Why 2017 rocked my world…and how I rocked it right back
2017 was a landmark year for me, and it absolutely slowed down my reviews and recommendations here on GraveTells. Wondering what took all my time? When I wrote all this out, it was a serious wall of text, so here are some nice, clean bullet points of all the random, crazy things I did this year:
- I transitioned into freelance editing full time. It’s legit. Editing romance books is now my actual job. <3 <3 <3 *confetti*
- Became an acquisitions editor for a romance publisher (Dreamspinner Press) — also a real, paying job, one I’ve wanted to do forever! *more sparkle confetti*
- Was a featured blogger at Coastal Magic convention
- Started podcasting (Listen to the episodes on GraveTells, YouTube or Spreaker)
- Re-branded GraveTells (and got some kick-ass new business cards)
- Reviewed 85 books (not all are posted here on GT—follow me on GoodReads!)
- Bought 66 additional books (and spent nearly $300 on them)
- Spent around $300 sending birthday and prize books out to I don’t even know how many awesome readers
- Sent nearly 2,000 tweets (AgoraPulse was a real time-saver!)
- Coordinated and attended a kink convention for erotica author Eden Bradley
- Hosted the longest and most complicated Independence Celebration in the history of GraveTells (on two blogs over four weeks—what the heck was I thinking?!)
- Competed a month-long live video challenge, which started with my very first ever live broadcast, talk about terrifying. (Don’t do Facebook? You can see the videos on YouTube here)
- Co-coordinated my RWA chapter’s yearly contest, the Heart To Heart (which was the equivalent of a full time job for like a month)
- Flew cross-country and back three times (those six hour flights truly suck—why do I keep going to FLORIDA?!)
- Revived my old chainmaille jewelry business
- And started writing a book. All about blogging.
Clearly I have too much free time on my hands…said I at no point in the last twelve months.
This is also only the second year I haven’t hosted the GraveTells Book Awards or Readers Choice Awards since I started blogging (see the 2016 winners here). Aside from this year, I have only missed one year of GTRCA in the last seven years, and I’m sad to miss it this year. But I am just exhausted. Something had to give, and I needed a break this holiday season.
So thank you, lovely readers. Thank you for reading my reviews. Thank you for visiting my site. Thank you for chatting with me in comments and live videos and on social media. Thank you for keeping me company when I wondered if anyone out there was even listening. Thank you for your words of encouragement. And thank you for sharing your love of romance with me. Romance is the literature of hope, and I hope some of the books I recommended this year brought you happiness and warmth and filled your heart with hope and joy.
If you’re a fellow book blogger—whether just starting out and trying to break into the spotlight or tired, jaded, and ready for a break, or whatever your situation!—know that I feel you. I get you. I’m right there with you. This is a hard job and it pays shit (e.g. it usually doesn’t pay at all), but there are people out there who care about what you have to say. So don’t give up out of frustration or loneliness. You can always start up a conversation with me, and I’ll be happy to commiserate, encourage, or give advice. The book I’m writing is for you, and soon, hopefully, I’ll be ready to share it with the world. So please know you can reach out anytime. <3
What does next year hold?
Well probably less podcasting, reviewing, and other assorted randomness, and a whole lot more editing. I’ll still be around here on GraveTells, but likely not as active as I was in early 2017. The thing I’m MOST EXCITED about is the 1001 Dark Nights Cruise in January. If you’re going, give me a shout out and I’ll have something special for you once we’re on board! <3
If you’re going on the January 2018 1001 Dark Nights Cruise, let me know! I’ll bring you something special on board! <3
All the best in 2018. Here’s to a kick ass new year and some steamy new romances!