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:
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”
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!
Happy New Year!! I hope you have fun with your bullet journal too! We should compare them or something. Thank you so much! Good luck with all of your 2021 goals as well!
Yeah, that would be fun to do in a few months!!
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.
I hope you achieve all of your goals in 2021! I definitely use Libby a lot for library books as well.