April Blog Plans!

aprilblogplansI took an unplanned break from blogging and social media over the past couple of weeks. I was feeling a little stressed by school and overall feelings of inadequacy that I just did not want to do anything but retreat into myself and my books. I’m feeling much better now and as result I’m now ready to make a comeback!

I’ve decided I want to start and build a bigger audience on this blog so I’m hoping to do that by becoming a better book blogger. I feel like I started this blog trying to do too much, so I want to go back to basics and recommit myself fully to the book blogging community.

In this post, I want to talk about some blog goals and writings challenge I will undertake in April which will hopefully provide an idea of the direction I’m hoping to take this blog.

Blog Goals

These are some of the goals I’m hoping to accomplish by the end of April so that I can start the summer off in a good place. At the end of the month, I will look back and evaluate how well I accomplished the things on this list.

➷ Create a blogging schedule. I already have some ideas for themed days, but I’m still trying to figure out how many posts per week I would like to realistically commit myself to (particularly as April might become a bit stressful between school and writing). I also want to start establishing set days and times where I will sit down and work on blog posts (something I’ve never done before).

➷ Reorganize my blog navigation. I realize my blog navigation has been a bit wonky since the beginning so I’m hoping to make it more functional and usable.

➷ Work on my blog’s image. I want to create a header and other blog art that will give my blog more of a personality and be more readily recognizable. I feel like my blog is so bland right now and a nice header image will go a long way.

➷ Post a book review every week. I’ve been wanting to find a way to introduce book reviews back into this blog, and I found a lovely post which provides some ideas to create fun book reviews that are still useful.

➷ Blog hop everyday! I want to discover more book bloggers who inspire me and show my love to by sharing and commenting. Ideally, I would like to comment on at least 3 different blogs everyday. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it will add up if I’m doing it everyday, and I want a sustainable goal!

Camp NaNoWriMo 

In case you are new to Ink Keys & Other Things, I have been working on my first novel since January and there have been some ups and downs in the process that I’ve been documenting in regular posts in a series called Novel Progress (for quick reference: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6). As result of a recent writing slump and realization, I have decided to fully participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this April!

If you recall from Novel Progress #6, I had been debating to what extent I wanted to do Camp NaNoWriMo (with a 50k or smaller word count goal). Earlier this week, I decided I would shoot for the official 50k! More on the reason why to come in my upcoming Novel Progress installment which I’m hoping to finally publish this weekend!

End Note

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to follow my blog and read all of my posts! I have feeling you all like the direction I’m taking this blog and I can’t wait to make it the best it can be! I already have some fun things in mind for next week. But in the meantime, you can expect a long-awaited post to come early this weekend! I hope you’re excited!

Thank you for reading!
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My New Year’s Resolutions for 2016.

·.··.·.·.  My 2016 New Year’s Resolutions  ・.·.·.··.·

I love setting goals and I find that New Year’s is the best time to think optimistically about what I want to accomplish. Even though we’re about a week into 2016 and I almost didn’t create this post, I’m happy I have because reflecting on what I would like to accomplish this year has inspired me to kick my butt into shape and start being productive. There are few things that make me happier than ending a day feeling like I’ve been productive and I’d love to be able to look back at the end of 2016 and appreciate what I’ve accomplished in the past year.

➴ Reading Resolution

I set my Goodreads Reading Goal at 60 books for the year. I regret not setting 52, averaging at simply one book per week. But in 2015 I was so close to 60 books and I hardly read much at all at the end of the year that I feel confident I’ll read 60 books if I keep at it.

➴ Writing Resolution

I want to finish my first novel and also write 12 short stories, one per month. I started the novel I’m currently working on in NaNoWriMo 2015, and it’s evolved a little since then. But overall I’ve not been able to think about much else. I’d really like it to be the first in a series. I’ve even worked on plotted the series as a whole. The main thing that’s been holding me back in making more progress on this novel at the moment insecurity and procrastination.

I’ve long been thinking it would be wiser to start smaller and work my way up to a novel. Filmmakers often start small with short films. I originally thought I might try to write 12 novels this year, but since I’ve yet to finish a novel at all in my time as a writer, I’ve decided instead to shoot for 12 short stories. I’m thinking of making it an anthology collection united around a certain theme or idea.

I plan to elaborate more on my writing plans in a separate post in the near future. 

