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Reviewing 2009 and Ringing in 2010

2009bip-150x210I’m doing my end of 2009/beginning of 2010 posts as one because I think a blog is something always growing — reviewing one year leads directly into how to improve for the next one.

For 2009 I set eight goals about reading and blogging, and was about 50 percent at finishing them:

  1. Make time for personal reading — This I accomplished for sure. Most of the books reviewed were ones I chose for myself, and I kept my obligation books pretty low.
  2. Review books within two weeks of finishing them — This was a big fail on my part, although I think I was better about it than in 2008.
  3. Keep notes while I read — This was about half and half. I kept notes at the beginning of the year, but tended to throw them out after I wrote my review. I did better keeping my notes near the end of the year when I started carrying around a little red Moleskein notebook that I keep book lists and ideas in.
  4. Blog more about journalism — Midway through the year I decided not to do this. This blog is for books, so I should only post about journalism as it relates to things I’m reading. That said, I would like to do more general posts about journalism and writing as it relates to the kinds of books I enjoy.
  5. Alternate the length of my posts — This I definitely accomplished. Yay!
  6. Leave more comments, about five per day — I’m not sure how to measure this, but I think I left more comments this year than last year.
  7. Do research about self-hosting Sophisticated Dorkiness — Accomplished! I moved to my own space and domain name this year, which has been exciting!
  8. Host the Blog Improvement Project successfully — This is hard to measure, but I feel like the year went well, so I’ll say accomplished.

Given the things I did and did not accomplish this year, I came up with a few new and some old goals for my blog in 2010:

Review books in a timely manner. This means at least drafting up some ideas for my review soon after finishing the book. I also want to use more mini reviews and try new review formats to try and be timely about posting on books.

Continue to take notes while I read. Sometimes I didn’t do this, so I want to keep working on it. The notes really, really help when it comes to writing reviews.

Look into ways to monetizing my blog. Nothing fancy, maybe just Amazon Affiliates or some advertising in the sidebar. I haven’t explored this at all, so I at least want to think about it this year.

Acknowledge other bloggers. I want to do more to connect with and recognize good things in the book blogging community. I’m not sure if this means doing more link posts, featuring comments, or what, but I want to reach out a little more this year.

Start my Nonfiction Five feature. I’ve been toying around with the idea of a new feature, Nonfiction Five, where I’d pick a topic(say, Zimbabwe or Messy Childhoods) then put together a list of five nonfiction books on that topic. I want to get that started this year, then see if I can pull in some guest posts and suggestions for topic lists.

Give myself permission to step away. Sometimes everyone needs a break from blogging, and should be able to take one without feeling guilty. I want to not feel bad about taking some time off from posting, reading, commenting, whatever. I need to let myself off the hook sometimes.

So that’s what I’ve got. Here’s a toast to 2009, and some excitement for 2010 🙂

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lu January 2, 2010, 7:50 am

    Looks like you succeeded with your goals and have made some great ones for 2010. Happy New Year, Kim and thanks for being a part of my blogging world! I’m particularly excited about non-fiction five!!!

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:32 pm

      Lu: Thanks Lu, right back at you! I love reading your blog 🙂

  • Anna January 2, 2010, 8:50 am

    Great job on your goals! I really should take notes, too, but I fail big time at that.

    Happy new year!

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:33 pm

      Anna: I fail sometimes, but I’m always happier when I just do it. It’s like doing dishes right after I use them — it annoys me at the time, but when I get to a giant pile of dishes after a couple days, I’m grumpy I didn’t take the time to do it earlier. That was sort of a goofy analogy 🙂

  • Care January 2, 2010, 9:22 am

    Very good and I would love to read your thoughts on Journalism. Your nonficfive sounds like a terrific feature. I am now putting together my year’s summary and my NF reads this year were very different than my usual mix of memoirs and bios. Sometimes it makes me laugh to say “I read nonfiction” when it is SO broad of a category that it really isn’t a category at all. ya know what I mean, right?

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:34 pm

      Care: You’re right, nonfiction is a huge, huge category. I read a lot more nonfiction this year that I used to. I just started a book about the history of the memoir that bunches a ton of books that I think are different categories of nonfiction into that label. It’s interesting.

