Things I Didn’t Do Before I Was a Book Blogger

The other day I was sent a book that was the third in the series, and while I haven’t read the other two, I thought I’d read it straight away anyway. I’d never have done that before I was a book blogger, and it got me thinking about things I do since blogging that I wouldn’t have before.

  • Reading a book without reading the ones before it – past me wouldn’t have even considered doing that, but now if I have a limited time I’m happy to dive right in.
  • Similarly, if a new book in a series comes out, I used to have to read all the previous ones first to get myself back into it. These days there’s so many books and so little time, I just have to trust my memories!
  • I didn’t read this much until I started blogging. Well, maybe when I was a teen and younger, but during uni I didn’t find the time or the will really. I’m so glad blogging has made me fall back in love with reading.
  • I also didn’t give up on books until recently. I also struggled through a book I wasn’t enjoying, mostly because I didn’t even think about not finishing them. I hate not knowing what happens! But these days I figure I have too many books and too little time to read to bother trying to enjoy something I’m not.
  • Even when I was reading lots, I was never this up to date with new releases, new authors and general bookish news. I love that blogging has got me discovering new books and not rereading the same old favourites like I used to!
  • I’ve always been a bit of a book hoarder, and it’s only the last few months that I’ve decided to get more ruthless with what I keep. The tottering piles of books were starting to get dangerous now Little Moore is crawling!
  • I didn’t use Twitter before I blogging, and I’m so glad I started. It’s opened up this whole new world of people to talk to, the UKYA community and fellow book lovers and book bloggers.

Have you noticed any new bookish habits since you started blogging?

February Wrap Up

Well this year is just flying by. I can’t believe we’re into March already! I haven’t read as many books this month – I put a lot of time into one which I eventually DNFd around 50% in. I’ve also started rereading The Sin Eater’s Daughter in preparation for The Scarecrow Queen which arrived yesterday and I am so excited to read!

What I Read

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Dead of Night by Michael Grant

Silver Stars by Michael Grant

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr

Nothing Tastes as Good by Claire Hennessy

The Little Book of Sitcom by John Vorhaus

Book Post

This month I had some more gorgeous book post, including:

The Circus by Olivia Levez

(Thanks Rock the Boat!)

The Devil’s Paintbox by Robin Jarvis

(Thanks Egmont!)

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

(Thanks Chelle Toy/Scholastic!)

The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury

(Thanks The Pewter Wolf/Scholastic!)

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What I Wrote:

This month I finished off editing the short story I wrote last month and submitted it to a competition. This is a pretty big step for me and I’m really proud I wrote something to a deadline and produced a piece of work I’m proud of.

I originally wanted to write at least 500 words a day but didn’t quite hit that target this month. I still wrote something each day though, so I’m happy with that. I also finished the (very rough) first draft of my WIP, so another reason to celebrate!

Total word count: 16,220

What I watched:

TV

We finished watching Parks and Recreation which was even better second time round and I really want to get the rest of the series now. We started watching Sherlock but haven’t gotten very far because the episodes are so damn long! It’s like watching a film every night, and when Little Moore is playing up we just don’t have time.

Films

Saying that, we did watch a lot of films! Nathan’s had the crazy idea of watching all our horror films in alphabetical order, so that’s our project for the next year or so… seriously, there’s over 300 of them!

We got off to a good start and covered Alice in Murderland (terrible yet hilarious film) All Cheerleaders Die, Almost Human, Bite (so gory, so fun) Tusk (like Human Centipede but with a Walrus…) Yeah, alphabetical went out the window when new DVDs came in!

What I Did

It was Nathan’s birthday this month so I got him out the house for a few hours and surprised him with a drawing desk (and a rearranged living room to fit it in!) It’s been a fairly quiet month other than that – not complaining it’s nice to have a break after the Christmas/New Year madness!

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore turned one this month! We’re having a little birthday party with family and friends and cake this weekend to celebrate. He’s also started pulling himself up on furniture, which has been a while coming but I think he’s found it slippy in his socks on our laminate flooring!

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January Wrap Up

I’ve decided to start doing a little wrap up post for the month, not just for books but just everything in general.

What I Read

I’m really pleased with the amount of books I read this month. 12 overall, although that includes finishing some I started last year. I’ve read a good mix of ARCs and books I got for Christmas, and even some non fiction too!

