Random 411: Thoughts on the new year (so far)

So, here we are. Twenty-four days into 2017 and I’m wondering if I’ve been productive enough. You know, if I’m off to a good start or not. And as always, I’ve thought a lot about this blog, what it means to me, and what (if any) are the plans for its continuation into 2017. Should I still do it? Should I keep doing things the way I’m doing it? Should I scrap it and start over? I mean, what’s the point? There are millions of blogs out there covering all kinds of topics. And I tend to focus on movies, television, and books reviewing them at my leisure, but there are so many out there. There are so many better ones out there, why do it? What am I contributing this fine industry that is entertainment? And the internet for that matter.

For me, it started off as a jumping-off-a-cliff type of thing. I wanted to get used to writing for an audience. Before this blog, most of my writing was done on an academic level so only my professors and very few classmates got to read what I wrote. For the most part, I did pretty well as far as grades go. I felt like I needed to take the next step. Or a different step. My research papers, essays, creative writings are, more or less, decent on a collegiate level, but now what? Do I try short stories? Do I participate in contests? Do I submit papers to the school journal?

These ideas terrified me if I’m being honest. I suppose they would intimidate anyone who has never considered writing for a bigger audience. A different audience. The court of public opinion (is that being a bit dramatic? Maybe, considering I don’t really have that many followers (when compared to others, that is). Anyway, I needed to take a step . . .  somewhere.

Blogging was all the rage around 2012. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was all the rage earlier than that, but that’s when I stepped into the blogging scene. And because I’m such a data junkie, I took a look at my stats from when this blog was first published on WordPress.com and then moved to WordPress.org in 2015. I was expecting to see lower numbers than I have. I’m not saying I’m doing immensely well, but for someone who was expecting to see maybe a hundred or so views and visits, I did not expect the 1,449 views and the 899 visits in 2016 alone. I’ve gone from publishing 11 posts in 2012 to 367 posts in 2015.

So, what does this mean? I have no clue. Back to my initial point. Why?

I googled “Why do people blog?” I did this to see what reasons are floating around out there. I know your reason is only as good as your reason, but I was curious to see why others do it.

ShoutMeLoud.com published a post listing the top 10 reasons why people blog and those are solid reasons. Things like networking, connecting with like-minded people, self-promotion, to name a few. One reason did appeal to me, though, because it aligns with why I started. To satisfy your creative side. To quote the section on this reason:

To Satisfy Your Creative Side

Sometimes your mind is abuzz with creative ideas, which you are not too sure of, expressing openly, you have a lot of fear of their acceptance, or you are not too sure how to start something like that, blogs are the best option for unleashing your creative ideas.

It not only gives you readers who might admire your work piece but also gives your confidence a boast.

One also has liberty to write semi-professionally.

(Remember to take a look at the complete list of reasons)

Is my mind abuzz with creative ideas?

Perhaps. Okay, yes. I mean, there are these tiny thoughts that populate my mind constantly and while I journal regularly, some thoughts just want to be heard, or written out loud.

Do I have a fear of acceptance?

I would like to answer this one with a resounding YES! because that seems to be the case, right? I wanted to jump off a cliff, so to speak, and get comfortable writing to an audience. But truthfully, I don’t completely fear acceptance. It may be more like I fear rejection. I fear ridicule. I fear negative comments and feedback.

So, where does that leave me?

411 Junkie started as a way for me to voice my thoughts on the information I gather from daily living. To put them into a post. To send them into the internet, curious to see who actually reads and responds to it. To see who provides feedback.

So it’s going to stay that way. Except, I’m going to open up the floor to include anything and everything worth sharing. Focusing on movies, television, and books is advice given by many individuals who gave advice on how to make a successful blog or how to turn your blog into a business. While I find this to be very good advice, I guess my definition of success is a bit different. I’m not set out to make money with this blog (although, maybe, perhaps, one day, I could use it to help me freelance some stuff. Maybe. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there). And considering the walk-through I just gave myself, my definition of success, the purpose of this blog, was to give my inner musings an outlet.

So, here’s to 2017! To being amusing, random, and freeform!

Recapping 2016 and Listing 2017 Intentions

I know I did a mini review of 2016 on the first, but really it should be 2016, A Summary because I know I didn’t wrap up much. To be honest, I’ve tiptoed around a full recap because I didn’t feel like I accomplished much in 2016. I had good reasons, but still.

