Thursday 5 January 2023

Looking Back on 2022

Oh boy, what a year, huh? I don’t think you need me to recap how this year has been, well, a bit of a shit show for the world. So, I’m just going to focus on my little corner of the internet instead. 

In terms of how my Bookish Year has gone, I’m actually really proud. I didn’t write as many blog posts as I wanted to, or film as many videos, but what I did manage to do was get back out to book-related events

It was a huge deal for me because I haven’t attended an in-person book event since before 2020, and I’d missed them so much. But with my anxious self being out of practice at handling them, I was a little nervous about how I’d react. I can honestly say that the bookish events I’ve been to this year actually ended up being some of my favourite memories

It started back in May, when I finally got a chance to meet Simon James Green. Anyone who even casually glances at this blog knows how much I adore him, so it was wonderful to finally meet him in person. Then in the summer, I got to meet Cassandra Clare for the third time in an absolutely gorgeous The Last Hours event. And then there was November, when I got to see one of my all-time favourite authors, Alice Oseman. Being able to see bucket-list authors this year was absolutely not something I expected, but they visited places close to home and I’m SO happy I was able to go.

In other event milestones, I actually volunteered for my first book festival! It was the Wirral Kids Book Fest, hosted by my local bookshop, Bear Hunt Books. Helping Bear Hunt Books has been such a privilege over this past year, and I’m so thankful that this shop exists. Which leads me onto the next unexpected thing that happened this year… WINDOW DISPLAYS! 
I’ve been taking my art more seriously since my dad passed away, as art was his main hobby and should honestly have been his profession. Losing him encouraged me to actually put myself out there when it came to art. And in 2022, I ended up with the opportunity to paint some window displays for Bear Hunt Books. Never having done anything of that scale before, I was nervous of it going horribly wrong, but it turned out great! I’ve done three displays this year and I’m proud of them all. I know my dad would be, too. 

As for my reading, I hit my goal for the year! I set it for thirty and I managed thirty-two, so I’m happy with that. It’s not quite as high as last year but I’ve been focusing on choosing books I’m especially drawn to and not pressuring myself to read certain ones. That’s meant that I’ve adored most of the books I’ve read this year! If you want to see my list of faves, then I posted it over on my booktube channel. There is one that I had a very difficult relationship with (If We Were Villains) but that’s a discussion for another time. I also did quite a few rereads, some of which I didn’t document on Goodreads, so my actual stats are higher. 

On to my biggest achievement of the year, one I saved right until the last minute. On December 12th, I finally opened an Etsy store for my bookish creations. It’s something I’ve been debating for years but I’ve never had the confidence to finally make the leap. In 2022, I was determined. I chose that date because it’s the anniversary of the day I lost my dad. Instead of focusing on the weight of that loss, I wanted to create a happy memory, and that memory is Bookstera. It’s been a small and slow start but I’m very much hoping to grow the shop in the new year. Either way, I’m so proud I finally had the courage to make a start
So, what about 2023? Over the past few years, I’ve tried not to make strict goals to achieve, and it’s worked out much better for me. With that in mind, my only goals for the next twelve months are to keep reading what I love and to create as much bookish content as I can. I would also love to grow within the community as well. I’m super anxious when it comes to reaching out and chatting to people, so I find it difficult to build connections with other bookish creators. That’s something I’d like to be able to work on this year. 

I also need to work on my blog a little bit. I haven’t really put much focus on SEO in the past, so I think it’s finally time to start learning about how to improve it! My About and Policy pages could do with a refresh, too. 

As for things to look forward to, Leigh Bardugo is coming to my city for her tour at the end of January so I’ve gotten myself a ticket and I can’t wait! And there’s plenty of books I’m anticipating, too. Let’s hope we all have a better year – we deserve it

What are your highlights from 2022?

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