2016: My Year

2016 is over in just a few short hours for us here in the Western Hemisphere. It’s already 2017 in much of the world. A perfect time to look back.

In 2016 I didn’t read enough. I almost let my blog completely die. I quit multiple jobs. And I’m on the verge of rejecting multiple job offers at once. Sounds wonderful.

But there are some positives to come out of this year. I bought my first DSLR, which I’ve wanted for quite some time. I proceeded to take my new camera to Washington, DC during my first real vacation as an adult. I visited the Library of Congress. I visited Austin for the first time on my own. I made some long overdue personal decisions that I’m looking forward to.

Everyone wants to talk about how 2016 has been the year of celebrity deaths. I don’t see the point of this. It sounds to me like people are worried about the wrong things. Old people die. It isn’t surprising. Especially when the world as a whole has actual problems affecting the lives of every human alive today, and those not yet born.

Maybe my year wasn’t ideal and a few celebrities died, but I refuse to complain. There are people without food, shelter, and clothing. How about all these people worried about the deaths of celebrities actually worry about something a little less glamorous?

That’s what 2016 really boils down to. People focused on such trivial things. Instead of making memes about Harambe, why not support an animal rescue organization? Instead of focusing on how many celebrities have died in 2016, why not support some of their favorite charitable causes and organizations? And instead of complaining about how rough you have it, why not think of the people who have to walk miles just to have access to water?

I know my 2016 didn’t go according to plan, but you won’t find me feeling sorry for myself.

What were some of the highlights of your year?

Advertisements

January: A Review

January was okay on the blog. It was nothing compared to last January, but eh. I guess I’ll have to take the blame for that. The first month of the year has come and gone, and now it’s time for some numbers.

Posts: 31

Likes: 632

Comments: 431

Followers: 3353

Books Read: 2

Poems: 1

YouTube Videos: 2

I lied. January actually turned out to be better than expected. I know two books is nothing to cheer about, but at least I did get started on my 2016 Reading Challenge, right? AND I posted a poem on here for the first time in a million years. AND I’m getting a little more consistent on my channel. All positives. The other numbers are pretty average.

Now let’s look at some posts.

Top Post

On Alan Rickman

Favorite Post

Guess Who Officially Has a Custom YouTube Url?!

Post you may Have Missed

2016 Reading Challenge Book #$2: The Thomas Berryman Number

The top post of the month was pretty predictable, although I hadn’t checked before writing this. But Alan Rickman was beloved actor, and his death brought about the appropriate response from his fans. I finally got my own YouTube URL, which of course is exciting. AND I’m really planning on expanding my channel to greater heights in the coming months. Which I hope you’ll join me for.

All in all, January was pretty nice. I know I enjoyed it. How was your opening month of 2016?

 

My Year: 2015

I’d initially wanted to write a series of posts this week discussing my favorite things from different categories, but now I’m just going to write one review for everything. Even though I know everyone else already has. But eh. Let’s get started.

Blogging

At the start of 2015 I set some pretty ridiculous goals for the blog that I thought were attainable. They were, but I missed the mark. Here are some side-by-side stats comparing 2014 to 2015.

Posts

282 (2014) – 363 (2015)

Views

30,102 (2014) – 33,469 (2015)

Visitors

12,195 (2014) – 17,097 (2015)

Likes

5,302 (2014) – 8,386 (2015)

Comments

10,159 (2014) – 9,685 (2015)

I’m sure some might look at the numbers and think of how great the year was. It wasn’t. It was okay. About a thousand new followers and it didn’t translate into anything meaningful. No surge in views, comments, or much of anything. But it’s fine. Maybe my content was to blame. I don’t know.

But my original goals for the year were to reach 40,000 site views, to reach 5,000 followers, and to post 25 poems. I didn’t achieve any of those goals. So I won’t set any goals for the blog in 2016. Because it can only be as good as I can make it. And that’s it.

The top three posts published in 2015 were:

Ursula Le Guin is Clueless

Little Free Libraries Have Come Under Fire

On False Claims From Bloggers

Social Media

I’ve all but stopped using other social media. My Facebook app has been deleted but there’s something wrong with my phone and it randomly restarts and re-downloads the app. Not even kidding. I rarely use Twitter. My blog posts go there automatically, but I just don’t tweet hardly at all. I’ve only recently really started using my Instagram account a bit more. But I see people posting multiple terrible photos a day and I’m just baffled. Eh.

