Regular readers – if I still have any – may have noticed that until yesterday’s post about my back injury, I’d not written a non-bookish post since July this year when I travelled to England.
I think there are several reasons for that – part of that trip not being what I expected, work being busy and wonderful, work being busy and revolting and then the back injury… but I think I’ve perhaps lost my voice.
I’ve got a post half-written about consuming vs creating which I started about ten months ago and think that’s part of my problem… I’ve been consuming so much fodder through books, social media crap and streaming television, that it’s left no space for me to ‘create’…. anything.
I wonder if I’ve also become more self-conscious about what I write. Worried about sharing weaknesses and vulnerability, perhaps.
Nevertheless, I thought I’d wrap up the year that was (or wasn’t). 2023 in review:
I ended up reading 105 books in 2023 and have already posted my favourite books post.
I’m actually getting fewer review books than I used to, with one of the big publishers constantly leaving me off their new release listings and another using a new online form that freezes when I try to use it, meaning I can’t request any of their books anyway. Meh.
It feels like short-form reviews like bookstagram and booktok have become the media-du-jour for publishers, and bloggers like yours-truly simply relics from the past.
Blog stuff and writing
Having just said blogging might be dead, my stats increased a lot this past year. I’ve only posted 91 blog posts (compared to over 200/year between 2011 and 2018) but my stats were up 70,000 views above last year, with 15-19K views most months.
And… drumroll…. this month marks the 15th anniversary of my blogging (ahem) career. Interestingly (though I used to write about all kinds of shit) my first post here in January 2009 was akin to a book review, Bruce Beresford definitely wants to do this.
Life and travel
I started a new job in November 2022 and it’s been a crazy ride all year with lots of changes. The best bit has been the team I manage who constantly surprise me with their amazingness and make me feel like a proud mother.
It’s meant a lot of travel as my team is dispersed across the state and I’ve attempted to visit them at a time that coincides with something that will give me some insight into their region and the issues it faces, and into their work. I’ve been to the Far North and Cape (Cairns and Weipa), North and North West (Townsville, Mt Isa and Cloncurry), the West (Longreach and Muttaburra), Mackay, Rockhampton and K’gari. And a planned trip to Goondiwindi in the South West was thwarted by both my back injury and nearby fires.
Speaking of travel… there was, of course, my England holiday – which I’ve not written about. Highlights definitely include the Cotswolds but I also loved Yorkshire. I started that holiday with the much-anticipated crime writers festival at Harrogate and I’ve not written about that either because I’m yet to process it in my little head as it didn’t really live up to my expectations… potentially my own fault.
And I vowed I wouldn’t go over 500 words, so need to stop. I should also mention I’ve watched shitloads of stuff on AppleTV+, Netflix and Prime and love that so many books are making it onto the screen.
I’ll also skip over the health stuff as, though I joined a gym and started exercising properly again, it’s now a distant memory given the back injury that’s engulfed all that came before.
Pray tell, how did 2023 pan out for you?