February 2020: A Month In Review
It's already been another month! If you're new to the blog, every month, it's my resolution to write a reflection about my reading, writing, and blogging activities for the past few weeks. I'm also going to link every post that came out this month so you can easily catch up on anything you missed over the course of the month. If you want to make sure you don't miss a single post, don't forget to give the social media accounts a follow: @readwriteandme on Twitter and @readingwritingandme on Instagram. And if you haven't already, check out my other blog Music, Musings, and Me and podcast The Empathy Factor for more content.
I want to start off this post by thanking all of you and telling you how amazed I am at this months blog stats. They're some of the best I've seen in my almost three years of blogging. While stats are by far not the most important part of the blog, it does warm my heart and inspire me to keep putting more of myself into the blog. It's amazing to see that my words really do reach so many of you from around the world. I also find it extra encouraging coming after the restructuring I'd been working on through January. Shifting the content and changing the schedule made me nervous about losing some of you, but it has only bolstered the relative success of the site. I'm glad that you're enjoying the content, and if there's anything you'd like to see post wise, feel free to email in suggestion to email@example.com or leaving a comment.
As far as my reading this month, it's not the amazing quantity it used to be, but my life is also very different now. I'm slowly learning that five books I genuinely loved makes just as successful of a reading month as fifteen books I mildly enjoyed. I think my whole mission for this year is to focus on quality over quantity. This seems to be working because out of the nine books I've finished this year, I've given all but three genuine five star reviews, and I like to think I keep a very high standard for five star books. I finished six books this month, which is two better than last month, in a wide array of genres. I read two YA books, Layoverland and The Gravity of Us, that I absolutely loved. I've been much choosier with what YA I read, and I think that paired with reading less fiction overall has helped me fall back in love with YA. It's still the category of fiction that I fit into best, but I am growing out of a good portion of it. Realizing I don't have to read every new release has definitely improved my outlook on the category. Beyond the YA I read, I mixed in a variety of nonfiction offerings from Ronan Farrow's explosive book, Catch and Kill, to a book on nutrition, How Not to Die, to a celebrity memoir from Jessica Simpson, and a history in Drift by Rachel Maddow. Reading books on a wide variety of different topics has definitely made it easier to keep up my reading. I get less tired of it when I'm constantly shifting through topics and genres.
Another major part of my reading this month was listening to audiobooks. I did more travel this month than usual and while I have a hard time concentrating on print books in airports, I love listening to an audiobook. I wrote a post about their advantages this month, and they were definitely reflected in my overall books completed. I finished two long books in a weekend without feeling like I did any reading at all. I fall in and out of love with audiobooks, but, right now, they seem to be just what I need. In accordance with my book buying goal, my only purchase was one of the audiobooks. I'm going to say that I met my goal as the audiobooks don't require shipping and don't take up space. I'm kinda bending it so that I can give myself a check mark, but I realized going into this that there was no way I'd get away with not buying any books.
As for posting, I feel like I've found a good schedule with it. I've naturally started to generally post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with book reviews coming on Mondays or Fridays and discussion posts on Wednesdays or as needed. These were the two most popular kinds of posts from the surveys, so I want to give you what you want. If you have anything book community related (or possibly not if the topic seems relevant) you want me to discuss, please feel free to comment it or email it in. There are only so many ideas I have for those on my own. I'm excited I've been able to comfortably post so much lately. I'm such a perfectionist that finally releasing myself from expectation has seemed to be the key to allowing me to create more content and better content.
I want to add in a quick moment to say some quick things about the podcast as well. This month has been incredible on the podcast too. While I've struggled a bit with deciding how I want to structure that posting schedule and content as well, it's continuing to grow. It's such a small, new platform for me that I notice every time someone takes the time to download and listen to an episode, and, if you're a listener, I appreciate you so much. Both The Empathy Factor and Music, Musings, and Me are tiny ventures that I started as a personal outlet, and it means a lot to me that some of you have taken notice now that I post updates about them on the Twitter. I'll post links to this month's episodes and extra posts beneath the new blog posts so you can easily check those out if you're new.
Finally, to wrap up this month, I want to set goals for next month. It'll be my busiest month in my personal life in a while, so we'll see how my reading will work out, but I'm hoping to keep it consistent with the last two months. Also, I'm hoping to keep up my regular three times a week posting schedule. To see how that's going, make sure you follow on Instagram where I'll keep you up to date on what posts are coming for the week. If you want to see more about what I'm reading at the moment or special behind the scenes shelf tours or project updates, all of those are uploaded through my InstaStories. Towards the end of March will also be my three year blogging anniversary. Three years both feels so short and like such a long time. I'm working on coming up with fun posts to celebrate, but I also want them to be helpful. If you have any questions about book blogging, being a teen blogger, book stuff or anything else, please feel free to send them to me so I can compile them for the anniversary post!
Everything on the Blog February 2020
Empathy Factor Episodes
On Music, Musings, and Me
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