Saturday, January 1, 2022

2022 Reading & Writing Plans

I think I had a pretty good reading year in 2021, and there probably aren't a whole lot of changes I need to make to my reading life to have another good year in 2022. So my goals this year are really centered on fun little ways to get through some of my TBR, to revisit some old favorites, and to enjoy some books I might otherwise overlook. 

In terms of writing, this was also a surprisingly good year, though not in the way I expected. I didn't write a single word until November, but then won NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row and continued writing regularly into December. So the one writing goal on my list is designed to keep that momentum going. 

Reading and Writing Goals 

My Goodreads goal for the year is going to be 52 books. There is no doubt that I will read at least one book a week, and lowballing this number will make it easier for me to just read however many books I want. Last year was about limits; this year is about freedom. 

This year, in addition to Goodreads, I'll be using The Bookworm Life planner from Peanut Butter Taco on Etsy to track my reading. The planner's "Goal Setting" page has space for 6 goals, so that's how many I have chosen. 

Goal #1: Re-read 40 books before I turn 40.  
My 40th birthday is in the middle of November. I thought it would be fun to do a sort of retrospective project and revisit books from the past that I either really enjoyed or just can't remember well. I made a tentative list of what the titles will be, but I'm not going to post it because I want to have the freedom to change my mind. But I plan to have 40 re-reads done by November 19th. 

Goal #2: Read 22 classics.
My Instagram friend Helena is hosting this challenge, and I'm excited to get back into classics. I plan to read some titles that are on my shelves, as well as some of the books the Close Reads podcast is reading, and some Shakespeare. 

Goal #3: Read 6 historical fiction books.
I have hardly read any commercial historical fiction novels. I've read plenty of classics and literary fiction (not to mention middle grade) with historical settings, but with the exception of The Gown, I can't remember reading just a regular novel in the historical fiction genre. I know this is because I tend to assume that all historical fiction involves death, destruction, and World War II, but I think there has to be more to the genre than that. Two books I definitely want to read for this goal are The Gilded Years by Karen Tanabe and City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

Goal #4: Try 12 new-to-me authors.
I have been building a mental list of authors I really want to try out, so this goal is about finally making room for those. I have written down the names of a whole bunch of authors, but again, I'm going to keep it to myself in case I want to make changes. Two authors I am considering, though, are Georgette Heyer and Amor Towles. 

Goal #5: Finish 2 series.
I have several series that I've been reading for years now, and I want to start wrapping some of them up. Candidates for fulfilling this goal include the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny, the Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell, and the Mitford series by Jan Karon. 
Goal #6: Write something 4 days per week. 
I have created a set of writing prompts for myself to use in January. I don't necessarily plan to use all of them, but having a source of inspiration for every day is really helpful. Hopefully I'll be able to respond to four prompts a week, or at least work on a piece a little bit four days out of the week. 

Book Clubs 

In addition to my in-person/Zoom Catholic book club which is starting the year with The Benedict Option, I'm also in a couple of virtual book clubs. 

I've joined the Bardalong Book Club on Instagram. They're reading several Shakespeare plays and several books inspired by or about Shakespeare himself. The first book of the year is Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson.  

I'm also continuing on in the #WorldFullofBooks group, where the January theme is memoirs. I believe February is modern classics and March is Ireland; we'll vote on the other months as the year goes on. 

I've also decided to read along with the Close Reads podcast for at least some of their reading list, which starts with Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. 

Reading Challenges 

Modern Mrs. Darcy insists that we don't need reading challenges, but I beg to differ. Reading challenges are fun, and I like having some lists to check off. So I'm participating in two this year.

The first is a challenge of my own making. I plan to read 22 books as follows: 
  • 3 Book of the Month books (I don't subscribe to BOTM, but I like to get the books from the library.)
  • 3 books about reading and/or writing
  • 3 Catholic books
  • 3 books in the same series 
  • 3 Newbery medal winners
  • 3 books under 200 pages.
  • 3 books published in 2022
  • 1 book over 500 pages 

The other challenge I'm joining is the Read Your Bookshelf Challenge hosted by Chantel Reads All Day on YouTube. These are the monthly prompts: 
  • January: quiet
  • February: "love" in the title
  • March: growth
  • April: your initials in the title
  • May: new-to-you-author
  • June: book on the cover
  • July: one you've been avoiding, but actually want to read
  • August: body part in title
  • September: a collection
  • October: "secret" in title
  • November: cozy/nostalgic
  • December: mostly white cover 
I plan to check in on my plans quarterly this year. Hopefully by the end of March, I'll have lots of progress to report! 

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