Vicki 2011 Round Up: Reminiscing and Resolutions

Wow. I actually can not believe that I'm here doing this post already. Where the heck did 2011 go? It feels like I blinked and missed it. There was so much I was going to do personal wise that I never got round to (mainly decorating) and the cupboard under the stairs still needs cleaned out...this year I swear I'll get round to putting the Christmas tree away properly!

Blog wise it's been a pretty exciting year all round I think. 2011 saw a big change and after a year of blogging alone under the name of Rhiana Reads... I was joined by Lyndsey and together we became Heaven Hell and Purgatory Book reviews. Having a blogging partner has been fantastic...the pressure is definitely less when the reading and reviewing is shared plus having someone to talk books and bounce idea's off is great. Lyndsey's been an awesome co-blogger, particularly over the last couple of months when my work and personal schedule has taken me away from things here. Luckily she's done more than her share to keep things running and I owe her a HUGE thanks for that.

Not only did the team double, but this year all of our stats did too and we end 2011 with twice as many followers as we started...so thanks to all of you for that. Visitor numbers have almost trebled compared to this  time last year, which makes me proud that people genuinely seem to appreciate our opinions on books. 


I was lucky enough to be invited to some amazing events because of the blog this year and met some fantastic bloggers, authors and publicists. Highlight of the year though had to be an overnight stay in Alnwick Castle to celebrate the second book in the Poison diaries series. Along with some of my very favourite people I got to have a sleep over in the Castle used as HOGWARTS(!) for some scenes in the first two movies, meet the Duchess of Northumberland, have high tea in the state dining room and dinner in the most amazing  tree house restaurant. To see my report and pictures of the event click HERE

A very close second however was attending the launch party for Alyson Noel's final book in her Immortals series, Everlasting. I even got my tarot read...something I'd always wanted to do. Alyson was incredibly nice too. Report and pics HERE

Sarah (Feeling Fictional), Me, Stacey (Pretty Books) at Alyson Noel's launch party
If all this wasn't exciting enough I managed to win tickets to the Radio One Big Weekend and took along my lovely blogging partner Lyndsey. We saw Lady Gaga, My Chemical Romance, Bruno Mars and some other amazing acts live and despite the cold it was a brilliant day!


2011 saw us host our very own feature month here, Summer Lovin' 2011. It was hard work but lots of fun and I'd like to thanks all the bloggers and authors who took part by writing guest posts. If you'd like to see what it was all about then click HERE

So what next for 2012...

I think it's fair to say that I burned out a little by the end of this year reading and blogging wise and after thinking about it a while I'm pretty certain I know why. I'm one of these people who don't work well under pressure...in fact if I feel I HAVE to do something then I'm even less inclined to want to do it. If I'm honest a point came where reading was no longer as fun as it used to be, I was forcing myself to read certain books at certain times and it just wasn't working. 

So the approach for 2012 here will be a much more relaxed one, back to how it first started out. We're no longer going to be solely a 'Young Adult' site as we're both finding it limiting...me more so. There's a whole range of books we want to read and talk about...and so that is what we'll do. I'm also dramatically scaling back the number of books I acquire by whatever means. While having lots of books drop through the letter box is lovely, it's also pressure and the truth is I'm not a machine. I can only do so much. Plus I'm on the verge of having to move into the shed to make way for all these books I've yet to read. I'll be much more selective in the coming year. 


Which brings me onto my next point. We've decided we won't be participating in In My Mailbox anymore, in fact it's been a while since we have and it's been liberating. This is in no way a criticism of the meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren .. I've loved taking part in the past, it's introduced me to some amazing bloggers and brought them to me...for which I'm grateful. However it's time consuming and as Sunday's are my only regular day off I'll be spending them with my children from now on. 


What I'd like for 2012 is a return to a real love and passion for the books I read, more interaction with the blogging  and book community (who I have neglected in the past few months...thanks to those who still visited us despite my rudeness) and more spontaneity with the books I read and posts I publish including more personal, fun and discussion type posts. 


Finally....


Happy New Year To You All!!!








7 comments:

  1. This year really has flown by hasn't it! I can't believe it's nearly over already lol.

    I'll look forward to seeing some reviews for adult books on here. I think you're doing the right thing by trying to take some of the pressure of blogging away, it can be hard to keep on top of everything otherwise :o)

    I have to say our trip to Alnwick was one of my highlights too! Such an amazing experience and one I got to share with some of my favourite blogging friends

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  2. Some great plans for 2012! I'm trying to take a more relaxed approach too! I've actually put a note up saying I'm not accepting review books at the momentapart from the UK publishers I'm already working with. That should keep things more under control!

    I bailed on IMM last year as I was spending too much time on Sundays commenting. It's nice to not switch on the computer at all on Sundays now! :)

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  3. You've had a fantastic year and I can't wait to see what you have in store for 2012, maybe you'll get me back into a few adult tittles! :) im looking forward to next year and hope its a great one for both of you lovely ladies!

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  4. I am so jealous of your castle adventure!

    Here is to 2012 rocking and meeting every single goal :-D

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  5. Wonderful post, and I love the sound of your decisions. Wishing you a fantastic 2012!

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  6. I'm looking forward to seeing what you two bring in the new year and looking forward to seeing some adult book reviews too! I'm taking a more relaxed approach this year too no challenges just reading and reviewing what I want to read with some review books mixed in! Best of luck for the new year and happy 2012!

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  7. Wishing you & yours a truly wonderful 2012

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