Books,  Reading,  Writing World

Final Reading Update of 2019 & 2020 Goals

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Happy 2020! Confetti canyon and all that jazz. 😀

It’s New Year’s Day and what better day to wrap up the previous year and lay the foundation for the new year than New Year’s Day?! Also, it’s Wednesday. And on Wednesdays, we post a blog. ^_^ (Mean Girls reference for the win.) First, what books did I finish in December?

59: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek
Author: Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal
Genre: Horror/Supernatural
Rating: 5 stars
I was surprised by how good this was, but I probably shouldn’t have been. I forget how much writing experience they have. Rhett and Link are my favorite Youtubers, hosts of Good Mythical Morning, and they’ve written a television show, short skits, music videos, an autobiography, several commercials, and a documentary, in addition to whatever they’ve done on the show. I wasn’t expecting to be as into as I was either, because there were multiple POVs, and it was rather omniscient, plus there were a lot of early 90s pop culture references, and I didn’t get all of them, but it was a lot of fun and ridiculous and dark and well done.

60: Story Genius
Author: Lisa Cron
Genre: Non-fiction/Writing
Rating: 4 stars
This talks about story telling in relation to brain science, and for the most part, this was interesting and gave me some useful brainstorming tools to try going forward. It helped, too, that I had a brand new idea that I hadn’t even started a notebook for yet, so things were pretty ground zero, which allowed me to get the full experience. The downside, for me personally, is that she breaks things down too much. I’m not a one-step-at-a-time kind of brainstormer and trying to do that for these exercises literally gave me a headache. Oftentimes, I did multiple steps at once just because I had to, because story things don’t come to me one layer at a time, they come in waves, and I almost can’t break it down and still understand what the heck I’m doing. Many times I would get to the next step in the book only to realize I’d done it three steps ago. Obviously, I can’t adopt the “Story Genius Method” in it’s entirety, which isn’t the point, but there are several things that are going to help me moving forward, plus I better understand what I’m doing right so I can do it more often on purpose and not wait for it happen by accident. There are gaps in my process, and this book definitely helped.

Next, how did I fare on last year’s goals?

2019 Goals
Write & Edit two books
– Nope. I’m not even going to give myself partial credit on this. I started the year off on on a rickety bridge and sometime during the year that bridge collapsed on me, but I know on a good year I could have done this.

Hit E6 in Phantom of the Opera
– No. I gave up on this in March. Then decided to try again in May. And promptly gave up again in July. It’s not that I’m not capable of hitting it. I can hit a D6. The problem is that I won’t relax. I even signed up for studio time, twice, but it wasn’t as soundproof as I needed it to be to relax. So, then I decided to go up to work while it was closed, but I still couldn’t relax and I realized, I sound awful when I’m clenched up everywhere. It was bad for my self-esteem. Lol! I pretty much have to give up on this for the time being.

Read 60 Books
– YES!!! For the love of God, I accomplished one thing. A big thing. And I’m am over the moon excited about it. Sure, it was a pinch stressful once or twice, but I did it, with a bit of time to spare. Can a girl get a prize?! 😛 I almost finished one more, but it’s a bit tedious to read, so it didn’t happen. It should be finished in the next day or two though.

2020 Goals
Write & Edit One Book
– I know. Who am I? Am I okay? But I need to pick something I know I can accomplish so I don’t freak out and thus become less productive, thus fulfilling my fears of failing by trying to be too ambitious, even though I know I’m capable of doing more.

Buy Less Books
– This is serious. Lol! I bought way more books than I read. That’s a problem. Plus I have stuff I want to reread, so the goal is 26 books or less, or around half or less the total number of books I plan to read. I’m trying to catch up. ^_^

Read 53 Books
– It took a bit of work to average 5 books a month, but hopefully I’ve developed a good enough reading habit to be able to manage 4 books a month, on average, without feeling like a I have a part time job as a reader.

Those are the main goals. I have seven others – I know; there’s a lot going on – though they’re mostly reminders of things I need to keep up with and things I’m working on, like saving money, working on my hobbies, studying Spanish, and the classes I want to take at Masterclass. I recently saw a review of Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass, and I’ve been wanting to take it since it went up, so I’m starting that today or tomorrow.

Writing Decade in Review

10 years ago, 2010, I had a goal to write regularly, start querying again, and get my finances in some kind of a decent shape. I had finished one book in last 7 years, it wasn’t good, and I couldn’t save a dollar for more than a month to save my actual life.

The good news is that I learned to save money and actually keep it in the bank for its intended purpose.

The other good news is that I’m writing regularly and have been since 2012. I’ve finished 15 books in the last ten years, and my writing and storytelling have, thankfully, improved in obvious and noticeable ways.

I’m not where I want to be, with anything really, but maybe I’m on the way, at least.

I hope 2019 was a great year for you guys! 2020 is the year of the Rat. I don’t really think it means anything, but it’s literally my year, so why not be optimistic? 😀

Another year, another decade, in the books. Onward. 🙂


    • Krystal Jane

      Happy New Year! 😀

      I’ve read over 50 books the last two years, so I’m hoping I can swing it. Story Genius is definitely worth reading when you’re in the mood for a craft book.

  • Kristy A.

    I love that you have a goal to buy less books. I’m in a similar position with both ebooks and physical books. I’m on a buying ban until March, but after that, I think I’m going to take a cue from you and put a limit on the total I can buy this year.

    Good luck with your goals this year! And congratulations on meeting your reading goal last year!

    • Krystal Jane

      Thank you! I want to have at least two months this year where I buy zero books. There’s a book I want to buy next month for sure, and I few I went ahead and bought this month. We can do this!

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