Discussions

DISCUSSION: New Blogging Goals!

August 13, 2018

Okay, I know it’s not the beginning of the year or anything, but there’s no wrong time for turning over a new leaf (or a few), right?

Today, I want to talk about some new blogging goals I’ve set in place for myself! As I’ve mentioned time and time again, you guys are excellent accountability partners—I always find that it’s so much easier to stick to my goals when I’m upfront with you all about them!

So, here are the new goals I’ve set for myself:

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1. Post more reviews

In the month of July, out of 31 posts, only 11 were reviews! That’s not a lot for me; I read 23 books in July not including my assigned reading, so obviously I didn’t review everything yet. In June, I posted 12, so not much better, but every previous month in this year has averaged 15-17 reviews per month, which is a number I’d like to get back to. Which leads me to my next point…
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2. Start reviewing while reading

I know I’m always saying I want to review books sooner, but a new goal I have that I think will help tremendously is starting to write my review while I read the book! Even if that just includes bullet points outlining things I want to touch on, not only does it help me remember minor details I want to talk about in my review, but it should also help motivate me to finish the review quickly after finishing the book (which also will mean you guys get to read my thoughts while they’re still fresh!).
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3. Prioritize overdue ARCs

I’m going make a shameful confession today: I have a really terrible habit of completely de-prioritizing ARCs if I miss their due date. If it’s a really high priority ARC and/or a publishing company I don’t work with often, I’ll try to do it within a week or two of the book’s release, but if it’s a publishing company who I’ve built a good relationship with (like HarperTeen), I have the worst habit of saying, “Oh, I missed the date? Oops, well, moving on to the next ARC on the list!” I want to stop doing that, and to start trying to review overdue ARCs as soon as I can, because let’s be honest—it’s way less shameful to review an ARC a week late than six months late…
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4. More discussion posts

Ironically enough, this one goes against goal #1 a little bit, because I refuse to post twice in a day (except for in very special circumstances), which means I have less days for reviews! That said, I love reading discussion posts, and I LOVE reading your responses to the ones that I post!
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5. Blog hopping and checking my WP reader everyday

This is a goal that I’ve actually been working on already, which many of you have noticed; I’m trying really hard to form a habit of checking my reader at least once daily and commenting on posts! I love reading all of your posts, and am always sad when I realize I’ve missed some great reviews and discussions, so I feel so much more “in the loop” now that I’m staying on top of things a bit better.
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6. Replying to comments within 24 hours

This is another one I’ve already been working on! Earlier this year, I was in a really bad rut where I didn’t reply to comments for about 2 weeks on average, and they would just pile up and become unmanageable and I felt so guilty every time! I felt like I wasn’t carrying on genuine conversations because, by the time I replied, let’s be honest, we had both forgotten what was being talked about! Lately, whether it’s through my laptop or the app on my phone, I try to catch up on comments every day. It makes it so much faster to reply and I feel like I’ve gotten to know a lot of you SO much better because we’re actually communicating quickly! ♥ So, win-win!
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7. Fill tags in a timely manner

If you check out my tag posts, you already know that most of the ones I fill have been sitting in my bookmarks for months, and that’s really not okay. I mean, I don’t judge anyone else for not filling their tags right away, but let’s be honest: if I tag someone and they fill it within a couple of weeks, it encourages me to tag them again in the next post! And I want you guys to keep tagging me in things, because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy and loved! But I can look at it objectively enough to say that, if you tag me in something and I don’t fill the tag for six months, there’s not much motivation for you to keep tagging me. 😂 My point is: please keep tagging me in stuff, because I promise to start actually doing the tags!
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Okay, that’s it! I tried to keep this manageable, because I think all of these goals are super feasible and will just require a little effort and working on my time management skills (which will be very important, as my fall semester is starting today and I’m taking two pretty heavy-duty classes!).
Do you guys have any tips for how I can stick to these goals better, or do you have any goals you’re working on? Let me know in the comments—let’s talk!


