Welcome back – more to my scattered self than to you, I guess – to my cyber-nook.
This blog is named Yoanna vs the World for a reason. We all know how the world tends to get in our way while we are struggling to achieve whatever we’ve set out to do. At the very beginning, this was partly the motivation for creating this little space where I could share my challenges, my experiences, my wins and woes. If you’ve happened to stumble upon my last post, I apologise for that. Now you know this could be a space for useless rants as well. Even I can’t always know exactly what’s going to come out when I start rummaging around in my brain.
Now that January is behind us, though, I can promise that ranting about a dry-spell of any kind will not be becoming a habit of mine. In fact, even if January wasn’t the most productive month I’ve had writing-wise, 2016 is starting off much better than December had me thinking it would. So…
I, if no one else, hail the new more positive, more motivated, more readerly-writerly year of Yoanna vs the World!
First order of the day would be to announce I’m getting more and more busy with new reading and writing, hence the recent lack of travel stories. This, however, does not mean I am going to stop writing those, just that priorities are shifting here on the blog, but it is definitely for the better.
One thing I have taken more to heart than in previous years are the challenges. After finishing – aka “winning” – NaNoWriMo, I realised challenges are a very good substitute for self-assigned deadlines, especially if you tend to constantly extend or forget about them alltogether as even great writers do *ahem* →
And the best part is the accountability – you have “only” yourself to disappoint because it’s a challenge you set for yourself. When you promise someone else to do something and then let them down, it’s rather easy to make excuses for it and be forgiven, isn’t it? It’s not that easy when you have to make excuses for yourself. Because, after you’ve done all the explaining, however truthful and believable the story and the regret you’re feeling is, you still know. Deep inside, you know that that’s all it is – a story, an excuse.
And the only way to quiet down the little voice inside your head that’s pestering you about not finishing that story or that book review or that 15-minute exercise you promised you’ll write today is to simply do the work.
Which is why, after signing up for Goodread’s 2016 Reading Challenge and upping my last year’s goal of 35 books to 40, I thought some additional inspiration might help me out with that.
So I went back to Pop Sugar. Last year
I was really keen on doing their 2015 Challenge but, sadly, it never made my list of 2015 achievements. This time around I not only downloaded their 2016 Reading Challenge, but I’ve printed it out and stuck it to my trusty cork board so that it can loom over me at all times as a reminder I have made a commitment (of sorts).
I also put it up here to illustrate I have already been working on it and not just planning to.
Conveniently enough, this challenge has exactly 40 books in it. I’ll aim to tick only one box per book, unless I run out of time/ideas/motivation to read another 600-page book because the first one fit another category better.
I don’t think I’ll be writing a review for all the titles I go through, but in case you are interested, I’ve written a couple already.
You can find the review of A New York Times bestseller here, that of A book that’s becoming a movie this year here (I’m quite excited about this one actually), and a very short one for a short book (under 150 pages) here.
As for the any new reviews, I will give them their proper space. First one to come will be that of a dystopian novel. But in order to get to that, I’m gonna have to finish the book first.
And on that note, off I go.