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

The Call by Peadar O Guilin

The It Girl: Don’t Tell the Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall

Lumberjanes Volume One: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson

Lumberjanes Volume Two: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson

Dear Charlie by N. D. Gomes

Baker Street Academy: Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Write by Phil Daoust

Get Started in Writing Young Adult Fiction by Juliet Mushens

The Yellow Room by Jess Valance

Book Post

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I was lucky enough to be sent some books from publishers and various people this month which I’m really excited to start reading. The Huntress is particularly gorgeous and deserves a phot0 all of its own!

Room Empty by Sarah Mussi

(Thanks Rock the Boat!)

The Painted Dragon by Katherine Woodfine

The Huntress by Sarah Driver

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Silver Stars and Dead of Night by Michael Grant

(Thanks Egmont!)

The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

(Thanks Walker Books!)

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

(Thanks Vicki Berwick PR!)

Baker Street Academy: Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn

(Thanks Scholastic/Faye Rogers!)

What I Wrote:

I’m trying to write every day this year and I think the habit is sticking, which I’m really pleased about. I’ve been working on my WIP and nearly have the first draft done, and I also wrote a short story which I intend to submit to competitions.

Total word count: 19,665

What I watched:

TV

We finally finished watching Luke Cage on Netflix. It took me a little longer to get into this one than Daredevil and Jessica Jones, but once it got going I really loved it. Luke’s one of my favourite characters from the Marvel TV shows and his fight scenes were so much fun. We’ve now started watching Parks and Recreation from the beginning as I got another season for Christmas. I’m just in love with all the characters and it makes me laugh so much.

Films

We watched Aftershock, an Eli Roth horror film which I bought Nathan for Christmas and was a lot better than I was expecting. Also Casadaga, which he bought me for Christmas and was a lot worse than I was expecting. So you win some, you lose some. Dark Was the Night was an interesting monster movie, great beginning and end but I did get a little bored in the middle.

What I Did

Nathan and I celebrated an anniversary this month so we went out for an evening meal to celebrate, leaving Little Moore at home with my dad on baby sitting duties. It’s the first time we’ve done that since he was born, so nearly a year, which is pretty crazy. The food was incredible and it was nice to be just the two of us again. We definitely need to get out more!

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore is getting more mobile by the day. He’s now adept at commando style crawling, so we’ve got the stair gates in place and are constantly chasing him round and removing things from his path. He’s obsessed with our extension plug by the TV so we need to find a way to hide that.

Another Attempt at New Year’s Resolutions

Since I’ve been blogging I’ve been doing New Year’s Resolutions posts, and I have to admit, I’ve not been great at sticking to them. This doesn’t stop me wanting to do another one though. I always feel so positive and hopeful at the start of the year and I want to make the most of those feelings while they last! Even if (again) I don’t stick to my resolutions, I’d like to have a go at them.

From last years ones, I’d say I kept to two – to keep blogging (clearly I’m still here) and to manage my time better. I wouldn’t say I’ve consistently done that one but I’ve had a good stab at it. I’ve spent a lot less time mindlessly scrolling through Twitter/general internet pages. I feel like the lack of Twitter interaction isn’t always great for my blog as I miss out connecting with people and getting involved, but I want to spend more time in the real world, with my family and with my work, so that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

As for the other two – get fit (ha!) and finish my 2nd/3rd drafts – they have just not happened. Although I bought a jogging pushchair with the intent of running with Little Moore, he’s been too small for it so far, and with all the sleep deprivation I’ve not been able to drag myself up early to go running on my own. While it’s still something I’d like to get into this year, as I do enjoy running, I’m not going to pressure myself and just see how it goes.

With the writing – I did do a lot of editing on my first draft of my first completed novel, but not as much as I wanted to. Part of that was lack of time – like most new mums, I thought I’d have more time on maternity to write while my baby slept peacefully in his cot (HA!) But also I really struggled with editing and decided in the end to put this one aside for now. It needs a lot of work – maybe starting from scratch or maybe coming back to it when I’ve got more experience. I’m not giving up on it, just putting it aside to work on something else for now.

