Hello dear reader(s) and a very happy New Year! 2019 is finally here and I hope that it will be happy, healthy, prosperous and interesting as you want it to be. I truly wish you all the best and hope that when you eventually look back on it you’ll say it was a grand year. 🙂 Speaking of looking back, as is custom, I wanted to reflect about the past year, chat about my plans for this year and do some housekeeping on the blog. So without further ado let’s get started. 🙂
Firstly regarding housekeeping: you’ll notice some small changes on the blog. I wanted the blog to reflect who I am and what I like to write about, so I changed the subtitle of the site and added my preferred social media on the right hand corner where all the widgets are. Additionally, I edited the About page – I wanted to introduce myself and the site for people who just found the blog via a link and were curious to know something about me, what I do and what I write about. Honestly, I know that some people blog for a living, and their blogs/sites and about sections look so polished and professional… As they should, because they’re freelancers and they make a living of it, but I don’t write blog posts for a living. I have a blog and write posts for it because I enjoy writing and these texts are the only regular writing that I do.
Speaking of writing, last year I decided to do dedicated and (most importantly) regular book reviews on the blog because I wanted to improve my writing skills. And looking back it was one of the best things I could have done regarding reading and writing. It made me more focused on the texts I was reading, because in the back of my mind I was going like Oh, this is interesting! I need to make a note of that for the review. Moreover, I spent more time reflecting about what I’ve read and what I wanted to write in my review, because I didn’t just want to write my initial impression of the text. Although it sometimes doesn’t look like it, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to write in my review and how I wanted to say the things I wanted and structure the review so that it made sense to the reader. I don’t think I always did a brilliant job, but I tried my best and I learned a lot about writing through this process.
Regarding books, reviews and the reviewing process itself I wanted to chat a bit about how I chose what to review. As you’ve noticed, I tend to review a series of novels after I’ve finished the whole series, rather than just reviewing book by book. However, if it’s an ongoing series that has more books forthcoming I will typically review the books that I’ve read so far in bulk as a series, or if the author published just one book in the series and another is coming in a year or so I’ll review the book separately. But since I like to bingeread 😀 and if the waiting time to the last book in a series is not an eternity (we’re all looking at you GRRM) I’ll wait until the last book is out and then review everything as a series.
Furthermore, since I was just browsing through My Year in Books from 2018 on Goodreads, I’ve read some books that I didn’t review on the blog. The main reason is that I really didn’t like those books, or they just weren’t my cup of tea as the British say. 😀 Typically, I don’t like to talk or write a dissertation about something I didn’t like. Everything is personal preference, we all have different tastes, and everyone has an opinion – they’re like asses, everyone has one. If I’m going to spend 3 hours writing about something and posting it on the blog I’d rather it be something that I’ve truly enjoyed and liked, than something I’ve disliked.
On the other hand, I also think it could be interesting for the author(s) to receive feedback, even if it is negative. I know that authors are self-conscious, they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and they also have editors who will correct mistakes and give them advice and feedback before their work is even published. So they probably don’t need a Negative Nancy pointing out something that they’re already aware of. However, if a person can structure a negative feedback in a polite manner and offer their personal opinion in a constructive and well thought off way, I don’t think it should be a problem. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to do this, and personally I don’t think I’m skilled enough to do that so I’d rather not write about things that I’ve disliked. Move on to something you enjoy. Ain’t nobody got time for that negativity. 😀
Concerning my plans for this year I’ve decided that I want to incorporate a variety of topics on the blog. Like everyone else I like and enjoy many different things. I adore books and reading and writing about what I’ve read. But I also love skincare, makeup, music, food, TV shows, movies and a lot of other things. And I want to write about these things as well, and learn how to write well about those topics. Because I think you can write an amazing, well written and informative text about makeup the same way you can write an amazing, well written and informative review about a book or movie. So I’d like to experiment with that and see how I do.
Since we’re on the subject of experimenting, over on Twitter (@NarratriceNessa if you want to find me there) I’ve started a sort of fun series that I’m calling Nessa can’t do a selfie and WTF is hair styling anyway?! 😀 Basically every time I have a day off I get up in the morning, do my skincare, make a cup of coffee and sit down at my desk and play with makeup. I try to practice what I’ve learned by reading about makeup or watching YouTube videos, or just play with colours and do something I don’t usually do because I don’t have the time. I do this for fun, not really caring is it going to look good or not. The point is to play with makeup, have fun, practice doing makeup and generally having an hour of undisturbed self-care time to myself. I’m thinking of writing about that process for the blog every few months or so, just to see how that project is coming along. It would give me a chance to give my opinion about the products I use and chat about my makeup aesthetics.
All things considered, I think this is going to be an interesting writing year. I certainly have a lot of things planned, but I’ll see how everything will pan out. However, I don’t want to stress myself out too much with deadlines and to do lists for the blog, regardless of the type of content and changes I want to implement. This is not my job, I don’t get payed for this and I do this in my free time, because it’s fun and helps me improve my writing and editing skills. So we’ll see how everything goes. Until then dear reader(s) enjoy, have fun and have a wonderful day!