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88 Comments

  • Reply Erin @ Pages of Milk and Honey August 13, 2018 at 11:21 am

    I try to always reply to comments as soon as I look at them. And I always feel so guilty whenever I miss ARC publishing dates! It’s even worse when I know I need to build up a reputation as someone who is consistent with their reviews. Also, I try to sculpt a certain part of my day that is solely dedicated to “blog maintenance” – commenting, blog hopping, editing, etc. It makes it so much easier on me when I do other things, and I don’t feel so guilty!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:43 pm

      That’s the point I want to get to, where I reply not just in the same day, but as soon as they come up! And yes, I feel you on feeling guilty over missing release dates! I think it’s a great idea to dedicate time every day to your blog. 🙂

  • Reply Carolina @fictionologyst August 13, 2018 at 11:27 am

    I hope you could reach your goals! I have to start writing reviews while reading too, I keep telling myself that I’ll write the review as soon as I finished but life always get in the way, and by the time I have time to write it, I completely forget what I was gonna write, it sucks! Ah I always love to write discussion post but my brain couldn’t come up with any idea!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you! That’s exactly what keeps happening to me. I wrote a few reviews over the weekend where I literally had to skim through some other reviews to remember certain characters’ names, lol. I felt so bad as a reviewer!

      • Reply Carolina @fictionologyst August 14, 2018 at 1:28 am

        LOLOLOL me too!!! I need to take notes when I’m reading so I won’t forget my opinion on small things!! Good luck love!

  • Reply itsareaderslife August 13, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I really need to work on checking my reader every day too! I am terrible at commenting on other blog posts. I hope you reach your goals!

  • Reply lilisblissfulpages August 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Lol..I need to do all these as well. Truth is I just bought a new pocket notebook to carry always with me… To remind me more of what I should do… hehe. I have To-Do list in my phone too but it seems not working for me.
    Hope you reach your goals 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      Nice! 😀 I hope it helps. I feel like having a written to-do list is always more motivating to me for some reason, lol!

  • Reply Briana | Pages Unbound August 13, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    I love that you want to write more reviews and discussion posts! Those are my favorite to read! Best of luck with your goals!

  • Reply Kelsey @ There's Something About KM August 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Something I’m trying to be better at is checking my email regularly (at least every other day). I’ve been getting more book review requests lately (yay!) so I need to up my consistency in this area. Regular blog hopping is also on my list of goals, as is less Twitter time. 😛

  • Reply CJR The Brit August 13, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Love these goals! I set aside time each day to go through posts on the reader but sometimes it’s not possible but I do love seeing what’s going on in everyone’s world! I fall down on the review posts too so I might try and post more 😁

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      Thank you! Good luck with yours – hopefully we can both get better about them lol!

      • Reply CJR The Brit August 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm

        Yes! I think right, thats it, I’m doing *insert task* and I do it….and then a month later it all falls apart 😂

  • Reply Kaya @ afictionalbookworm August 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Awesome goals!! It’s never too late to adjust your goals. I really agree about blog-hopping, I need to be better about leaving comments!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you, Kaya! It has honestly been so much fun, getting into the habit of commenting on posts more – I feel so much more connected!

  • Reply Norrie August 13, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Great goals, good luck 🙂
    Yay for reviews btw!
    95% of the time i’m making notes when i’m reading. It does help a lot! I wouldn’t call that review necessarily, just reminders.
    I’ve also fallen behind on ARCs. Spent the whole July reading only ARCs and the pile is still daunting 😀

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Thank you, Norrie! ♥♥ And yes, that’s what I’m thinking, more reminders than anything! And maybe outlining my review with the quotes as I go. 🙂
      Aww, I hope you can catch up soon! I have some overdue ones, but thankfully they’re all either finished copies I was sent AFTER it released, or ARCs that released in April or earlier – I’ve been a lot better about catching my ARC release dates lately! *phew* But I have soooo many ARCs coming out in August, September, and October, that I’m trying to bust my ass to get to them all in time!

