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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Becky’s 2018 Reading Resolutions

As promised yesterday in this post where I assessed my 2017 Reading Resolutions, here are my 2018 Reading and Professional Resolutions.

2018 Resolution: I will read more romance and bestselling authors with who I am not familiar.

In my assessment of my 2017 resolutions I noticed that I was a bit too broad in my resolutions last year. I did not assign myself a specific genre. As a result, I read almost everything EXCEPT romance last year and that is because romance is my least favorite personally. Heck I read 5 westerns for goodness sakes. The ARRT 2018-19 genre study will be on romance and although I know that I will not be able to make every meeting, I would like to try to at least speed read a romance book every 2 months using the genre study as my guide. I already know I will be reading one romance for the April  meeting of the ARRT Book Club Study. Click here for details. This I can do, and it will help me. I will attend the meetings which I can, and I will follow the notes.

This assessment process also had me look harder at my other reading areas where I am falling behind and I realized that while I have a handle on the most popular authors from a few years ago, new ones have popped up in my time since I left work at the library. I have fewer chances to just pick up those books and page through them and talk to patrons about them. As a result, I am less familiar with the current most popular authors. I will look to learn more about those authors and their titles this year.

2018 Resolution: I will continue to build on the progress of my new non-paid blog review strategy.

As I mentioned here, I completely changed up how I record my non-paid reviews. Now that I have worked out the kinks, I have started getting basic info into Goodreads immediately after finishing a book as you can see here with Sing Unburied Sing. Every few weeks, I will go in and clean up those rough reviews and post an update here on the blog, but I am sure I will continue to refine the entire process. This change has both allowed me to be less stressed and write more useful reviews for you to use as you help readers.

I only started this half way through the year, so I am committing to using this strategy and constantly improving it. By the end of 2018, I am sure I will have plenty of things to say about this one.

2018 Resolution: The backlist is the librarians' best friend, and I need to keep reading older titles at a higher rate

I tell all of you this all of the time. I live it when I am giving out reading suggestions. I encourage all of you to do this too, but I cannot only rely on the books I read when they were new a few years ago to use as my backlist suggestions. I need to keep discovering backlist gems now, in 2018. Last year I resolved to read more backlist titles, but when push came to shove, those titles were few and far between. I gave my reasons and excuses yesterday, but honestly, I could have done better.

This year I am giving myself a second chance to make this right by leaving this note for future Becky-- No excuses allowed when I come back to this post at the end of 2018 and do my annual assessment.

2018 Resolution: Time for some transitions

Last year was my second full year of working for myself as a trainer. I definitely built my business up to a level I am conformable with. I had more training sessions, library visits, and paid writing assignments this year than last. I am plenty busy, any more would be too much. So I think it is time to move from growing my business to plotting my next professional moves. I have talked with a few of my trusted colleagues about where I want to head in the future, but those plans are longer term. This year I am going to sit down and really think about where I want my professional life to be in the next 2-4 years. Once I have more concrete plans I will share them on the blog, but creating meaningful and attainable professional goals is a process.

The first part of that process is to transition from a few of the things I have been doing for years so that there is time and energy to move forward on to new things. Some of this I have already started doing. For example, while I have committed to staying on the ARRT Steering Committee for a few more years, I have transitioned off the Genre Study team completely, and have stepped back to the number 2 position for the Book Club Study. I even have plans to step back further from this position during 2018. I should note I have been actively training my replacements in all situations.

With those responsibilities that I have shedded, I have already filled in with s few new ones. I have begun to be much more involved with the Horror Writers Association as a volunteer. I was on two Stoker Award Committees for the 2018 awards banquet and am coordinating the entire Librarians’ Day coming in March.

Again though, on all fronts this is just a start. I am committed to change and 2018 needs to be a transitional year if I am going to move forward professionally.

So, that’s the list for 2018. I will check back on this post throughout the year privately [as I always do] but I will also revisit it publicly at the start of 2019.

I hope the last two days have inspired you to take your reading resolutions more seriously. Back tomorrow with a guest post.

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