Well, we're 6 months into 2017. And we thought 2016 had been bad...
My plan for today was to look forward to the rest of the year, talk about some ideas I have to try and get the blog back on track (because I know it's fallen by the wayside a fair bit) and maybe get back to using Instagram, Litsy, etc.
I think I probably need to look back before making plans though. I WAS hoping 2017 would be a great year. I ended 2016 on something of a buzz because - while as mentioned above 2016 was awful on a global scale - last year was pretty good for me personally. I started January feeling really good about keeping track of books received and read, films and plays seen, and blogging every day. That lasted for the first few months, and then between pressure in my personal life and work getting incredibly busy, things fell apart a bit. I don't especially feel guilty about that - I knew that I needed to prioritise some stuff, and think I made the right choices. But I do feel disappointed that I wasn't able to keep things going when I'd started well, and I'm going to try and figure out some ways of organising stuff so that I'm able to do things better over the next 6 months.
But while I'm disappointed about that stuff and everything going on in the world has my anxiety through the roof at times, there were also some great things that happened over the first six months of the year.
In no particular order:
I was a judge for the YA Book Prize, I went along to a judging meeting full of people who I felt were far more qualified than I was, and I actually spoke up and argued about books I felt passionately about. And we listened to each other as equals. (I'm sworn to secrecy about details of the judging, but hoping I'm okay with saying that!)
I got to know some really awesome new people, at events like #DrinkYA, and made plans for the future with people I haven't known that long (which is a major issue for me normally.)
Along with my incredible cohost Julianne, we ran our first ever sponsored #drinkYA - thanks Walker! - to celebrate the phenomenal The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and we're hopefully not far away from announcing a second sponsored one in a few months time - watch this space.
After dipping a toe into Reddit as a user, I started the UKYAMG subreddit and have a few people posting there. For the next few months, I'm hoping it'll get bigger and better - but it's got off to a decent enough start, at least.
I carried on with my plan of drinking more water, and managed to cut down significantly on the amount of Coke I drink as well.
I kept records - minimal, admittedly - of every book I read this year.
I read 50 books, 23 of which were by POC authors. I was aiming for 50% by POC authors but that's a significant improvement on last year, and I have a few others at the top of my TBR list.
Perhaps most importantly of all, my friendships changed. In addition to meeting new people, as I said above, I learned to trust some others more than I've trusted people for a long, long time. In Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes, one of my most recent reads - and one of my favourite books of the first half of the year - she talks about finding her "Ride or Die list" of people she trusts completely and will always be there for. The friendship of a few people - I won't name them, but they know who they are - really makes me know what she means here.
So, there it is - a fairly positive look back at a not-so-great six months. But hopefully the next six will be better!