Dear Diary: Positive Thinking and Achievements

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Last week, I mentioned some of the positive things I achieved last year and some goals that I plan to set for this year. I’ve had enough of putting myself down and want to think positively – although I know it’s easier said than done. But writing this post has made me realise that, regardless of how I felt at any given time, 2017 was a positive year for me.

I touched upon some achievements in regards to what I had managed to get read and reviewed last year. I had to have a couple of breaks from blogging because other commitments were making it impossible to commit the time that I wanted. But stepping back reminded me how much I loved it and how much I was missing it. It gave me the drive to push myself in regards to content, hence doing the Twelve Days of Christmas.

But when I think back to last year, I managed to accomplish so much more than just being pleased with how the blog was going.

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Happy New Year: Looking Back at 2017/Resolutions

Up and Coming

2017 has ended on a positive note for me. I’ve actually learnt to look back at what I’ve achieved and feel proud. For one thing: I now have a Masters!

How about resolutions for this year? Getting in shape and finding a job in my dream industry are two of them. They’re not the type that I feel I can blog about, however. I don’t want to spend my time writing about how I’m sending off applications, for starters!

My main aim, however, is blog related. I want to keep more up to date with reviews this year. My first target is to get to that golden 80% ratio on Netgalley (you may have noticed some extra reviews flying out over the last few weeks).

But I also want to get more books reviewed on time. I request them, then get caught up with blog tours and older books and miss the magic three-month time period where book publicity has the biggest impact. I review, not only because I love it, but because I want to help out the authors any way I can. A review is better than no review, but actually getting it out on time would be even better.

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Entertainer Blogger Award

I told you I would gradually get around to catching up on some tags/awards that I was tagged for! It’s just taking some time.

The lovely Zezee with Books nominated me for this one. I strongly recommend you all go and check out her blog, simply because I get so many book recommendations from her!

But once you’ve skipped over there, favourited/followed her, and then come back here, let me know. For now we can get on with the award!

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NetGalley Review: TBR

Netgalley Review

Since becoming a book blogger, Netgalley has been an invaluable source. I’ve discovered new favourite authors and ventured into genres that were otherwise a mystery. It’s helped me widen my reading horizons without having to wait for the library or payday!

But since joining, I have not yet managed to reach the magic 80% ratio. This is mainly because I got carried away when I first joined and have been playing catch up ever since. I review steadily, but posting one review a week is a slow process, especially with other things to read as well as ARC’s.

I decided to do the Twelve Days of Christmas in September. I had taken a break and realised that if I focused then, I had just enough time to slot in the extra books without putting the strain on myself to keep to my normal schedule. I’ve loved the challenge and look forward to seeing what you think of the reviews/books that made the cut.

With that scheduled, however, I thought it was time to look at what I had left on Netgalley.

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Up and Coming: December

Up and Coming

How many times can you delete a post before getting past the first sentence?

How long can you sit there staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration to hit?

The trouble with giving yourself a blogging challenge (such as doing the Twelve Days of Christmas as a feeble attempt to catch up on reviews that you are desperately behind on), is that it tends to take up most of your focus. I’ve been reading a lot recently, but everything has been for reviewing purposes.

I’ve got nothing to talk about in regards to books that didn’t make the reviewing cut. I’ve got nothing to squeal about in terms of shows that I’ve been (re)watching because I haven’t seen any.

When you’ve scheduled in advance as well, it seems pointless discussing the books that will be reviewed, because you’re only going to repeat those discussions in a few weeks’ time.

Hence why I have no idea what to write.

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Blogging Rant!

Blogging Rant 2

Having a break from blogging also meant having a break from social media: I went quiet on the internet. I figured it would do me good and it would still be there when I got back.

What I wasn’t expecting, however, was to come back to massive arguments everywhere! What happened in those few months that I missed? There are posts all over Twitter with bloggers either telling others how to blog or informing them they don’t count as a blog if they aren’t a certain size, etc. Or equally heated posts arguing the opposite and everyone should be able to blog how they desire.

I’m on the side of the latter: everyone who has an active blog is a blogger, regardless of their content or the amount of times they can publish a post. Life gets in the way; not everyone can keep the same schedule or engage in the same way.

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Novel Progress: November

Novel Progress Graphic

The last time I wrote this post was back in May, and the only thing it did was to lament my lack of progress. Now that I am trying to get myself writing again, I thought it was time to put some thoughts down on paper.

Since my MA finished, I’ve been attempting to spend time focusing on the novel again. It’s always been my dream, so I refuse to abandon it just because I’m job hunting in a different direction now.

Ironically, my first step to getting back into it was to delete a load. I had been writing it roughly, rushing scenes despite having been excited about writing them. I knew editing wouldn’t fill in the gaping holes in the plot and it was such a big section, it was ultimately easier to delete it. I say easier… it was horrible hitting the button but I knew it had to be done.

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