December 31, 2015

Looking Forward and Looking Back 2015

Well, 2015 did not exactly go as planned.

My Goodreads goal was left out of reach. I took a couple unexplained of blogging breaks. There were weeks without comments, tweets, or any other sign that I was actually alive. Twitter intimidated me. Comments went unanswered. Some posts were written just for the sake of having a post. I did not have all of the time that I wanted. 

But Crazy for YA is still here, and that is more than I could ever ask for. 

There are good and bad aspects of every year. All in all, 2015 was a pretty good reading year. If you look at my favorite books of 2015, you will see quite a few amazing ones there. Mathematically, I posted at least once a week (or some equivalent of that). I made a dozen great blogging friends. We hosted our first readathon and successfully completed our first yearly blogging challenge. 

Let's discuss how the year went.

2015 Challenges

I (foolishly) set my Goodreads reading goal at 100 books. I thought that it would be an easy number to reach. I mean, it seemed like everyone else was setting their goal for 100 or even higher, so I should do the same, right? (Wrong, one of the most important things that I learned this year is that everyone reads at a different pace. Mine just happens to be slower than others, and that is okay.)

I read a total of 66 books this year. If you want to see a break down of all of them, check out my Goodreads Year in Books

I participated in my first yearly blogging challenge-- the 2015 Book Blogger Discussion Post Challenge. Here is my sign-up post that explains the challenge. I originally challenged myself to write 13-24 discussion posts. And I am extremely happy to say that I succeeded! I wrote a grand total of 15 discussion posts this year!

Here is a list of all of the discussion posts that I wrote for the challenge.

I am incredibly grateful to Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight for hosting this challenge. I loved developing my discussion style and finding different ways to incorporate discussions on my blog. But, my favorite part of the challenge was all of the wonderful and thoughtful comments that you guys left. Thanks for being so awesome and supportive!

They are hosting the challenge again this year, for anyone who is interested in challenging yourself to write more discussions and interact with readers!

Blogging Highlights

We hosted our first readathon! Even though it did not have the most participants (I believe that it ended up being a total of 5), we all had a blast. Max and I are already thinking about hosting another readathon this summer. Would anyone be interested?

Click the image to see the wrap-up post for the readathon with links to all of the posts and challenges.

I also participated in the Blogger Positivity Campaign hosted by Jillian @ Jillian's Books. The goal was to increase positivity and encourage kindness, compassion, and friendship in the blogosphere. I think the campaign was a huge success. 

Much to my surprise, Crazy for YA reached 100 followers on Bloglovin' this year! 

Over the summer, I labored for a whole week to create the new blog design that you see here. I spent hours pouring over colors, designs, and tutorials on code to figure out how to tweak everything exactly how I wanted it. I am still constantly messing with it (What can I say? I am a perfectionist.) but I like how it turned out. 

I also finally decided to join Twitter. It was simultaneously the most exciting and scariest moment of my blogging life this year. I was terrified that I would not have any followers (but I ended the year with more than 100!) and that I would have not idea how to use it. But I love all of the conversations that I have been able to have with new bloggers because of Twitter. It also keeps me up to date with all of the bookish and blogging news (and gives me an ample supply of cute puppy pictures!). I would highly suggest joining Twitter if you have not already. You can find me @Crazyfor_YA.

Goals for 2016

My Goodreads reading challenge for 2016 is to read 80 books. This is a more reasonable number for me, but still a challenge considering how many I read this year. I am ready to step up my reading game!

I have decided to try a new reading challenge for 2016. I am joining Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl's 2016 Debut Author Challenge.

I did not read as many debut novels this year as I planned (Red Queen is the only one that I can remember). So this is the perfect chance to support new authors and challenge myself to read new books.

I am aiming to read 12 books by 2016 debut authors next year. That adds up to one debut novel a month, which is feasible for me. 

You can still sign up for the challenge here!

I am also setting a personal goal to read a poem everyday next year. I have never been much of a poetry buff, but I feel like I am missing out on an incredible genre full of potential. Hence, my commitment to reading (or listening to) at least one new poem a day. If you have any poem recommendations, please leave them in the comments below!

Thank you

Finally, I would like to thank each and every one of you. Thank you to my followers, old and new, who are willing to deal with my terrible (but undeniably funny) puns, constant rambling, and random thoughts. I know I can be awkward and shy, but I think that this community has brought out the best in me. Thank you guys for showing me how to be confident in myself and in my writing. Thank you for sharing the bookish feels. Thank you for being there for me.

I hope you all have a wonderful year!

What were your reading goals for 2015? Did you accomplish any of them? What are your goals for 2016? What is your favorite poem? What was your favorite part of 2015? What do you want to see more of in 2016?

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