2020 and 52 Book Reviews

I began planning out some things to do in 2020 in October, a month of Preptober for Nanowrimo started a fire of prepping for the coming year very early. I discovered quickly that I spend a lot of time writing ideas, scribbling thoughts, and questioning everything and nothing all at once (a thank you from my anxiety riddled mind).

I knew I’d never be able to plan an entire year of blogging, but I broke things down month by month. Doing this pre-planning I wanted to revisit ideas I wanted to do, but wasn’t sure if I could manage. In 2019, I did some mini-events for poetry and book recommendations. The poetry one seemed to draw a little to no attention, so it ended early. One thing I never got to was book reviews.

Enter stage left, my personal challenge of book reviewing. I decided in 2020 to post, weekly, a book or story review. I’ve read many books in my time. I slowed down, but then eventually found myself back at it at a slower pace. I carved time out to enjoy reading again over the past year. I wrote 53, the amount of weeks in 2020, titles I wanted to cover. Many are books or stories I’ve read, some are newer reads I’ve devoured.

The one thing about reviews I’ve noticed about myself is if I don’t like something or downright hate something I won’t finish it and won’t leave a review somewhere for it. I won’t want to give attention toward anything negative nor will I move forward doing just that. So, these reviews are things I finished, liked, and wanted to share.

Why I Blog and Will Continue

I wrote the title of this and then spent too much time clutching my hot chocolate and staring. I came across many WordPress blog posts that posed the question: why do I blog? It’s a heavy question as I began to question myself. The original reason and the current have mushed.

Originally, I began blogging more and being more active on my website because I wanted to open myself up to my readership to remove some mystery of who I really am. For many years, I only did interviews and podcasts and never revealed much about myself. That hand in hand with my lack of videos, selfies, and social media created a shroud around myself. I was the mysterious woman writing spooky stories that gave readers nightmares sometimes, as I’ve been told.

This hurt me. At events, people didn’t recognize me. They would know my name or my work, but not me. They considered me less than professional as well because of this. In the public’s opinion, I had a good reputation for working hard, producing beautiful works of art, and a talented writer. Though I am all these things I’m more than them.

This year I’ve pushed past my anxiety to remedy some of these things. I’ve also begun sharing more of myself. I’m still not out in the public as much as others or nowhere near as others, but you can still see me more compared to past years.

All the above was why I began, but I continue for different reasons. I genuinely enjoy engaging in the community. I did this a small bit at the beginning of my public career but eventually stopped. This wasn’t because of my anxiety, but more a lack of interest. I couldn’t see how it was making a difference. I can now see actual engagements.

I have experienced so much in the last several months. I have even been recognized locally, refreshing and a happy-making moment. It gave me a sense of pride that my work isn’t just going into the void online and not making a difference.

I will continue blogging, even if there is a gap, there will always be a ‘next post’. For me it’s been a journey. One of a few I’m on. The past weeks have been full of illness, family, and birthday celebrations. All things that have made me happy, except for the illness. I am still moving forward and that, to me, is all that matters.