Resolutions for 2017

In an attempt to break with tradition and also give a little more personal insight I thought I would share all of my resolutions with you for 2017. I did mention in a previous post (where I was seeing the New Year in by the seaside) that I am not someone who strikes those who know me as the resolution type, and they would be right really as to be honest I see these more as guidelines. Clearly we can see tangents are not something I am resolute against in 2017, where were we? Oh yes, sharing my resolutions guidelines for the forthcoming year with you all. Personal wise, reading wise and blogging wise. Right…

Excuse the cheesy image, but I didn't know what else to use.

Excuse the cheesy image, but I didn’t know what else to use.

Personal Guidelines

  • Free up more time, ‘real’ time – I am quite busy. I have a full time job, I also consult for Orion, I also blog, booktube and podcast. I also spend far too much time faffing around on the internet with apps and other shenanigans on my phone when I could be a) reading and/or b) doing real things in the real world with real people. So this year I want to free up more ‘real’ time, with less time on the internet and slightly less of my ‘scheduled reading hours’ (I have told you about those haven’t I?) and do real things which means…
  • Stop procrastinating and be more organised – I am the world’s worst procrastinator. I mean it has taken me until the 4th to actually type up my new year’s resolutions, says it all. Less faffing and waffling about will mean I can have more of the time and be…
  • Doing more things – By ‘things’ I mean travelling, weekends away, walking in the countryside, going to events and concerts, having guests to stay (that was the whole idea of a bigger house) and just doing more of all the things. I am planning a spring break, either another all inclusive like Cyprus last year or a week in America for my birthday (35, jeez) and then off to Japan and Thailand in September fingers crossed. It doesn’t have to be grand though, trips to galleries and museums and all that sort of stuff too please. All the culture please. Good for my brain and my…
  • Wellbeing and health – After being diagnosed with Dercums last year I am more aware than ever of my health. I have been aware for a while that less Mars bars and more stairs might be the attitude I should take, it is good for the body and the brain, and so I am heading back to the gym next week. I also want to do more walking, here there and everywhere, I have loved going on walks all over Christmas and the new year so more of that please.
  • More reading time – I know I said I was thinking of having less ‘scheduled reading time’ but this is also to break the habit that I have of reading in big stints and just reading whenever and wherever. Which leads onto…

Reading Guidelines

  • Read by whim – I have started to plan and plot what I read too much and I think this is in part what made me have a more ‘meh’ reading year last year and read less. So far this year I have picked up what I want as whim dictates, even stopping one book ten pages in yesterday to flit to one of the Costa Book Awards category winners. Fickle and whimish but it was the right choice, I am reading like a demon.
  • Read older books – I don’t just mean the classics, though I would like to read more Bronte this year. I am talking about authors back catalogues; I have loads of favourite authors whose backlists I am ignoring. I also want to start a few authors from the very beginning and work my way through their books in order, Sarah Moss and Helen Oyeyemi,  I am coming for you.
  • Diversify my reading even more – non fiction, graphic novels and poetry could all do with a little more work from me, short stories I am getting addicted to since I started reading more. I would like the same here.
  • Books set in Japan and the rest of Asia – as I am off there later in the year I would like to read all about this part of the world in all the genres. This includes Manga, recommendations of where to start welcome.
  • Own voices – I am still getting to grips with the ‘own voices’ discussion going on in the book sphere, however I am all for it and would like to make sure I am reading more own voices works. So those are my guidelines there, finally…

Blogging Guidelines

  • Find a better balance – I have noticed with blogging I either do it all the time for week and months or I am really patchy, this has admittedly been more in the last year or two (maybe since Gran died actually when my flow was as broken as I was) I would like to get an even keel. I don’t want to be reading to blog, I just want to blog what I read. Same for booktube and podcasting. Real life and reading come first, the blog will be the retellings and the rewards of all that lovely stuff.
  • Have a random schedule – yep, I know this sounds like a complete contradiction but what I would like to do ideally is have two or three posts a week, it might not always be possible but it would be nice, maybe on a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (with a bonus of Other People’s Bookshelves as and when I get them) maybe. Regularly irregular.
  • More unusual content – not sure what yet, am still thinking about it.
  • Keep on keeping on – simple as that. I love the blog and all the wonderful chats, friends and books it has brought me, so I want to carry one and keep having fun with it and enjoying it. As I said, simple as that.

