My 2018 Reading Challenge Results and Changes for the New Year

So long 2018, smell ya later! I know for a lot of people, this past year wasn't the best. For myself, it was just another rollercoaster year of extreme highs and extreme lows...with heavy emphasis on the lows,. But I'm not gonna talk about that here. Today I wanted to share with you my first ever Reading Challenge results, nothing to write home about, but it is rather interesting to look back on a year in books. Come along...

I wish there were an easy way to post the results as a page like this one (or mayhap there is but I am clueless as to how to do it) so I'll just go over the highlights:
  • My reading goal was to finish 30 books.
  • I completed 39 books by the end of the day on Dec. 31st, 2018, making a total of nearly 11,000 pages read!
  • My average rating was 3.6 (I don't give 4 & 5 stars lightly, these are reserved for books that I feel are uncommonly good.
  • 4 titles were by Shirley Jackson. Part of my goal-within-a-goal is to read ALL of her work. Technically I could call it 7 titles, as there was a 3-books-in-one omnibus included.
  • 5 titles were non-fiction. I'd like to up that a bit.
This year, I've upped my reading challenge to 50 books. A small feat by a lot of people's standards, but I'm a busy lady and a bit of slow reader. Hopefully I can continue to increase it as time goes on. Follow me on Goodreads if you want to keep up with my reading shenanigans, I'm trying to be diligent about writing reviews on each book as I finish it.

Next, I thought I'd go over a few changes that I'm making to the blog and Etsy Shop. As you may know by now, I've closed my website for good, and am operating solely out of the Etsy Shop. This is the first time since opening LaCreeperie in 2014 that I've only had one shop going. Sometimes business decisions are easy to make and hard to execute; or easy to execute and hard to maintain, depending on the nature of the business and the changes implemented.

As for the blog, I really enjoy the once a week schedule, however the holidays sure blew that method out of the water. My hope is to get back up on that horse (for the ga-zillionth time) and resume that schedule. The biggest problem I have with frequent blog posts isn't finding the time to write them, it's finding the content to write about. 

If you've followed me for any length of time, I'm sure you're aware that I have no interest in writing about the same old things everyone else and their mother writes about. Take the movie mini-reviews for example, I really, really enjoyed writing those, but no one cares. No one. OK, maybe one or two people. And I know the purpose of a blog is to put out the content YOU, as the writer, wants to put out. But when I put all this time and energy into something and no one pays any attention, well the wind falls promptly out of my sails, and I drop whatever it is and move on to the next thing.

With that, a recent snit over someone's assholish comment on their opinions on their own feed have turned me off to reviews of any kind. Opinions. Everybody's got 'em, and everyone feels only THEY are right and I'm just not that interested in adding to that endless pile of white noise. So alas, movie mini-reviews are no more. It's kind of a bummer, because I was planning on making a 'zine out of the reviews, with some added content to make a fun little publication. C'est la vie. I really need to focus on getting more of my other writing out there as another stream of income before I'm too old to even try.

I know a lot of this sounds negative, and it really isn't meant to be. It's actually just the way I've had to operate during the last 15 years of online retailing, and figuring out what works and what doesn't. This year, I am teaching myself Astrology and Numerology, and have already learned that the mission in this life, for me, is FREEDOM. That was an incredibly enlightening piece of information to learn, and makes so much sense looking back on my life's journey up to now.

So. What that tells me is not to give up and get some shitty job just to help pay the bills, I’ve come this far for this long, it ain't gonna change overnight. It actually fuels my fire to continue to sell books (and various other items), and to pursue my dream of supporting myself and my husband with the fruits of my writing. It's gotta happen sometime, right?

Happy New Year everyone, I hope all of your plans and dreams come to fruition. We sure need it after the shit-show that was 2018, but maybe it's what's gotten us to stir the pot and shake things up a bit. Kind of like the Punk movement in 1976-77. Oi!