But enough of the past. Onto this year’s resolutions:

  1. Write Everyday – I did this towards the end of the year, just a page in a notebook so that I had something done each day. That’s my small writing aim for this year. Ideally Id like to spend at least half an hour in my study each day, writing/editing, planning or something creative. And on the large scale, I’d like to finish my first draft of the project I started for NaNoWriMo and enter some writing competitions.
  2. Keep Reading and Blogging – I think these are both good for my writing ambitions, and they’re something I enjoy doing. I’m trying to set up a bit of a blog schedule so I might post less frequently but with better content. Fingers crossed, anyway!
  3. Save Money – Like a lot of mid-twenty-somethings, I’m currently renting a house and saving for a deposit to buy one. I couldn’t save much last year while being on maternity leave so I’d like to try and squirrel some bits away now I’m working again.
  4. Do Nice Family Things – This is a bit generic but I want to spend quality time with Nathan and Little Moore, as well as our extended family. Day trips together, going for walks and playing games, and also visiting his family more (as they live further away) and spending more time with my sisters. One of the younger ones will be off to uni next year so I need to squeeze in as much quality time as I can before she goes!
  5. Eat Nice Food – Instead of a generic get fit or eat healthy resolution, I want to eat well this year. I want to spend less money in crappy chain restaurants. If we’re eating out, it should be a treat and it should be somewhere nice. I want to try find places to buy better quality food at home, and try new dishes. We’ve been eating less meat recently so I want to experiment with more creative vegetarian cusine.

Like I said, I’m not holding myself religiously to any of these. I just like having some general aims to start the year with. They may or may not hold up but at least for now, they’re making me feel positive and spurring me into action!

Whatever you’re aiming to do with yourself this year, I hope you have a wonderful one.

#Vagilante: A Few Observations on Sexism

I recently read and loved What’s A Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne, where one of the characters starts a project calling out all sexism she sees. In honour of Lottie’s project, I wanted to write a little about my own experiences of sexisms in things that are close to me. This was originally going to be part of my What’s A Girl Gotta Do? review but it became too long and I decided to make it a separate post.

One is sexism with babies (yes, it starts that early!) This obviously means a lot to me, being a new mum. When I got pregnant we decided we didn’t want to know the sex and so were suitably happy/surprised when B-day came and we had a little boy. What surprised me were the comments beforehand, from family and friends, saying they couldn’t buy toys/clothes etc for the baby until they found out what it was. Which struck me as ridiculous. Nathan and I happily bought clothes, and not even ‘gender neutral’ specific ones, just ones we thought were cute and weren’t just pink or blue (okay probably a few blue but it’s my favourite colour so…)

Shopping for a baby is hard when you don’t want to dress it as a boy or a girl: you can walk into the baby section in most department stores and it’s split into pink, blue, and a tiny bit of white, mostly in newborn sizes for those who don’t know the gender. It seems crazy to me that in 2016 we still have to buy ‘boy’ clothes or ‘girl’ clothes, instead of just baby clothes.

I’ve also gotten annoyed with family members who have decided they’re going to take Little Moore to all the football games/golf/cricket etc, because he’s a boy and neither Nathan nor I are sporty so obviously we wouldn’t do that. But they scoff if I talk about taking him horse riding or dancing. For one, if he was into sport then of course we would support him, no matter what our own hobbies are. And two, just because he’s a boy, it doesn’t mean you have to force sport on him. He can like whatever he likes and I don’t want to label some things as ‘boy’ hobbies and others as ‘girly’.

Secondly, I have a quick bit to say about sexism in business. I work for a large company and really enjoy my job and the people there. I have to say, I don’t feel like I’ve personally been held back for being a woman (although I know one boss didn’t think it worth it giving me my current job because I was pregnant, but hey ho, I got it). But I have noticed other little things.

At Christmas, one of the company heads came round to say Merry Christmas to everyone. I watched him shake hands with two of my male colleagues, give kisses on both cheeks to my female boss, and then kiss me on the forehead. In business, hand shakes are a sign of respect that is not often given to women. I couldn’t help but think how bizarre it would look if he had kissed my male colleagues on the head/cheeks. So why was it okay to do that to me? I also felt like the forehead thing for me was because of my age, being about 20 years younger than everyone else on the team.

