging year for me. I dove headlong into reviewing, participating in challenges (and hosting some!), and getting to know the fabulous, bookish community that welcomed me with open arms and which I still feel so privileged to call my own.

I ran out of steam toward the end of the year, due to a confluence of graduate school applications, heightened stress at work, multiple illnesses, and a tendency to fall to inert bits when things get to be too much. The holidays recharged me, and while I still have to face many of the same things that were getting me down (New Year's flu, anyone?), I know that one way to keep my spirits high is to make time for things that I love. Blogging is way up there.

I have a few things I want to change about how I run Shaina Reads this year. Resolutions stress me out, not so much because I worry that I won't fulfill them, but more because I worry that I will stick too strictly to them without giving myself any breathing room (see: Review only what I want to). Still, I know these are changes that will make my blogging more flexible rather than less, and writing them down and being able to come back to them will help when I inevitably get overwhelmed again.

Review only what I want to.

One of the things that's kept me from coming back to the blog sooner is the huge backlog of books that I've yet to review. I put a lot of pressure on myself to review everything last year. Not only is that unsustainable, but it also makes things stale and unenjoyable hella quickly. I want to be pickier about what I write about from now on. Hopefully, this means the writing will improve, too! I probably won't get as many ARCs this way, but since I plan to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks in 2016, this shouldn't be an issue.

Stress less about my posting frequency.

When I first started, I worried that I would need to post solid content multiple times a week to keep people coming back. I've had a few hiatuses since beginning to blog, and, to my delight, a regular group of you keep coming back to me! Sure, maybe my readership won't grow much, but the enjoyment I get out of sharing what I do will.

Let's make that stress less in general.

About posting, commenting, taking part in challenges/read-alongs, tweeting, all of it. I want to be engaged, but it's way too easy for me to turn fun things (like, you know, reading books) into obligations. I have enough of those as it is, with hopefully more coming soon—graduate school decisions arrive in February!

And there you have it. If you made it to the end of this neurotic spiel, go make yourself some hot cocoa.

If you're here, you're part of what makes my blogging life great. Thank you, and I hope you have a fantastic 2016!

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