Hey everybody, Frodo is back in action! I took November off for NaNoWriMo as I mentioned in my previous post, and while it wasn’t the success I had hoped for because of a variety of reasons, it was a nice break. However, I am excited to get right back to blogging and even more so to let you all know my plans for 2014!
If you have followed the blog since the beginning of the year (and I LOVE you for it!) you know all about my attempt at 365 books in 365 days, as well as the fact that I quit on day 91. The problem with last year’s attempt was I also tried to do a review of EVERY book I read, something that was certainly ill-conceived. I didn’t get burnt out on reading as much as I did with trying to come up with meaningful reviews every day, some books just don’t elicit a big enough response, and trying to change up my style to keep it “fresh” wasn’t overly successful. So, 2014, what’s the plan?
365 books in 365 days is back for round 2! This time I also plan to do 365 posts in 365 days, but, much to your relief I’m sure, they won’t be all reviews. That would be boring for you and agonizing for me, and I realize that. So I will be reading a book/day, though not necessarily a book each day, I might read multiple ones some days for readathons and then take a break for a day, but we shall have to wait to find out!
As for the post/day it will be similar to what I did prior to November. This means there will be 2-3 reviews a week including a Mini Review Monday, Stacking the Shelves/Sunday Post every two weeks or once a month depending on how many I buy, and Totally Random/Top Ten Tuesday. YA Wednesday and Frodo’s Frisky Friday will both be features, but not necessarily every week. Also, on Sundays, regardless of if I am doing a book haul in addition, I will talk about my favorite book I read in the past week! This will not be in review form, but more about my happy/squee feelings while I gush about the awesomeness that is that particular book.
That leaves plenty of days for content that as of yet I don’t even know about. Maybe I will add another meme on Thursdays, or try and do guest posts on Saturdays. Perhaps I’ll talk about other book bloggers that have amazing features going on or how much I love them, which is a LOT! I’ve got to keep a little “randomness” right? ^.^
As for December, it will be a bit lighter than I might like because I’m dealing with finals in college as I wrap the semester up, and I’m getting posts ready for next year so that it will be as awesome as I can possibly make it for you wonderful readers. I can’t wait for next year, and I hope you are excited for 365 in 365! Oh, and if you are wondering why I am trying to read so many books besides the fact that I just love reading, here is a big part of the answer. Behold, the majority of my print TBR.
The End of the 365 in 365 Challenge
I realize that this is being posted on day that is least conducive to believability but I assure you I’m not messing around. A bit before the beginning of the year I wondered what direction I wanted to take my blog in and I decided that a good route was to make this challenge, a book a day and reviewing each on the day I read them. This would give me exposure to new genres (another challenge I placed upon myself that I have essentially completed at this point anyway) and give an extra excuse to read more. Doing a review every day was designed to help both find a style and improve the quality of my writing, mostly of reviews but in general as well. The challenge would hopefully generate some extra interest in the blog which had seen a vast decrease in hits mostly because the ones I was getting were purely meme-related and though I enjoyed reading the comments for those they didn’t feel like I had done anything to earn them.
Now for what actually happened. When I began this challenge I was working roughly 20hrs/week at my crappy job. I’m now at 40/week or even a bit more at times which has made it much more difficult to plan reading and reviewing into my day, especially if I want to do anything but those things. In the beginning month and a half or so I was reading full length books, doing what I still believe were pretty solid reviews and improving my writing for those as well as enjoying some great new reads, it was a lot of fun. Now? I’m exhausted all the time. I get up at 3:30am for work, work for 8hrs, come home and try to read a book and review but am usually distracted by a multitude of things. I forgot how diverse my passions were until I didn’t have time to squeeze them all in.
As I moved into March I was running lower on time and energy and as a result I was reading a novella length book almost every other day which I wasn’t happy with, even if I enjoyed some of them. Worse still and something I refuse to allow myself to continue to do any longer, the quality of my reviews was decreasing as time went on. Some of them made me cringe since I was just cobbling together some general feelings just so a review would go up. I can’t do that, it isn’t my style and I would much rather a quality product than mass amounts of it.
So what does this mean for the blog? No, I’m not quitting blogging, I enjoy it too much and I love the community I’ve come to know so well. I also have quite a few obligations that I need to fulfill and I would never shirk those, not that I want to. It means I’ll go back to closer to my previous schedule that I had prior to the challenge. A review or two a week with a possibility of a third, Waiting on Wednesday weekly and I’ll be doing Stacking the Shelves once a month (look for March’s recap Saturday, yes a week late I know). I also have a few fun posts lined up including a guest post with an author, a couple reviews that I am looking forward to that will coincide with book releases, a cover reveal and likely a giveaway or two. Most of that is coming this month so I’m pretty excited for April. ^.^
I know there were people really excited and hopeful to see me complete this challenge as it is/was pretty crazy. I still will read more books this year than probably any other in my life, though some of my elementary years might give it a run for its money. One reason for stopping this admittedly is the lack of response I had for it. To kill myself by trying to keep up with this challenge and try to produce high quality stuff and see it widely ignored, while I wasn’t shocked it did kinda kill my morale. By going back to my usual blogging schedule I will be doing it for the love of books and the community I am a small part of, so whether I get a large audience or not I can still enjoy myself which is a big deal at least for me.
Positive spin! This will give me time to work on my writing (the book kind not the review/blogging kind) and potentially try other cool stuff. Examples: This month has both Camp NaNoWriMo & VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April) and while I don’t think I’ll try the latter this year, it is those type of things that releasing myself from the challenge commitment will allow. I can’t wait!
I hope this doesn’t give me a giant red stamp of “quitter” on my head, but I guess I understand if that is the case. If this lessens your view of me, the blog, or results in you not stopping by that’s cool, I understand. The challenge could be viewed as a gimmick, and though to me that wasn’t the intent, now that it’s over the small allure does disappear. However, if you do continue to stop by once in a while I do appreciate it and hope that the quality improvement outweighs the decrease in amount of posts. I will try to keep it interesting and entertaining to the best of my ability. If you’ve read this whole thing I commend you and thank you. Thanks as always for reading.