The hand shake thing has bugged me before as men don’t even seems to think about it. I had a meeting with a supplier who sent three men, who all shook my male colleagues hand a just kind of nodded at me. They also treated me like a secretary – I stress here that there is nothing wrong with being a secretary, but that was an assumption they made which I feel was based on my age and gender, when I was there in a professional capacity with my role in IT finance.

Last one now, and I’m looking at the other side of things. I know Nathan experiences sexism too, because he doesn’t like to talk about stereotypical ‘manly’ things. He says he finds that, because he has no interest in football, a lot of men at work etc don’t seem to be able to talk about anything with him. They also seem to find it strange when he takes a lot of interest in his son: being excited for weaning soon, for example, or wanting to take holiday to spend time with both of us. This just proves to me how sexism isn’t a one way street: men experience it too and it’s just as unfair and archaic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on sexism you’ve experienced, whether similar to mine of very different cases.

Save Cov Libraries

A couple of days ago I shared a tweet from the Save Cov Libraries twitter account with a link to a petition to save Coventry libraries (link here)

I’m sure any readers of my blog are probably library fans anyway, being book fans and all. So you can understand how upsetting it is that the council want to close a number of libraries across the city and replace them with self service ‘hubs’ instead. It’s a cost cutting exercise, but it’s the people of Coventry who are going to have to pay. As well as the obvious access to free books (which is amazing) the libraries provide computers and internet, DVDs and audio books, and lots of different groups where people can socialise and learn new skills.

Coventry has 17 libraries, which is a really wonderful thing as it brings books to everyone who wants to visit, and with so many in the city you don’t have to go far to get your books. My local is the Arena Park library and is only a twenty minute walk from my house. I love taking a stroll up there with Little Moore and getting books out for him – it’s because of the library that I started the Little Moore’s Books feature on my blog. We’ve discovered some really great books there: some I’m happy we’ve read, and others that I want to buy and reread again and again with him.

Unfortunately, the Arena library is closing on 27th August. I’m genuinely gutted we won’t be able to go there anymore and am already regretting not taking more advantage of it. I’m planning to use it as much as I can in this last month, including going to Rhyme Time, which I think Little Moore will really enjoy now he’s a bit older.

Our next closest library is about a 40 minute walk away, which isn’t impossible to do, but there and back with a fidgety baby might be too much for him. I’m measuring everything in walks as I can’t drive, which does limit a bit of what we can do together on maternity leave without spending a fortune on buses. Being able to walk to the library has been a great bonding thing for us to do together, independently, without having to ask Mr Moore for a lift anywhere.

It would mean a lot to me if you could sign the petition to save the libraries (link here again) Even if you’re not local to Coventry, I’m sure you have your own library that you love and can understand the position that so many of the people of Coventry face when their libraries close. Please share the petition, share this post or just keep the conversation going. We need to make our voices heard so council needs to know how we feel about these cuts and closures.

University: Was It Worth It?

I recently read a post by Katie over on Life of Kitty on whether university was worth it. I really enjoyed reading it as it got me thinking a lot and after commenting I said I’d do something similar myself.

I went to a smallish university in North Wales. I picked it when I was 17, pretty much at random and decided that was the only one I was going to apply for (pretty reckless looking back on it but it worked!). I didn’t do a visit or talk to anyone who was there, I just applied and the first time I saw the town and the uni was in September 2009 when I started.

I wouldn’t recommend that method for everyone, but it did work out for me. I loved it there: I loved the small town, living by the sea, the campus itself, the societies I joined and all the people I met. Oh, and the course itself. As I went before the fees were changed I only (only!) paid about £3000 a year in tuition. I also got maximum amount of bursaries and loans. This isn’t the point of this post but I did struggle to live on that, so I don’t know how people who were given less money did. I also did have several part time jobs throughout my time there so I was trying to support myself too.

But was it worth the £21,000 debt I am in now, plus the overdraft I struggled to get out of for over a year? Well…

We’ll start with the obvious one – I got a degree out of it. Actually I got two, as I did a Masters straight after I finished my undergrad, but I paid for that all myself. Most people would probably say that’s the main reason for going to university, although I’m of the opinion that it’s the experience that counts just as much. I got a 1st class degree in Creative Studies and a Master of Research in Creative Practice, and I’m really proud of that as I worked very hard.