  • Louise January 2, 2010, 9:22 am

    Happy New Year and thanks for your kind comment left on my most recent post. I appreciate that a lot. In fact, I’ve appreciated all your comments through 2009 and look forward to comment even more here in 2010. Blogging is not half the fun without comments and commenting.

    Also thanks for your huge job of hosting BIP!


    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:35 pm

      Louise: I love comments and commenting too, even though I don’t do as much commenting as I feel like I should. I hope 2010 is better than 2009 🙂 Happy New Year (a bit late!)

  • Eva January 2, 2010, 10:24 am

    I’d be awful at trying to keep notes while I read! And alternating post lengths, unless long and longer count. 😉 But congrats on meeting your goals…even if it wasn’t one hundred percent, it sounds like you got some great habits formed!

    Nonfiction Five sounds like fun, but I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear me say that! lol

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:36 pm

      Eva: You read way more books than I do, so taking notes would be a much bigger project for you 🙂 I’m psyched about Nonfiction Five; I want to start it by the end of the month, after I’m back home in Madison from break.

  • Lisa January 2, 2010, 10:45 am

    One of my goals for 2010 was to be more organized about blogging/reading. I think I need to incorporate your note taking idea into that goal.

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:37 pm

      Lisa: Note taking has been a big help for me. I like having lists of quotes and notes of parts I liked/didn’t like so I can use more stuff from the book in my reviews. And I like having my notes in one place rather than scattered all over the place in my apartment 🙂

  • Kathy January 2, 2010, 11:30 am

    I think you had a great year last year and wish you luck in reaching your goals for 2010. Happy New Year, Kim!

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:38 pm

      Kathy: Thanks! Same to you 🙂

  • Memory January 2, 2010, 4:41 pm

    Good luck with all your goals! I love your Nonfiction Five idea; I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:38 pm

      Memory: Thanks, I’m excited about it too!

  • Jeanne January 3, 2010, 6:58 am

    One of the things I like most about your blog is the variety of things you read and discuss!

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:39 pm

      Jeanne: Thanks. I like having a variety of books and subjects to talk about. I’ll have to think more about ways to incorporate journalism into some of the other topics I like to write about.

  • Fyrefly January 3, 2010, 7:50 pm

    I’m also trying to write my reviews sooner after finishing books – I hate it when I get too back-logged! I also love the idea of the non-fiction five, and could definitely contribute a biology-themed guest post. 🙂

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:40 pm

      Fyrefly: I hate having outstanding reviews from a long time ago. I can’t barely remember what the book was about if I wait to long. I have to keep getting better about that. And I would LOVE a biology themed Nonfiction Five. I will remember that once I get it started!

  • Jodie January 4, 2010, 8:14 am

    Non fiction five lists sound excellent and what a great way to vary your post type as you ahve tried to teach us to do 😉

    • Kim January 4, 2010, 5:41 pm

      Jodie: Yeah, I think that’ll be a fun post type — list posts, maybe. Plus, I don’t really have any regular features and I’d like to start one 🙂

  • Ali (worducopia) January 4, 2010, 6:45 pm

    Love the Nonfiction Five idea, because I tend to gravitate towards certain types of nonfiction and it’d be good to expand my reading in that area. And, by the way, I always liked your posts about journalism, it’s part of what makes your blog unique. It never occurred to me that they’d be out of place on a book blog.

    • Kim January 6, 2010, 5:22 pm

      Ali: I tend to gravitate to the same sorts of nonfiction too, so I’m hoping to expand my reading with the lists too. And thanks for the input on journalism posts — I go back and forth on that one a lot, but I’ll be thinking about how to balance it.

  • Rebecca Reid January 6, 2010, 1:19 pm

    FYI, I have had links to Amazon affiliates since I began and I’ve never earned a penny. And I hate ads in blogs so I really hope you rethink that one 🙂

    • Kim January 6, 2010, 5:25 pm

      Rebecca: That’s good to know, thanks. I don’t know much about Amazon affiliates or putting ads, so I do want to look into it even if it doesn’t pan out into anything 🙂