➴ Blogging Resolution

I want to be a better blogger this year. I don’t want to have any productivity slumps. I want to be consistent this year with everything I want to do. I want to pre-schedule posts and stick to a good posting schedule. I also want to comment regularly on the blogs I follow and overall just be a good community member.

End Note

There are a few other goals I have for 2016, but none that I can think of that would have concrete products or evidence of the goal (yet). For example, I know I would like to work on becoming more fit, but I don’t have set goals for what that would necessarily look like. Also, I want to do more art this year, but I don’t have a numeric goal or particular project in mind at the moment.

What are your opinions on new year’s resolutions, or goal-setting in general? Do you have any new year’s resolutions this year? If so, what are they? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading!
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Hello January 2016 (Life Update + TBR).

Life Update

Yesterday I made the three-hour journey from Houston to Dallas, effectively ending my holiday retreat at my parents’ house. In past years, the end of the holidays had always been more sweet than bitter. This year I’ve found myself indifferent. I feel more carefree when I’m staying at my parents’ home, but I also feel like it sets me back. I have trouble being productive there. Also, I feel tethered to my parents’ schedule.

One would think returning to my apartment in Dallas would have been met with a bit more joy, but I can’t stop thinking about tornados since the devastating outbreak this past Christmas that destroyed hundreds of homes not far from where I live. I live on the third, topmost floor of my apartment building. If a tornado hits I’m not sure I’ll make it. (Am I being dramatic? I’m not sure.)

If I’ve learned anything over my past semester at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), it’s that I don’t want to live in Dallas past graduation. Unless a dream job comes up, but that’s unlikely.

Next Monday classes start back up for me again. All my classes will be in evening from 7–9 pm, but I’ve still not finalized my schedule. I’m certain only on the two classes required for my degree program which are only offered in spring: Digital Textuality and Digital Culture. But I’m taking one more class, an elective, for which I have two options from which to choose: Creating Interactive Media and Information Design for New Media. I do not want to take both (primarily because I don’t want to take four classes this semester), so I’m squatting in both classes right now as I wait patiently for the syllabi to show up which will hopefully help me decide which will best serve my interests/needs.

With the rest of my time before classes start, I’m just trying to work on getting myself on a productive schedule. I haven’t been reading as much as I like, I haven’t been writing, and I haven’t been blogging because there’s been so little to talk about. It feels like I’ve been static for too long and I’m ready to come back to life again.

 January 2016 TBR

This year I am trying to live by the motto “slow and steady wins the race.” I’ve always been someone who gets hooked on something and then quickly burns out and loses interest. Last year I read the bulk of my books early in the year. This year I’m not going to push myself so hard. Especially as reading more was my primary goal for the year (which I achieved; I read well over 50!). But this year I have more things I want to do, which I’ll explain in my New Year’s Resolutions post later today or tomorrow.

Also, I’m trying not to buy too many new books this year. My living situation is precarious and I don’t like buying books that then get left at my parents’ house before I can read them. As I’m now a graduate student I have a new library to utilize, which is very good about stocking new releases! So there’s no predicting what I’ll be able to get my hands on. 🙂

So the only books I know I want to read from my personal library are:

toothmiddlesex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

I’m a little over 50 pages into this book and it’s been off to a great start. The brilliant characters and conflict grabbed me immediately. I’m reading it fairly slowly as I’ve been preoccupied with other things in my life and I’m out of reading shape. 🙂

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I can’t really explain my interest in prioritizing this book. I just feel like the summary is intriguing and I’m attracted to the depth I’m expecting of this book. Also I love the movie The Virgin Suicides and I’ve never even read that book so I’m excited to finally experience this author’s writing. I’ve also not read fiction set in the real world for a while so this excites me.

Others…

I also have four digital ARCs from Edelweiss that I need to get to by the end of the month for review.

AND I have my writing buddy’s first draft of her first novel to read! She sent it to me on Christmas Day and I can’t wait to read the story we’ve been talking about for well over a year and provide her with feedback. 🙂

End Note

I will be posting my New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 late today I think, or I might schedule it for tomorrow morning (CST). I’ve not yet posted my official announcement on Books o’ the Wisp. I don’t expect too many people to follow me here from there, but I worry I’m letting people dangle over there. And I do intend to make that blog completely private once the premium features expire.

I have lot of posts planned for this new blog. I’m going to try and pre-schedule things so that everything doesn’t come out all in January and I have nothing left for February (“slow and steady”). Hope you enjoy my new blog! If you’d like to receive notifications of when I post new things, please check out any of my other social media links below!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

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