How my books blog changed my life

I set the goal of reading and reviewing a book each week for a year. I didn’t meet the goal, but my life was vastly improved

When I set the goal of reading and reviewing a book a week in 2018, I had no idea what I was getting into. Truth is, I took on a major blogging project with little thought to how I would schedule the work into my life.

But I was convinced I could create the thoughts and feelings I wanted in 2018 by curating my reading life. I knew I wanted to be more joyful, more creative, and more connected to my family. So I chose books I thought would lead to those things.

I started in January, and things went well for about 9 weeks.

I read Worry-Free Money by Shannon Lee Simmons. I tried out recipes from The School Year Survival Cookbook by Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh. I raced through The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

It was fun and easy for a month. But by April, I was falling woefully behind on the blogging schedule I’d planned for my blog. And I wasn’t looking forward to working on it. Not good!

I failed … not!

As happens with many hobby bloggers, I got busy with real life and stopped posting regularly. Still, I had already made an ambitious reading list, created a long list of holds at the library, and budgeted for monthly Indigo buys.

So there were always plenty of great books at my fingertips. Reading at bedtime and on the sofa on weekends was my peaceful, happy place.

Problem was, I wasn’t finding time to write a review each week. I love to write, but the last place I wanted to be every Saturday morning was on my laptop, doing unpaid writing when my kid was looking for a playmate or a ride somewhere.

One blog a week was too much!

Still, I made a valiant effort and managed to post intermittently. Then, in August, I broke my wrist! The accident involved a tree, a kitten, and a ladder and led to eight weeks in a cast.

In recovery mode, everything was harder. I stopped posting to 52 Books altogether. Still — pain and inconvenience aside — my injury gave me permission to heal and rest.

I accepted help from my husband, my son, and my friends.

I put aside my paid work.

Oh, and I read.

I savoured Careergasm by Sarah Vermunt.

I browsed The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt.

I devoured Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown.

I cuddled up with Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass at Making Money.

Reading is healing

By the time my wrist healed, I had started writing a new novel.

And by the time I finished physio, I had landed a full-time writing contract that would provide consistent income for several months.

But blogging weekly was still not looking possible in 2018.

So, although I didn’t achieve my original goal, I consider the 52 Books project a success. When I needed stories, they were there for me, stacked up like friends when I needed them most.

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky.

Reading is akin to casting a spell

I truly believe that I create my future by curating my reading life. I’m more committed to reading than ever. For me, reading a spiritual practice. It brings me peace, joy and meaning. It makes me feel alive.

So, in 2019, I’ll try again with my blog, but on a more realistic schedule. I’ll rename my blog 12 Books and I’ll read and review a book each month.

I’m going to focus my book selections more than I did in 2018, choosing non-fiction books related to leadership, careers, work culture and emotional intelligence. I’ll also participate in more conversations about books—on social and in real life.

And I hope you’ll read along! To find out what I’ll be writing next, see the Coming Soon sidebar on my main blog page.

Let’s connect on Instagram, where I post photos of books and cats.

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