2020 Wrap Up + 2021 Goals

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well and are having a great start to your 2021! Today I want to look back at 2020 because even though it was pretty terrible, I managed to accomplish a lot in terms of reading and blogging. I also want to share some of my 2021 goals for reading, this blog, and my life in general.

As a lot of you know, this year I read 170 books. This is a huge leap from 101 last year, mostly because I’ve had a lot more time to read now that I haven’t been going anywhere. Since March, I’ve only gone to the orthodontist, the library, and to school a couple of times to pick things up. I definitely have more down time than I did before, and I took advantage of that and read as much as possible.

Here’s a monthly breakdown of my reading:

January – 14 books, Febuary – 16 books, March – 13 books, April – 9 books, May – 19 books, June – 15 books, July – 19 books, August – 16 books, September – 8 books, October – 16 books, November – 5 books, December – 20 books

Generally, I read a lot when my school was on break and read less when I had a lot of tests and projects, which makes sense.

In 2020, I read mostly YA contemporary, which is different from years past. I think I really wanted to read lighter books since the real world was pretty terrible. Reading light contemporaries was a very welcome escape. I also read a lot of new releases, which was probably because I started interacting with the online community more and hearing about new releases. I also read many more books by diverse authors, and discovered many new favorites!

Here are my 2021 reading goals (I talked about some these in my last post):

  • Read 150 books – I’ve already read two this year, so I’m hoping this will be doable
  • Read more middle grade – I really want to try to branch out from YA titles, and I’m hoping my Middle Grade Mondays series will encourage me to read more of this category!
  • Read more fantasy – I’m hoping to get back into reading more fantasy this year, especially since I read so many contemporaries last year.
  • Use my library more – I used my library a lot this last year, especially with it’s online lending service, but I hope to use it even more in 2021
  • Read more backlist titles – I have over 100 backlist titles on my TBR, some of which I already own. I want to try to read those before I read new books.

Ruby Reads and Reviews went through a lot of changes this year! From being a tiny blog with less than 20 followers and almost no engagement, it has grown to a larger (but still small) blog with almost 90 followers and a lot more comments and discussions! Thank you all so much for being with me and discussing books with me! It has been so much fun!

I’ve also redesigned the blog a couple of times. This spring, I did my first blog redesign ever and came up with this:

It’s wasn’t a great design and I was never happy with it, so a couple of months ago, I created completely new graphics and changed my theme and made the blog just a lot more accessible in general. (I’m thinking about doing a post about that sometime, let me know if you’d like to see something like that).

Now my blog looks more like this:

I think it’s a lot better and the site looks a lot more cohesive now. I had no previous experience with graphic design, so it was a big challenge. Let me know if you have any tips because I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog’s design and aesthetic!

I think my posts improved a lot in quality over the course of this year! I thought I would share some of the posts that I’m most proud of!

  • The Babysitter’s Club Book Tag – I created my first book tag based on the new Netflix Babysitter’s Club. It was really fun to create and I look forward to making more book tags in the future!
  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Read Aru Shah and the End of Time – This is one of my favorite middle grade series and I had so much fun talking about how amazing it is!
  • My Favorite Books of 2020 – This post took such a long time because there were so many great books in 2020. I really enjoyed compiling my favorites for everyone and comparing my lists with others around the blogosphere!
  • Both of my mini reviews posts – I reviewed some of my 4- star reads both this summer (read it here) and this winter (read it here). I really enjoy writing these posts and hope to do more of these in the future!

I also started an Instagram for my blog at the tail end of 2020 (check it out here). I have really enjoyed keeping up with discussions with more people and hope to keep up with it this year as well!

My blogging goals for 2021 are:

  • Reach 100 followers– I know that stats shouldn’t matter very much, but I think it would be so amazing to have 100 followers. Right now, I have about 90, so I think it’s very possible for me to achieve this year.
  • Interact more with the community + boost other bloggers – I’m really bad at this! It takes me forever to write and respond to comments so I usually don’t have time to blog hop. I really hope to make more time to read other’s posts and participate in more discussions!
  • Post consistently – I hope to make more of a blog schedule for 2021 and schedule posts in advance. I want to stay on top of the content I post, and I hope to not have to take another unplanned hiatus.
  • Keep up with weekly features/memes – I only participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and my own Middle Grade Mondays, but I hope to post more consistently with each since they are really fun and encourage me to expand my posting style.

2020 was definitely strange. I haven’t really been anywhere since March and have barely seen any of my IRL friends since then as well. Even though school is open where I live, I still go online so I definitely have not had a normal high school experience. However, I know that it’s important that we continue to social distance and mask in 2021, and I hope everyone is staying safe!

However, I got a lot of new opportunities in 2020. I started a virtual book club with my best friends where we’ve gotten to read great books like Darius the Great is Not Okay and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. I also have been writing a lot more. I’ve written a few poems, a couple of short stories, and participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July, as well as the official NaNoWriMo in November. I think the quality of my writing has improved in the last year.

My general goals for 2021 are:

  • Keep up with my bullet journal – I started a bullet journal for 2021! I’ve never done it before, so I’m pretty excited. If you have any tips, please let me know!
  • Expand my book club – I’ve been having a hard time getting people to come to our book club and read with us during the semester, so I’m hoping to improve our engagement somehow
  • Continue working (and hopefully finish a draft of) my current contemporary WIP – I’m having a lot of fun writing this right now, and I hope I can keep up with it, since I often lose interest in my WIPs.
  • Spend more time with my friends and family – Even if I can’t see them in person, I hope to connect more with my friends and family. I fell out of touch with a lot of my friends when my school shut down in March, so I hope to reconnect with them in 2021.

Thanks for bearing with me through such a long post! I hope you are all having a wonderful new year! What are your plans for 2021? Did you meet all of your 2020 goals? Let me know in the comments below!

PS: Check out this post on Claire’s blog that features members of the bookish community, including me, discussing our favorite books of 2020!


5 thoughts on “2020 Wrap Up + 2021 Goals

  1. Happy new year, Ruby! I also started a bullet journal for 2021. I’ve never done one before so I don’t have any tips, but I hope you have fun with it!
    And good luck with all of your goals for 2021!

  2. 2021- 1000 followers.

    In terms of my first book- when I finish does depend on when I will get edits back, which is feeling like forever. My book is only on its 5th draft, but getting close

    Don’t think I will go to the library- will most likely get library books on my kindle through Libby.

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