Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Discussion: A Look Ahead at 2016

By 8:00 AM

Looking Ahead and Making Some Changes
Like most people, I do NOT do well with change. I am a very routine person and a creature of habit. So when you throw a wrench in said routine, I'm all...
However, after a slower blogging/reading year in 2015, I decided something HAD to change in 2016. I was at the point where I was just done. I didn't want to blog anymore, didn't want the pressure I placed on myself to get books read in a timely manner, and just didn't have the motivation to sit at my computer and do ANYTHING with blogging.
In short, I wanted to quit.
However, deep down that's not what I wanted. So I needed to take a break, sit down, and really think about what I needed to do to get back on track. How do I get excited about blogging again? What do I need to do differently this year?
I've seen my biggest issue on many of everyone's Top Ten Tuesday posts this week. To be pickier with books we request. I'm tired of the obligations of ARCs. I don't want the stress. I want to read books when I want to and not have to keep to a schedule or deadline. I have completely thrown my schedule and obligations out the window and yeah, I feel a bit guilty, but it also feels SO GOOD.
I got bored with my blog. It was memes and reviews. I had stopped with the blog tours, cover reveals, blitzes, etc. They were time consuming and again- OBLIGATIONS.
So, I started thinking about the original features I already had- my Music Monday and Tasty Tuesday. I feel my Tasty Tuesdays have gotten some good feedback, but my Music Mondays not so much. So, I decided it was time to revamp.
Thus, The Monday Musts were born! Every Monday I will be showcasing my three musts- Must Read, Must Listen, and Must See. This way I can still feature music, but keep it in more of a bookish setting. My Must See can be ANYTHING. Sometimes it will be bookish, but sometimes it won't. So I like that freedom. I am going to include a Linky so I hope some people will join me in doing this!
Next up is W...W...W... Wednesday, which is not an original feature, so I won't take credit for it. I did tweak the original version a bit though. Instead of the last question being "What are you reading next?" I made it "What are you waiting to read?" I don't always know what I'm reading next and I don't want that pressure.
SO! I have 2 new features that I am really excited for! They are low maintenance, which is nice too.
In addition to the GR challenge, I signed up for 4 reading challenges this year!

RIGHT?! At first I thought, "Wow this is a BAAAAAAD idea." But, then I got excited thinking about all the books I could tackle with these challenges. Not only would they help me read books I've been meaning to get to, but I'm hoping they'll motivate me to read PERIOD. I read 9 books last month y'all.
That's a crazy low number for me. So, here's hoping these reading challenges will be a good thing and give me a little boost!
FINALLY, I want to do some collaborations with other bloggers. Whether it be joint reviews, read-a-longs, discussions, etc. I want to do more fun posts like that. Maybe I should even open up to doing guest posts, reviews, etc. I just want to connect more with the community and people I love so much. I can't be on Twitter as much as some others because I'm a teacher and there is zero time during the day to take breaks and chat. But I crave that social connection.
SO! Whew. That was a lengthier post that I anticipated. But it felt oddly cathartic to get that all out.
What do you guys think about the changes I plan on making?
 Or about my new features? What brings you to my blog? What do I do that you like and/or would like to see more of? Are you as excited to take on 2016 as I currently am?

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  1. I just know you are going to rock 2016! I am really digging your Monday Musts feature and I'm hoping I can squeeze it in on my blog every now and then. The ARCs is a big thing for everyone. I know I try to be better every year and every year I get slightly better but not as good as I want to be so here is hoping I get it in gear for 2016. Can't wait to see how all these changes turn out for you!

    1. Thank you hun! I appreciate you cheering me on! :) I hope you can do it sometimes too! <3 And YES. I am getting better, but I'm far from where I really NEED to be in terms of requesting. LOL.

  2. I think your changes sounds great, especially since it will make blogging fun for you. I really love that I don't get all crazy with the ARCs. I love ARCs, but I am so incredibly selective about them. And that is great. And I love reading backlist items, too.

    Good luck on all your challenges (I really enjoy joining reading challenges too). I'm looking forward to your new posts.

    1. Thank you Quinn! I miss reading backlisted books, so it's time I make that change! ARCs are great like you said, but I definitely need to be even more picky.