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions and/or recommendations books, blogging and anything else wise. Blimey, that is  quite a list isn’t it?

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26 Comments

Filed under Random Savidgeness

26 responses to “Resolutions for 2017

  1. JanO

    I have missed The Readers’ podcast. I hope you don’t stop that.

  2. You think you’re bad at procrastinating? I haven’t even posted my top reads of 2016 yet!

    I definitely need to pay my blog some more TLC this year. In fairness to myself, I’ve had it for just shy of a year, and it’s more of a hobby for me right now… but still…

    One resolution on my list is to sort out my finances this year. For the past couple of years I’ve spent pretty much all my spare money on travel and holidays. Whilst that’s been fun, I think this is the year for me to start building up some personal funds as well as starting the ‘big save’ for a house.

    Excited about potentially ‘unusual’ content – I’ll keep watching this space!

  3. That IS quite a list, but all good stuff! Don’t be too hard on yourself though – you’ve had a busy year. I don’t know how you feel about audiobooks, but I find them an excellent way to get through the books I sort of want to read, but wouldn’t be top of my pile IYSWIM?
    Great to listen to while walking too!
    Hope you have a great 2017, Simon.

  4. Alex

    Votes for less faffing about on the internet ( trying to do more long reads blogs etc like i used to pre twitter/FB)

    “Mars bars and more stairs might be the attitude I should take” hmm do what you love – do you like the gym? just asking as it come across as something you feel you shd do but don’t like – if no maybe lots of walking

  5. Linda Stormonth

    Loads of “shoulds” there! Good luck with that! I enjoy your posts…but not at the expense of your health and sanity.

  6. gail kennon

    i want to recommend that you be kinder and more patient with simon savidge as i like him a lot don’t like seeing him beat up!!! no, you don’t know me but i watch your video with great enjoyment and i’m working my way back through your “the readers” podcasts.

  7. I find if I am reading and doing a lot I feel blogging about it all is too overwhelming. Instead now I only reort on what I did today or yesterday. I don’t need to blog about every book or event. Same applies to email and letter writing. People just want to hear from you and if posts are simpler you may find it easier to make them more frequent without exhaustion or procrastination.

  8. I think that your NY resolutions are reachable. Most of us set the goals way too high. I have often wondered how you have managed to read, work, blog, youtube, and answer so many comments. Superman! Relax and enjoy your reading this year. p.s. if you need any help with Thailand please let me know. Lived here for quite a long time.

  9. Kateg

    My NY resolution includes getting into much better shape. As for reading, I need to do more with less internet and distractions. I love hearing from you in most ways ( not a big video watcher), but I hope you keep up The Readers ( I remember when you turned 30). Happy 2017!

  10. Wow that really is quite a list. Good for you for going with the whim thing. I stopped blogging for quite a while because of ill health and the feeling I wasn’t reading for myself anymore. Last year I read exactly what I wanted and it was liberating. I have started blogging again and am desperately going to try not to get sucked into review copies only because it takes away from finding my own books and enjoying them for enjoyment sake. Happy reading and blogging Simon!

  11. I have a news flash for you Simon. I am the world’s worst procrastinator, AND I have a certificate to prove it. It’s up on the wall next to my Certificate of Sanity.

  12. I like the way that your goals all link together. Even though there are a lot of them, they aren’t just random. I wish you success!

  13. Some excellent ideas there Simon. I need to spend less time faffing on the internet and make time to read.

    Happy to suggest non fiction titles as i am reading more than ever for BookLife on Nudge now. For graphic novel I would suggest the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman

    I really never make resolutions, but my reading intentions are here:
    http://halfmanhalfbook.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/2017-reading-intentions.html

  14. Wishing you luck with all of these – a long list, but they all sound eminently sensible to me! (And I should probably do all of those as well). I particularly like the part where you are freeing yourself of constraints and a strict schedule and obligations, allowing yourself to enjoy reading and blogging a bit more.

  15. I’ve been saying for weeks that I’ll delete the couple of FB games I spend far too much time on – gonna do it now. Good luck with all your resolutions. I often find that when I ‘have’ to read a book, I don’t enjoy it so much, so am also trying to read more by whim and defo more from my TBR this year.