I accomplished my GoodReads challenge of reading 50 books and actually surpassed it at 65 books. I surprised myself, but towards the end of the year I locked my mind up in books :). Sadly, out of all the books I read, my “26 Books” challenge was left unfinished at 7 missed books. As much

Sadly, out of all the books I read, my “26 Books” challenge was left unfinished at seven missed books. I didn’t think I missed that many, but there it is.

This year, I’ve set my GoodReads challenge of at 65 books, hoping to at least match last years reading accomplishment. Some of my favorite book series has a book being released this year so I’m looking forward to that and hoping to check them off my list, contributing to this 65 books.

In addition, a new member of Litsy as of this year, I’m considering their AtoZ challenge but I’m trying to find something else. My deadline for finding this list is the end of this week. And since this is a review blog of sorts, kinda, that’s the intention anyway, I’ll make it a point to post 4 book reviews each month.

As for movies, well . . . that’s harder, isn’t it? It’s not like there’s a movie challenge. Okay, I stand corrected because, of course, I googled “movie challenges” and got back a few lists. I’ll scan through those to see if any piques my interest. I will make it a point to post at least 4 movie reviews each month.

And now we come to television. That has become a gray area for me. So many series I’ve left mid-series, some I want to get back to but just can’t seem to get to it. There’s Hart of DixieSuitsSupernaturalThe Vampire Diaries, to name a few. But I am up-to-date on Scorpion and I’m happy they’re well into season three. It’s a good show!

Sighs. Again, television. That’s hard, but this post is all about my intentions for 2017 so with that in mind, I will continue watching Scorpion and make it a point to post a review of at least two episodes of that month.  Allowing for the summer break of course. And I will also make it a point to finish watching Hart of Dixie because there really is no excuse why I can’t finish it since they’re all loaded on Netflix. It’s just #spoileralert


But, again, I’ll make it a point to finish Hart of Dixie and post my review on it.

So, to recap my 2017 intentions because 1) I’m a geek and 2) it’ll make it easier for me to reference throughout the year (hm, maybe I’ll make a 2017 Intentions page to keep my on point):

  • Post at least four book reviews a month
  • Post at least four movie reviews a month
  • Follow at least one television series – Scorpion is my pick
  • Post at least two episode reviews of that television series
  • Finish Hart of Dixie and post a review

Okay, I know that’s kind of bland (at least, it reads bland to me), but it’s a start, right? I’m hoping to hash this all out by the end of this week. I realize this should have already been done, but better late than never, right? And I did put a deadline on it :P.

So, here’s looking forward to another 365 days (or, well, 362 days now) to carry out my go– I mean, intentions!

Go me!

Random 411: 2015 Resolutions and stuff

You can’t have a new year without thinking about goals. And while thinking about this post I decided to see if I did something similar for 2014. I was sure I did and you know what? I did! In my 2014 Resolution post I mentioned three goals: 1) to post at least three times a week, 2) to get my views up to ten a day, and 3) to get my visits up to five a day.

Now, I didn’t succeed with the daily goal, but as of December 31st I had posted daily for 61 days straight, my views on that day reached 17, and my visits on that day reached 15. And in the month of December 2014, my blog received 388 views and 326 visits. I’d say I was able to accomplish those goals.

So what about 2015?

Well, I came across something interesting today. One of my favorite authors, Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy), posted this on her Facebook page:

In general I don’t like resolution–I prefer intentions, wishes, and dreams!

What a great perspective!

According to the dictionary, resolution means  the act of finding an answer or a solution to a conflict, problem, etc. and I don’t know if I like that perspective. You start off your new year about thinking about problems or conflicts you have and then find an answer to it. So, I like thinking of new years intentions, wishes, and dreams instead.

So, what are my intentions, wishes, and dreams for this new year?

1) Keep posting daily – because it’s fun! As hard as I thought it was before, I’m having tons of fun posting daily. It helps me to clear my mind or at least gives my mind something to occupy its free time with.

2) Organize my Literature Portfolio

3) Organize my Writing Portfolio

4) Learn Italian (or at least reach Level 3 by April)

5) Learn Irish (to reach level 3 by August)

And I know I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I wanted to write better. Well, that’s too broad wish. I need to think about action steps so … yeah, writing better is in the back of my mind, but I think it’s going to take me a little bit more to figure out how to measure this goal into steps and figure out how to keep track of progress, you know?

Anyway, do you have any specific intentions or wishes? I’d love to hear them.