Reading

Y’all already know I only read 10 books in 2015. There’s nothing satisfying about that number. I did manage to read some good books, including the best book I’ve ever read. But this has got to stop. From 2010-2012 I read a total of 106 books. Which is nothing compared to some people on WordPress, but at least it’s something. From 2013-2015 I read a total of 32 books. It’s just stupid. What the hell am I even doing? *slaps myself*

BookTube

I know my channel has something like 16 subscribers, but this is probably what I’m most excited about in 2016. Because I’ll be making videos for two different things going on. I’ll still be reading from Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read list, which means videos for each one of those. And I’ll also be making videos for every book I read from my challenge. The first will be coming tomorrow forĀ The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I finished last night. So if you’re still working on your first book of the year and you’re doing my challenge, you’re officially in the rear view mirror! I WILL set a goal for my channel in 2016. 25 videos. Easy enough. I released seven videos on my channel in 2015. My most viewed was my first video, An Intro to Johnny Reads!. It was also my shortest in length. Welp.

Hometown Teams

What a year for Houston sports. The Rockets had one of the most improbable playoff series wins in history by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to the LA Clippers and reaching the conference finals for the first time in almost 20 years. The Astros continued their improvement by snagging a playoff spot and having the eventual World Series champions within six outs of elimination. And the Texans just won their third division title in team history. Playoff game this Saturday! Everyone jokes at work that I don’t know anything except sports and books. Not that far from the truth.

Half Price Books

In August I started working at Half Price Books. It”s been great from day one. The people are great to work with and be around (even if they poke fun sometimes) and I’m literally paid to work in a bookstore. Heaven does exist! It’s already been five months and I’m still loving every single day there.

Trip of a Lifetime

My first. I’ve been saving as much of my little bit of money as I can. And I’m rewarding myself by taking the first trip of my life. I’ve been to Disney World. I’ve been to Michigan. But Disney World happened in the 90s and Michigan wasn’t a vacation type trip. But I’ll finally get to experience what it’s like to really travel. And I’ll be able to see the capital city of my country. I think during those four days I’ll be able to learn even more about what it means to be an American. Heck, I might even cry when I see some things. I can’t tell you how excited I am, and how glad I am to have made the decision to go. I’m hoping this becomes my first trip of many trips of a lifetime. Fingers crossed!

Reading Challenge

I said I’m most excited about my BookTube channel, but I’m also very excited about my reading challenge. Mostly because I’ve gotten tons of feedback and support since I first mentioned it a week ago. I have a feeling the post is going to be one of the top two or three posts of THIS year. It’s getting that much traffic. But I’m also excited to see what other people read and say about something I came up with fully on my own. I overhear my co-workers talking about it just about everyday. It’s great because I know others are also talking about it in various places on the Internet.

In a nutshell, I became more and less active on social media. I started working at a bookstore, My loyalty to my hometown teams finally paid off. And I saved up enough money to start my traveling. Sounds like an alright year to me.

Thanks for always coming back, guys. I know I write things you won’t always agree with and I’ll probably push your buttons without even knowing it, but it’s never too serious. And no one is aiming to be disrespectful. This is my little piece of cyberspace, and you’re always welcome.


On this day in 2015 I published Mark Zuckerberg’s “A Year of Books”.

May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

Today is January 1st. Which means my 2016 Reading Challenge is officially underway! I have way more people participating than I thought would, which means one heck of a competition.

But wait, are you sitting there reading this with no idea what I’m talking about? Then let me refer you to this post. You’ll find all the information you need to participate.

Good luck to the rest of you participating! There could be gift cards in your future!

The first book I’ll be reading for the challenge will be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, but I won’t tell y’all which bullet it’ll be fulfilling. Ha!

Don’t forget to tag me on here or on Instagram whenever you finish a book from the challenge! I’ll be able to Like and comment easier that way.

So without further delay, may the odds be ever in your favor. What’s going to be your first book for the challenge?