  16. dirtmother

    How will you measure success? (Not everything worth doing can be measured precisely of course but a combination of some numbers and a solid understanding of the spirit behind your intention does help when it comes to looking back with clear unjaded eyes)
    I am right with you on the ‘do more things’ – especially reviewing 2016 (and I feel this is not something to rush which is why I’ve been doing it this week too) I felt there were a lot of things not achieved, too many… and then I looked at my other list, something I’ve only done for a few years, where I just make a note of things I fancy doing, ideally not time limited, and discovered that I’d done 25 of them in 2016 which really impressed me and changed my perspective on the year. Some of them are really quite small and local (eg a café I’ve never been to, a church I’ve never been inside) but satisfy the curiosity even if they don’t bring joy (but mostly they do) For example, too long on my list is a visit to a cactus nursery – it’s almost walking distance from my house, I really want to go but I haven’t… yet. It’s a high priority for this year.
    Will this be the year I finish the second 500 pages of a book of collected prose? I ran out of steam half way through last year.

  17. Simon, I will always remember that after my dad died, you said something lovely about how you hoped he was now discussing books with your Gran!
    These are all excellent resolutions.

  18. Great post Simon. I’m trying to kick start my reading and blogging as well. Juggling everything that you want to do with what you have to do (like working) isn’t easy. I wish you luck – and a belated Happy New Year!

  19. I too have decided to read older books, in fact out of print American Women authors for 2017. I have started with Earth Horizon an autobiography of Mary Austin’s life, and is proving to be a window on American history a time gone by. So good.

  20. Ann

    Oh Simon, such a long list of resolutions. Make it simple – don’t over think them. Just take one and try to do it. That list is so long I am afraid it is a list that will set you up to fail. Be more kind to yourself. You seem like a wonderful person.

  21. Good luck! I had a great list of resolutions last year – all nicely SMART and organised into mind, body and spirit. Honestly, they were a work of art. I didn’t keep any of them though. This time I’m going with just the one – being at my desk and writing by 9.30 each weekday (I’m giving myself Bank holidays off – I still need a little flexibility!). Hope that your approach works for you.

  22. Tony

    Here’s to a great year ahead – have fun 🙂

  23. I have some very similar resolutions. Good luck with them and have a fab 2017

  24. Hi, Simon, good luck with the resolutions I don’t bother nowadays, but rather point my nose to the wind and fly on the back of my dragon, see where we end up. I noticed in your Personal Guidlines you mentioned (culture) and wondered if you’d heard about our (Hull City of Culture 2017) status and thought I’d plug away. There’s some great things happening over the coming weeks and months which I’m sure would delight. One non-resolution I did make though, is to finish my submission for ‘Hometown Tales’ which I’m enjoying writing, so thanks for the idea. Kind regards. Baz.

  25. That’s a truly inspiring list! We share some “personal guidelines”: one of my priorities this year is to take care of myself (on a physical and on a mental level), which means eating healthier and moving more and taking time to do things like weekends abroad.

    In terms of “cultural/going out” recommendations, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to teach you anything but hey here is a little list of places I really enjoyed going to last year in London: the Wellcome Collection (I always find their exhibitions fun and their reading room is just awesome), Genesis Cinema (super cheap but very nice/pretty/kind of arty cinema in East London) and the Southbank Centre obviously!

    In terms of books, the one that really stuck with me in 2016 was “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. In this non-fiction book, Skloot recounts the story of the woman who “gave” the HeLa cells to science (actually she didn’t give them at all) and of her family. It’s a real masterpiece in my opinion! You’ve probably heard about it (if not read it!) but if not, I think it’s a book that could really encourage you to read more non-fiction.

  26. Kerry Stanek

    Hello Simon, I’ve just popped in from the Persephone website and first up was your list of new year resolutions which I read with interest. I would like to second the commenter who said you need to be kind to yourself. Resolutions should be guidelines to help you on the path to the better you. Don’t beat yourself up for being continuously sidelined by life events. And a word of advice, procrastination is normal for many of us. There is still ‘stuff’ going on upstairs in the brain. Cherry pick the resolutions that are easily achievable and go with those. Get some smaller successes under the belt. I’m glad that you ‘allowed’ yourself to move on to another book when the current one wasn’t working. There are SO many books out there. I used to give myself an 80 page minimum until I realised I was wasting MY time that could have been better spent with my head in another book. Your honest and thoughtful blog reminds me of the difficulties of youth (yes, even at 34) in finding (dare I say it?) your authentic self (I said it) when there is so much choice available in our modern world. Good luck for 2017 and read only what you enjoy!

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