As the new 2014 year has been approaching I spent A LOT of time getting my blogging fixes in order. Parajunkee's View has written an excellent post about this topic. As I read her entry, I realized this is exactly what I have been doing for the past two to three weeks. As a result, I have decided to write a little bit about the process of doing that.
One of the most important elements of being a blogger, especially when you wish to start a new year with bigger and better resolutions, is to get organized. 60% of the work is staying organized, no joke. It's usually helpful to have three things: a calendar, a diary, and spreadsheets.
This year I have upgraded my organizational methods. I have calendar for tracking mostly my stats and progress throughout the weeks, but also for appointments on review requests and other things. I have a designated time to spend on the site every day, since there are other priorities that I have to tend to through the day as well, so naturally I keep a notebook designated just for that, my BookserkTime. This is for my to do lists, and for notes for ideas and other things. I do use a lot of spreadsheets. I track my entries, content, and group a lot of content together for ideas. There are a few more notebooks I keep for tracking various things through the year. These things are probably my most important elements for remaining organized. Staying organized after you've built so much content on your website can be the difference between evolving and imploding onto yourself.
This year was all about creating the next level of fresh start for GoneBookserk. Out with the old look, in with the new, I changed and upgraded the stylistic look of the website. I love it so much more, and I feel a whole new adventure beginning. Out with the old review rating, in with the new, this is something I had been wanting to do for a long time, but I knew I needed to wait to have the right inspiration at the right time. 2014 is that time!
I have switched things up a bit too. While I was reviewing all kinds of books last year, this year I plan to focus more on the Classics, Mystery, Science Fiction, Global Fiction (mainly Russian and Japanese), and of course, NonFiction. I have also committed to doing review requests, something I enjoyed doing but I wasn't organized enough to keep up with all the requests I had, therefore became overwhelmed and no longer enjoyed it. This year is about getting back to that, the right way. Lastly, and probably one of the most exciting aspects of switching it up this year is to actually connect to a larger blogging community and 'haunt' several people that appeal to my interests.
It isn't a fair change towards a new path without reexamining the old. The best way to know where you're going is to know how far you've come. Starting out the 2014 year, I have done just done. I did a lot of that, actually. I started out by looking at my reading priorities for 2014. I reminisced over old times. I took at look at all the books I read in 2011, 2012, 2013, and even my favorites of 2013. I revisited my most memorable moments in the history of the site. And ultimately, it all led to my 2014 resolutions.
Staying motivated is highly important when you're involved in the creative process. It can become overwhelming. It can be exhausting, sometimes. It can really dry you out to keep doing it day in and day out. I had a few burnouts in 2013. For 2014, I have decided to pace myself. I am much more realistic about my schedule, and I dedicate just a little bit of time every day to this site without doing too much, but not slacking off either. Just enough to be able to enjoy it and be proud. Enjoying the process is a stimulus for motivation. In 2014, I want to reward myself more than I did in 2013, for all my blogging milestones. There were a lot more in 2013 than I let myself celebrate. 2014 is all about celebrating all blogging milestones, big and small, even the smallest.
Finally, the most important part of this next direction, like Parajunkee has mentioned, is to write better. As an aspiring writer, I have to be a better writer. The first part in doing that is to slow down and revise all that I write. I make a lot of stupid typos in a hurry, then I go back to my previous posts and it drives me crazy that I missed a few letters here and there. Honing in my writing craft by slowing down revision is one of the main ways I want to grow this year. And the second part of it, is just writing much more passionate, thorough, and genuine reviews and personal material.
Let the 2014 year begin!