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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Word of the Year

Happy New Year, everyone!

There is a blogger, Sheila @ Book Journey, who runs a meme called First Book of the Year. She also does another called Word of the Year. I have never made a conscious decision to have one particular word be my focus of the year but, upon reflection, I can see words that have become my focus in previous years, like: Joy, Strength, Family, and Improvement.

This year, I am picking my Word of the Year:

When I started my blog in 2010, it was to give myself accountability to read more. I wanted to join online reading challenges and keep track of what I was reading, but it become so much more. It opened up a whole new world to me that I never knew existed! I became immersed in the bookish community, writing reviews, interviewing authors, and participating in blog tours. My blog has been a labour of love, and I've met the nicest bloggers.

As 2018 winds down and I look forward to what I want to accomplish in 2019, a lot of it has to do with simplifying. A big part of that is decluttering my home and getting rid of excess, which is the primary step to doing the basement reno that I need to tackle. It's something that we've been doing for the past couple years, but it's something that I need to really focus on in 2019 if I'm ever going to get this done!!

Decluttering and minimizing will simplify my home, but there are other ways that I can simplify my life. One is to change how I spend my time. The biggest usurper of my free time is the time that I spend online, and most of my online time is spent on my blog whether that is writing blog posts, searching for books to plan my reading challenges, and visiting other blogs. A number of times on my blog, I've talked about the downside of blogging which is the time spent. My reason for started a blog was to give me accountability to read more, but it is sometimes a double-edged sword because I find that I spend an awful lot of time on writing reviews and other blog posts instead of turning off the computer and picking up a book and reading!

The biggest way to simplify my life for 2019 is to give up blogging. I still intend to use Goodreads and Savvy Reader's 50 Book Pledge to keep track of my books, but I no longer intend to write reviews and participate in blog memes. I also will no longer give myself the added pressure of planning my reads to fulfill reading challenge prompts. I am giving myself the freedom to pick my reads based on my mood! As I read books from my dusty bookshelves, I will donate them to free up space and further simplify my physical space. I see that as a win/win!

So, will giving up blogging have a negative or a postive impact on the number of books that I read? I'm not sure, but that will be an interesting experiment! Will I read more because I am picking up a book and reading instead of blogging about reading, or will I read less because the blogging and reading challenges helped me to focus on reading? I have no way of knowing that at this time, and I'm also not saying that I'm saying goodbye to blogging forever but I'm choosing to simplify my life by spending less time online and more time unplugged.

Happy 2019!

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