July, like every month since March, has passed extraordinarily slow but also in the blink of an eye. This month has been pretty eventful for not having left the house at all. Like always, it was full of ups and downs, but I accomplished a lot. I turned 17 at the start of the month and got my ukulele, which I've been learning how to play. I filled out the form to hopefully get my college class schedule for freshman year soon. And, most notably, I launched my YouTube channel where I upload a new video every Monday and Friday. If you haven't heard about it yet, I'd love it if you'd check it out and subscribe here. I make book, music, and college advice content. It's been a major learning curve, but I really do enjoy filming and editing the videos.
I also had a lot of blogging achievements! While numbers and stats are far from the most important things, it's still validating to see the blog keep growing and to know that people are enjoying what I'm creating. I've been focused on writing and planning content that I'm genuinely excited about and that will be sustainable for the longterm. Towards the middle of the month, I hit 100,000 all time views on the blog, and I got to over 800 Instagram followers. If you aren't following on Instagram, I give real time updates on what I'm reading, share extra content that I don't have space for on the blog, do book hauls and unboxings, and give you a choice in what new posts you want to see! You can find the page @readingwritingandme or by clicking here.
Besides YouTube, my other new addition is a BookShop storefront. You might have noticed in recent posts that I've been using my affiliate BookShop links to make it easier for you to shop the books I'm talking about. I've also curated a couple different lists to give you some inspiration if you're looking to go book shopping. You can find those here. I'm really excited to work with BookShop because they're a great way to support indie bookstores from home, and they're the first place I've found to have competitive pricing with Amazon on most books. Hopefully, you'll find these links useful and consider my shop when making book purchases. It would go a long way to supporting the blog.
My final milestone was finishing writing the first draft of my latest WIP. I started seriously writing it in May, and I was really hoping to finish a draft by July. There were lots of times I doubted I would hit that goal, but I managed to make it happen. I've been working on revisions the last couple days and really enjoying the project as a whole. If everything goes according to plan, I'll get it to first readers before school starts. I'm really trying to spend August wrapping up projects and preparing advanced content so that everything can keep progressing even as I adjust to school.
I want to get back into more short story/flash fiction writing this month because I haven't flexed that muscle in a while. Folklore made my brain start thinking of a lot of new ideas for quick stories. Lily Meade had come up with the idea of a YA anthology based on the album, but she ended up creating a database to gather stories from writers everywhere who were inspired by Folklore instead called Folklore's Invisible Strings. I want to submit a short story there at some point, and you should definitely check it out and support Lily in her super cool idea.
On to the actual reading I've done this month. Then I'll share my post recap so you can get caught up on any posts you might have missed.
I finished 8 books this month. It would've been 9, but I finished the last book I started in July on the 2nd, so I'm counting it towards August. I was on a roll earlier this month, but I hit a slump towards the end that I'm trying to get out of. It's about average for how much I've read during the pandemic. Going into August, I'm not sure what to expect from my reading. I don't have a ton of ARCs this month, so I'm going to try to get ahead for September and focus on the books I bought for myself for my birthday that have been waiting for me. I'm hoping I'll get in quite a few books so that I don't feel pressured to read a ton when I start classes in September. Honestly, though, reading has been one of the best escapes recently.
I loved so many books I read this month. If I was picking favorites, they would probably be Today, Tonight Tomorrow and Felix Ever After (everyone is completely correct; this book is amazing). I had one DNF that I just couldn't get into, and my average rating was a 4.5. I read 2 nonfiction books while the rest were YA. 5 were ARCs, 1 was a library book, and 2 were books I bought (yes, I broke my book buying ban. It was a good run).
Books I Finished Reading:
Today, Tonight, Tomorrow
The Voting Booth
He Must Like You
Recommended For You
Felix Ever After
My Favorite 2 Blog Posts & Videos This Month:
On The Blog
As far as blog posts go, I managed to keep to my new schedule posting Tuesday through Thursday with new videos every Monday and Friday to round out the week. I've found keeping to a schedule helps everything feel more manageableand gives me more space to be creative. I shared 8 reviews, 3 listicles, and 2 author interviews.
On YouTube, I uploaded 3 college advice videos, 3 book videos, an album reaction to Taylor Swift's new album, a birthday memory video, and yesterday's video recapping all of my favorite things from this past month including books, movies, music, clothes, and more.
Since that fits with the theme to today's post, I'll include it here:
I hope you had a good July and a great reading month. I'm so excited about what's coming up for August, though I'm nervous about starting college through Zoom. There are tons of new books I can't wait to get into for August. Let me know which books you're most excited about next month in the comments.
July YouTube Videos:
Music Blog Updates:
Full Folklore Discussion + Favorite Lyrics
July Blog Posts: