Happy New Year everyone – it’s time to look back on 2017! Now, I am completely aware that I am a little late for this, but it took me a while to decide what format I wanted to do it in. I eventually decided just to combine all the things I need for a 2017 wrap up; I kind of want to briefly touch upon everything, so that is what I’ve done! Below, in order you have: 2017 resolutions, favourites, highlights (both bookish and not) and my 2018 resolutions. Enjoy!
2017 resolutions: a review
- Go to YALC 2017 – I did this! It was fantastic and I had the most amazing time! You can read about the amazing time I had here!
- Complete some Reading Challenges – last year, I took part in the Beat the Backlist Challenge, and I set myself fifteen books to read that were released before 2017. It took me until early December, but I did finish this! I also set my own personal reading goal on Goodreads as 100 books, which I met on the December 31st at about 4pm, so very last minute!
- Diversify my reading – ‘diversify’ meaning I wanted to expand the genres I read to more than YA, and I definitely completed this challenge, reading way more classics and contemporary fiction than I ever have before! This has also been super helpful in terms of English A Level, which I started in September.
- Do NaNoWriMo – this did not happen. At all. I did not even attempt NaNoWriMo at any point last year. I really did not have the time or motivation for this in 2017, and I think this is a goal I will have to put aside for the time being.
- Continue building my Blogging Empire! – (and yes, I find this phrasing cringey. I was being sarcastic/overdramatic, but still. ugh) I did manage to blog every week throughout 2017, including through my GCSEs, which I am very proud of! I am hoping to do the same in 2018!
I’ve already done a whole other piece on my favourite books from last year, so here’s all the other things that have been favourites of mine over the last 12 months:
I really got into wearing lipstick in 2017, and there are a few that I really loved: for going out, I often use the MAC matte Studded Kiss lipstick, as the colour is amazing and it stays on really well; one of my go-to daily lipsticks last year was one from the KIKO smart range, which doesn’t matte quite as well, but I do adore the colour!
In terms of music, I listened to so much of dodie’s music this year – I started by listening to her covers on YouTube, then her originals, until I found myself playing her new album You on repeat for weeks! I also just generally love dodie’s video content, and have almost watched every single one by this point!
2017 was the year I started drinking coffee, and in particular I have found that lattes have made sixth form 100% more bearable. I get these from my school cafe to drink during my free periods, and they really help me get through the day.
Another favourite is the Roasted Hazelnut Hot Chocolate that was one of Caffe Nero’s Christmas specials this year! I bought one of these whilst out shopping, and I think it is the best drink I had in 2017. To be honest, Caffe Nero in general is a favourite. My love for Caffe Nero is unreal.
And lastly, for the shortest amount of time, the Polaroid camera my parents have me for Christmas! I have wanted one of these for so long, and I have already taken a few photos (one on Christmas Day, three on New Year’s Eve). I got the Fujifilm Instax 300 Wide Instant Camera, and I am also really happy with the size of the photos!
Highlights (the bookish bit)
The first thing I did, way back in January was attend Scholastic’s Blogger’s Book Feast. I had only been blogging for a couple of months when I went to this, and I had an amazing time at my first ever blogging event! Scholastic is the main publisher I do bookish things (blog tours, for example) with, and they are so so lovely, and were amazing all throughout 2017!
I also went to the launch party for The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury! This was the first time I met my lovely friend Liv, and it was lovely to spend the evening chatting with her, and other bloggers and authors. The launch party was held in a crypt in London, which was very atmospheric and just perfect for The Scarecrow Queen!
At the start of the summer, I did two weeks of work experience with two different publishing companies – Gallic Books and Andersen Press! This was such an amazing experience, and it taught me so much about the publishing industry. It made me fall in love with the book community even more, if that is even possible, and I have a whole post on my time at Gallic Books, if you want to check it out!
Finally, I went to YALC in the summer of 2017, and I loved every minute of it! It was basically just three days of hanging out with my blogger friends, meeting my favourite authors, and talking about books non-stop! In a nutshell, it was a perfect weekend.
The other highlights!
In terms of my personal life, the first half of 2017 was pretty dull. And by ‘dull’, I mean jam-packed with stress and studying and little else, as GCSEs essentially took over my life. However, the second half of the year was filled with so many amazing moments and opportunities. After my work experience, I went away to Spain for five days with my best friend, and I really loved having the time to unwind after months of revision of exams. We weren’t staying anywhere central or touristy, so it was just five days of sunbathing and swimming, which was divine! I’ve been watching lots of travel vloggers at the moment, and now part of me wishes I had blogged about this trip, but maybe in the future I will try documenting my travels on here!
I also went to South Africa with my family later on in the summer, which is a holiday we take nearly every year to visit relatives. We went for a few weeks, although our trip was slightly shorter than usual because Jess and I wanted to go to YALC! I had a wonderful time, and I loved seeing the family and friends that I only get to see for a week or so in the summer (I also watched Dead Poets Society on the plane on the way home, and I cried. Which is unusual for me. I just really loved the film, and it was kind of a mini-highlight in itself?).
The final big thing I did was NCS in October! I think NCS is becoming more well-known now, but for those of you who have never heard of it, NCS stands for National Citizen Service. It is a government-run program for 16-17 year, lasting a few weeks, and you are placed in a group with people you’ve never met before. There are three stages to the program: Adventure, Discovery and Social Action. Most people do it in the summer, after GCSEs, but as I was lucky enough to have a very busy July and August, I opted to do the shorter Autumn program. I was honestly so terrified before I started (even asking my dad to take me home when he first dropped me off), but I think it did so much good for my confidence, and I’m so glad I did it!
- Read 60 books – less than last year, as I began to feel quite a bit of pressure towards the end of 2017. This works out at 5 books a month, which I am confident I can do!
- Read a poem a day – I now own quite a few poetry anthologies, and I decided it was time to get through them, a poem at a time. I have so far missed one day, and I read two the next day to catch up, so I think I can manage this!
- Read War and Peace – this book is around 1,200 pages, the writing is teeny-tiny, and I am sort of dreading reading it. BUT, I will try, so I will have to see how it goes!
- Re-read Harry Potter – I have read Harry Potter twice in my life: for the first time when I was around five or six, and again aged thirteen. It’s time for a reread!
- Read more diversely – this year, rather than genre, I want to make a conscious effort to read more books with BAME protagonists, and more importantly, books by BAME authors. This is a resolution I am determined to keep, and I’m so happy to see that so many other people have set themselves this goal!
So that’s it for my 2017! I did a whole lot of awesome things, and I have some things coming up this year that I am really looking forward to! Well done if you made it through this huge blog post, and I hope you all have an excellent 2018!