      I'm so excited for the challenges! I am already so much more motivated than I was last year to read!

  3. JESS I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Trust me when I say this no ARC thing that I've been doing for the past MONTH is so freeing. I'M excited to blog again myself so I'm very hopeful that it will do the same for you! Yay!!!

    Second you know I already love the two new features you're throwing out there and I've already got next week's posts ready to pop up and join you in it. Plus if you quit doing Tasty Tuesday I may need to hurt you. You make me hungry every week but I love having new cooking ideas :D

    I've never really done anything colab wise and I'm not even sure how creative I could possibly get but if you ever have an idea for something and think "Hmm Sheri might be fun to do this with" you can always hit me up. I'm done with ARCs/tours/cover reveals/etc so my free time is endless. I mean I can try to squeeze it in with my WoW time ;D LOL

    Love your changes and I hope it brings that spark back to life!!

    1. Thank you lovely!!!! This means so much! I definitely have cut back on the ARCs, but I need to do it even more so. I just want to read when I want to! I'm so glad you're excited to blog again too! And I'm beyond thrilled you're going to do my features with me! *happy dance*

      I won't quit Tasty Tuesdays. They help hold me accountable on what I'm eating. :)

      And YES! I will definitely brainstorm some fun things we can do together!

  4. I think those changes look good! I know what you mean, and I have the same problem on at least half the things you mentioned. Soemtimes I get bored with blogging too. Reading ARCs sometimes feels like a chore. It's been a long time since I've read something just for fun, oh heck, even purchased a book just for fun!

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

    1. Thanks Majanka! I agree ARCs can feel that way! I hope you can read some books for you soon and girl- you def need to go purchase yourself a YOU book! :)

  5. I'm glad to hear that the changes you've made to the blog will help you feel motivated to continue blogging again!
    I'm awful at reading with deadlines and ALWAYS fail when I try to go on that route, so I'm trying to turn down the eARC requests and only ask for those books I'm REALLY excited about so I'll be happy to read those and not worry about deadlines!
    I'm also really glad that you are keeping Tasty Tuesdays because I love getting new recipe ideas now that I'm living on my own!

    1. Thanks Pili! It was definitely something I needed to change for my own sanity. haha. I'm so happy you love my Tasty Tuesdays! :) I definitely will keep doing them bc they hold me accountable on what I eat! :)

  6. Jess, I feel excited for you! You have so many great ideas and they all sounds great. In particular I love the Monday feature, I'm glad you are keeping the music element as I have founds lots of great new music thanks to you. I'm over back to back arcs too, I love the excitement of a FEW but I don't want all my books to be arcs. I want to read my own books too and I no longer want to write a review for every book I read so I love the freedom that reading my own books give me. Sorry for the essay, I can just identify so much with what you said, I thought of giving up blogging last year too but I know I'd regret it. So now I'm just doing a little bit less and I have weeks with no posts or weeks with 7 posts, so be it, it is what it is!

    1. Thank you Trish! I really want to bring the fun back into blogging! I felt the majority of 2015 was just... NOT. LOL. And thank you for saying that about music! I'm glad neither one of us gave up last year. Here's to us kicking butt in 2016!

  7. Sounds like some great brain-storming. I've been thinking over some things like that too, but I definitely started the year with a much lighter schedule than last year and that has made me happy. I need time to read whatever I want or participate in a meme or whatever. I'll think about joining yours here and there.

    I also signed up for a bunch of challenges, which is probably bad, but I had the same thoughts as you with getting excited that I could get a lot read that fit into them and hopefully do better with my reading. I joined two of the same ones you did.

    Anyway, I hope it all goes well and you find the joy in reading and blogging again!

    My Weekly Update

    1. Thank you Tressa! Isn't it amazing how taking the pressure off makes us so much happier? I hope we do well with our challenges and that they don't stress us out!

  8. Jess, you know I love all your new ideas for your features! I have a lot of fun doing the monday musts! I hope that you will keep that spark of excitement for blogging as the year goes on. I think it's def important to do those fun things that keep reading/blogging/etc fun. the challenges hopefully will help because I personally am so excited for doing mine too!

    1. Thanks Wendy! I'm so glad you have been so supportive and listen to me ramble about everything! <3


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