Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blogging Fixes and Refinning the Bookserk Direction

One of the most rewarding experiences I have been fortunate enough to have has been this website.  Books, for me, have always held a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that I have greatly grown from.  I own much of who I am to the books I have read, and the experiences I have had on this website.

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, 20122013, 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!

Bookserk by Author

Milan Kundera (4) Jane Austen (3) Stephenie Meyer (3) Suzanne Collins (3) Bernhard Schlink (2) F. Scott Fitzgerald (2) H.G. Wells (2) Herman Hesse (2) JRR Tolkien (2) Jules Verne (2) Khaled Hosseini (2) Paulo Coelho (2) Sam Kean (2) Stieg Larsson (2) Sylvia Day (2) A.G. Howard (1) Adam Johnson (1) Alafair Burke (1) Albert Einstein (1) Alexander Soderberg (1) Alicia Hendley (1) Amanda Hocking (1) Andre Dubus III (1) Ann Patchett (1) Aravind Adiga (1) Azar Nafisi (1) Barbara Kingsolver (1) Becky Aikman (1) Camilla Lackberg (1) Carl Sagan (1) Cat Hellisen (1) Charles Webb (1) Charlotte Bronte (1) Chinua Achebe (1) Chris Prentiss (1) Chrisanna Northrup (1) Christopher S. Stewart (1) Clare Clark (1) Clive Barker (1) Coltaire Rapaille (1) Dai Sijie (1) Daniel J. Levitin (1) Daniel Kahneman (1) Daniel Pink (1) David Foster Wallace (1) David Levithan (1) David Sedaris (1) Debra Driza (1) Domenica Ruta (1) Don Miguel Ruiz (1) Douglas Adams (1) Elie Weisel (1) Emily Bronte (1) Emlyn Chand (1) Enid Shomer (1) Epictetus (1) George Orwell (1) George R.R. Martin (1) Greg Graffin (1) Gretchen Rubin (1) Harper Lee (1) Haruki Murakami (1) Herman Koch (1) JR Moehringer (1) Jane Eyre (1) Jennifer Egan (1) Jodi Meadows (1) John Eldredge (1) John Englander (1) John Kenney (1) John Steinbeck (1) John T Cacioppo (1) Joyce Carol Oates (1) Judy Blume (1) Julia Glass (1) Karen Thompson Walker (1) Karol Jackowski (1) Kate Chopin (1) Kate Walbert (1) Katherine Boo (1) Lauren DeStefano (1) Lisa See (1) Lois Lowry (1) Lou Marinoff PhD (1) Madhulika Sikka (1) Maggie Stiefvater (1) Margot Livesey (1) Marissa Meyer (1) Martha Stout (1) Mary Roach (1) Mary Shelley (1) Meg Howrey (1) Megan Abbott (1) Natalie Babbitt (1) Nujood Ali (1) Oliver Harris (1) Paulo Giordano (1) Poet Charles Swain (1) Poet Margaret E. Sangster (1) Priscille Sibley (1) Ray Bradbury (1) Rebecca Dean (1) Richard Francis (1) Robert Louis Stevenson (1) Robert M. Pirsig (1) Rudyard Kipling (1) Sarah Gruen (1) Sharon Lebell (1) Shirley MacLaine (1) Stasi Eldredge (1) Stephen Chbosky (1) Sue Kidd Monk (1) Susan Cain (1) Susanna Calahan (1) Tara Conklin (1) Tea Obreht (1) Terri Giuliano Long (1) Thrity Umrigar (1) Victoria Hislop (1) Virginia Morell (1) Voltaire (1) Zora Neale Hurston (1)

Bookserk Globally

Bookserk by Publishing House

Harper Perennial Publishing (8) Random House Publishing (7) Crown Publishing (6) Little Brown and Company Publishing (6) Harper Publishing (4) Knopf Publishing (4) Scholastic Press Publishing (4) Vintage Publishing (4) W.W. Norton Company Publishing (4) Anchor Publishing (3) Atria Books Publishing (3) Free Press Publishing (3) HarperCollins Publishing (3) Penguin Books Publishing (3) Riverhead Books Publishing (3) Ballantine Books Publishing (2) Bantam Books Publishing (2) BarnesNoble Classics Publishing (2) Broadway Publishing (2) Harmony Publishing (2) Harper Paperback Publishing (2) Hyperion Publishing (2) Katherine Tegen Books Publishing (2) Simon and Schuster Publishing (2) William Morrow Publishing (2) Algonquin Books Publishing (1) Amber Allen Publishing (1) Amulet Books Publishing (1) Berkley Trade Publishing (1) Blue Crown Press Publishing (1) Createspace Publishing (1) Crown Business Publishing (1) Del Rey Publishing (1) Dover Publishing (1) Ember Publishing (1) Faber and Faber Publishing (1) Farrar Straus Giroux Publications (1) Feiwel Friends Publishing (1) Five Rivers Chapmanry Publishing (1) Gallery Books Publishing (1) Grand Central Publishing (1) HarperOne (1) Hill and Wang Publishing (1) Hogarth Publishing (1) It Books Publication (1) MJF Books Publishing (1) MTV books and Pocket Books Publishing (1) McGraw Hill Higher Education Publishing (1) Nelson Publishing (1) Pamela Dorman Books Publishing (1) Pantheon Publishing (1) Plaza Y Janes Publishing (1) Plume Publishing (1) Pocket Publishing (1) Puffin Publishing (1) Quill Publishing (1) Reagan Arthur Books Publishing (1) Science Bookshelf Publishing (1) Signet Classics Publishing (1) St. Martin's Press Publishing (1) Touchstone Publishing (1) Virago Publishing (1) Washington Square Press Publishing (1)