It’s that time of year again. When we all come together and compare note about what we read last year! Right?!

Anyone?

Beuller?

Well, I know I do. I get a nice cup of coffee, gather my notebooks and logs, a pen and paper, and then sit for hours looking over what I read and compare my stats to previous years. It’s an annual New Year’s Day tradition!

This year though, I was a little depressed at first. I read fewer books this past year, spent fewer hours reading, and read fewer pages! I could have sworn those numbers would be higher. I mean, I knew it would be fewer books, but I thought the average daily time and pages read would be higher. I read some long and some complicated books this year.

But here it is in black and white. Tabled out for the world to see. No way to deny it.

that time of year

My husband rescued me. He’s the king of pointing out things that I have missed. What would I do without him!

“Didn’t you make a plan to write more in 2021? I seem to remember you saying something about creating a practice of writing for one hour every day, even if you didn’t post it.”

The light brightens… “Oh, yeah!”

I did make that pact with myself, and because I only have so many hours in a day just like everyone else, my reading had to slow down to accommodate for the time spent at the keyboard.

Hold the phone for a moment…I achieved a goal! Yay, me! Damn I’m good.

This year I read sixty-two books, and out of those sixty-two books I wrote about fifty-nine of them. The year before I only wrote about nine of the seventy-one books I read. And the results of that are showing in my blog growth.

Nice, right? This is the kind of stuff that makes me feel great. I mean, I spend a lot of time complaining that I’m wasting time here. If you lived here, you’d hear the following sentences loudly lamented on a weekly basis.

“All I do is read books and half of them I don’t even remember!”

“No one reads any of this. What’s the point?!”

“I can’t achieve anything. I don’t even know how to set a goal and follow up.”

“Who drank all the whiskey?!”

But all this time, it’s been there working in the background. Writing about the books I’m reading helps me remember more of what I read. No one read my blog because I wasn’t writing. And I did set goals and follow up on them, it’s just that I had created such a good routine for myself that I didn’t even notice it adding up.

PS It’s me. I’m the one that drank all the whiskey. 😉

A quick nod to habits and routines. They really do work. Even the smallest addition to a routine can get you somewhere. What can we accomplish one step at a time? Anything!

What did I read this year? As usual, more non-fiction than fiction. Here’s the genre breakdown:

DNF: Did Not Finish

Over the last couple of days, I’ve considered what my goals for ’22 should be. (See what I did there? I refuse to keep writing out the year like a sci-fi movie.) What skills would I like to build? What do I want to achieve? I’m still not sure I’m a goals-oriented kind of girl. I’ll just list them out as I think of them so you can get an idea of who I am and where I’m going (and so I have something to look back at in January of ’23.

  1. Less hope. Less attachment. I’m working on letting go and loving what is right now, right here. Putting daily mediation back in my morning routine will help.
  2. Keep writing and post every day, even if it’s not a work of art. My morning routine will include writing earlier so that I get my most important tasks done first.
  3. Read more of what I have. I took a picture of the three shelves (I know. I said I keep it to one.) of TBRs, but it’s just too embarrassing.

Oh, who am I kidding? Look at this mess!

I’m not going to promise I won’t buy more, but I really need to focus and read what I have here. There is a lot of great stuff! I want to read these, but…there are so many awesome books out there.

Now, I’m reminded of the dad in About Time. The first thing I noticed was all the books he had piled everywhere, and I thought, “How does he have time to read all those?!” and my envy eyes were flashed.

With a better routine, and less distraction by social media, I believe I’ll get my hours back AND write every day. I can reward myself by having a little time in the afternoon for a cup of tea and a few more pages of a novel.

And here is the big one, so stand back a little.

  • In ’22 I will…gulp…send something out to be published. I subscribe to several magazines, and I found one that accepts submissions from readers. That’s where I will start. It feels safe enough. You’ll hear all about that when I do it. It will be soon.

Ok. That’s enough jibber jabber for one day! This is going to be another great year, and hopefully I’ll notice it as it happens instead of having to wait and discover it after the fact.