Fast forward through four years of university and I was working full time at a supermarket cafe for little above minimum wage. Having a degree doesn’t guarantee you a good job. Though I was well educated, all my friends who didn’t go to uni had four years worth of work experience, while I’d only had several part time jobs. Work experience is a real key thing when you’re looking for a job and I think a lot of university students don’t have it, and that’s where they fall down.

I eventually managed to get a temp job in an office. In the phone interview for it I was asked about my extra curricular activities rather than my degrees: I had experience as secretary for a drama society and coordinated a performance for the local council as voluntary work. And that’s what got me the job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the degrees helped, but that was what my soon-to-be boss was interested in, as it was real world experience I could pull on. I think when you’re at uni you don’t always realise what a bubble you live in.

That six month temp job turned into a year and a half until a different department offered me a full time position with the company, which I’ll return to after maternity leave. I work in IT and do absolutely nothing creative in my job. But I am happy there and that matters to me, having been utterly miserable in jobs in the past.

The experience of university was what really made it worth it for me. I did so many things there which I might not have had the opportunity to do otherwise. So I’ve done a little list of some of the things I’m proud of:

  • The above mentioned voluntary performance, which I scripted, cast, led rehearsals for and basically did everything for myself and was a great success
  • Performed in several plays in Wales which were all unforgettable experiences: favourites include Ariel in The Tempest, Hermia in A Midsummer Nights Dream and Jack in Lord of the Flies
  • Performed in a dance competition in Edinburgh
  • Did lights for a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a month
  • Performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for two weeks
  • Had a short story published in an anthology
  • Acted in several short films which have been shown across the UK, America and South Korea

And then we get on to the more sentimental stuff. I didn’t really make friends for life at school, bar one person, but I made excellent friends at university and still speak to a lot of them. There’s a few who also came from the West Midlands and we all came back here and still meet up, which is awesome. I wouldn’t have those people if I hadn’t gone to uni.

And now the really mushy stuff. I also met Nathan at university. He was one of the first people I spoke to there and we were friends for a couple of years before getting together in our third year. And now we have a son together. Again, I wouldn’t have these two if I hadn’t gone to university. I know if I hadn’t gone I wouldn’t know what I was missing and yada yada but I love them both and wouldn’t change a thing.

So while university may not have worked out as I might have once planned – I haven’t (yet!) got a job in creative industries – it worked out well for me in so many other ways that I know I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned a lot there I’ll always treasure the memories I made.

If you’re not sure whether to go to university then I’d say go with you gut – it’s not for everyone, but it definitely was for me. It’s definitely a life changing experience and one that I would go back and do all over exactly the same if I could.

Why I Read YA

I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this for a while, as it is something I think about a lot. In terms of traditional target audience, I’m not really what YA is typically aiming at: I’m 24 years old for a start, which is a little more adult than young adult now I think!

Still, YA is the majority of what I read – as in it’s almost everything, with the occasional MG or adult book thrown in. I don’t really get hung up on reading it any more, like I might have in the past. I know who I am and what I enjoy, and I’m not going to let anyone tell me I’m too old to read what I’m reading, or that I should read ‘adult’ or ‘proper’ books (their words, not mine!)

When I was still a teenager (though admittedly late teens) I had people asking when I’d grow out of reading teenage fiction (I didn’t really have the YA phrase when I was a teen) and when I’d start reading adult books. I didn’t really understand why they’d ask that – I was a teenager, it made sense to me that I’d be reading teenage books. And adult fiction just didn’t really appeal to me. I read a couple here and there, but they were few and far between and had to be something really special to grab my attention.

When I finally stopped being a teen, I didn’t stop reading YA. I did still get asked if I had grown out of it, but I knew the answer now: I wasn’t going to grow out of it. These were the books I enjoyed and wanted to read, so that’s what I was going to stick to. YA books have incredible themes that aren’t just relevant to teenagers, they have characters that I still feel I really connect to, even if they’re not really my age any more, and they just seem to have a creative freedom and ‘anything goes’ feel that I don’t get (personally) from adult fiction.

I find it odd that sometimes YA books have ‘adult’ covers brought out, as I have no problem being seen reading YA books in public, but I can’t really complain about them if it gets more people reading YA.

I’d love to know what you love about reading YA, whether you’re a teenager or more on the adult side like me 😉

Finding the Time to Read

I’m currently getting ready to move to a new house (tres exciting!) which is a lot closer to where I work – a little late now I’m about to start maternity leave but hey! For the last six months I’ve been doing The Commute of Hell: train from Wolverton to Coventry, then bus to the other side of Coventry to my place of work, then repeat on the way home, often with a lot of waiting around time involved. On a good day my travelling time is about 3.5 hours, on a bad day it’s pushing 5.

The point of this isn’t how lame it is to travel so much every day – though it’s crazy lame, trust me. I haven’t liked the travelling and with pregnancy it’s been super hard, but there’s been one positive: I’ve had so much time to read! I haven’t always used it wisely. Sometimes it’s difficult to stay awake on the train, but I’ve been making a real effort this year to use it as reading time.

Now that’s coming to an end, I have mixed feelings. It’ll be so nice to have my evenings back again, and to spend less time on horrible public transport, but I’m worried about finding time to read. I know I don’t do it at home as much as I used to – there’s always something else that needs doing.

I also realise that with the little Moore on the way, there’s going to be a lot less me time and a lot more baby time, which will probably equal a lot less reading time.

So my overall point is: how do you find time to read? I realise reading several books a week may no longer be possible, but I’d still like to squeeze one or two in there. So how do you all find time to read??

New Year, New Start and All That Jazz

One of my very first blog posts was on New Year’s Resolutions, and I thought I’d start this year’s ones by looking back on last year’s.

The first of 2015 was to start a blog, and keep it going throughout the year. I’m happy to say I mostly succeeded – there was just a slight break from blogging while I moved house and had no internet, so I’d say that’s not bad going.

My second 2015 resolution was to complete the British Books Challenge. I started off well on this, but I think I only kept it up for half a year or so. While I still read books by British authors, I didn’t update my reviews on the main page – I just found it too difficult to keep up with along with everything else. I haven’t decided on any challenges for this year. I’m not sure whether I’ll do any yet.

My third was to finish the second draft of my book. Unfortunately I didn’t quite manage this: after the move my new schedule became quite draining, and with all the pregnancy tiredness added in I’m afraid writing took a bit of a back seat – something I want to rectify this year.

And my final resolution was to get fit. Again, this one started off well: I completed the NHS Couch to 5K plan and carried on running after I finished. I didn’t always enjoy it (especially not getting up extra early to run) but I did like how it made me feel, and I enjoyed being fitter. Unfortunately this all ended when I found out I was pregnant. I’m blaming the tiredness again, and I was also worried about pushing myself too hard, especially in those summer months. And then came the house move and I had no spare time at all.

So last year’s resolutions weren’t a complete success, but they weren’t all failures either. I did enjoy having some targets to reach, which is why I’ve decided to create new (though similar) resolutions this year:

  1. Keep blogging – I really enjoyed keeping a blog this year, and I’d like to try and keep it up and post regularly this year. I’ve branched out a bit recently and have been doing more lifestyle/baby focussed posts as well as the book reviews. I’d like to keep this up, and also focus more on writing too. My aim is to post at least twice a week, preferably more if there’s time though!
  2. Finish my second and third drafts – I’m carrying over last year’s resolution a little here but it shouldn’t (hopefully) take me too long to finish the second draft. I really want to get this novel to a more polished state this year, and maybe even start querying agents too. I’m also aiming to write something every day, just to keep myself in practice. This is going to be a year of writing for me!
  3. Get fit – this classic is popping up again, but I know it’s going to be more relevant than ever after having the baby. I don’t want to obsess about losing baby weight (and this is definitely a topic you’ll be seeing more of in future) but I do want to exercise more and feel healthy.
  4. Manage my time  – I really want to spend less time doing nothing: watching crap on TV, browsing pointless stuff on social media/the internet, and spend more time being productive, whether that’s reading or writing or blogging. I dread to think of the hours I’ve wasted this year, especially when I always feel so strapped for time.

I know this is going to be an insanely busy year for me: we’re moving house this month, I’ll be starting maternity leave the month after, and then life will change in March when the baby comes along. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a scary and exciting year, and I want to make the most of everything.

What are you aiming to do in 2016? I wish you all the best, whatever you wish to achieve, and hope you all have a fantastic year.