  • Reply tornpagesandroses August 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    All of your goals are literally my new goals that I’ve just changed last month lol actually, not all. I haven’t been posting nearly enough. Or at all even. And I want to change that to atleast twice a week for now until I can add some more.

  • Reply tiffany @ readbytiffany August 13, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I love these goals that you’ve set for yourself! I really also need to be checking WP Reader and blog hopping more often to check out what’s going in the community <3 I also really want to be writing more reviews, so they don't pile up. It's honestly amazing that you've had 31 posts throughout July though!! Also, discussion posts! Love reading and writing them, but personally, I find them pretty hard to write. Do you have any tips? Best of luck with your goals <3

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:51 pm

      Thank you! ♥ Good luck with meeting your goals, too! My discussion post ideas usually just occur to me SUPER randomly, like I’ll be in the shower or cleaning and it will literally pop into my head lol. I’ve gotten in the habit of jotting it down in the Notes app on my phone really quickly so I don’t forget, and then I’ll usually sit on it for a while as I figure out what I want to cover. Then, I just try to sit down and write it almost like I’m having a conversation with someone about it, if that makes sense! I hope that helps ♥ I also find that discussion posts about things work really well when it’s like something that I feel “alone” on (like “am I the only one who…”), because it always turns out that a million other people feel the same way and thought THEY were alone, too, and it opens up great conversation!

  • Reply Danielle @ Life of a Literary Nerd August 13, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I take notes when I’m reading. I put hearts next to things I liked, stars next to things I didn’t like, arrows for important plot points, “X” for characters. It makes writing reviews so much easier because I already have most of my thoughts down on paper. It;s also nice to be able to go back and reference if I don’t remember what happened in a book.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      That’s such a good idea! Do you take notes in the book, or a notepad or something? I used to keep a notebook specifically for note taking while reading and I think I’m going to start doing that again.

      • Reply Danielle @ Life of a Literary Nerd August 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm

        I use a notebook. I’ve been using this note style for the past 2 years or so and I’ve got quite the collection of notebooks.

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 17, 2018 at 12:17 am

          Oh, nice! I love notebooks, I used to collect them. I was actually at the store just earlier today and had to force myself out of the school supply aisle because they had new notebooks lol!

  • Reply kernerangelina August 13, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Good luck!

  • Reply harpergraeblog August 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Great new goals

  • Reply Betty August 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Excellent goals!
    I hear you on goals 3-5… I need to do better in all those areas, too. Especially number 3!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks, Betty! Good luck with it – it’s tough to get into those habits! I’m hoping that at the end of the year, I’ll feel like I have my ducks in a row a little more than I do right now haha.

      • Reply Betty August 14, 2018 at 1:34 am

        It IS tough! I’ve tried so many times. It would go great for a while, and then I’d slack off again. LOL I hope you have better luck with it than I have had in the past! 🙂

  • Reply Meeghan reads August 13, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Destiny, I have no idea how you find the time in your day to do all of this!! I struggle reading more than 5 books in a month AND posting regularly here and on Instagram (that’s my current goal)! But I am going to wish you all of the time management luck because if anyone can do it, I believe it’s you!!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      Aww, thank you!! You are so sweet and good luck on your goals! ♥ Lately I have been trying really hard to reduce my time on social media to almost NOTHING, and that has helped me a lot. I don’t know if you spend much time on social media, though – if you don’t already, that advice probably doesn’t help much, sorry!

      • Reply Meeghan reads August 14, 2018 at 3:57 am

        I wish it did help! I really only spend time on Instagram. I keep shutting my facebook down, but it’s back up again while mum is overseas. I think I need to spend less time at work!!

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm

          That’s definitely it! Silly Meeghan, don’t you know reading is supposed to come before work? 😉 Lol!

          • Meeghan reads August 17, 2018 at 8:58 pm

            What?! No one ever told me!! 😂

  • Reply Malka @ Paper Procrastinators August 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    I love the idea that goals aren’t tied to a specific time, and that whenever you choose to make a change is the right time. Good for you!
    I’m honestly so impressed by all the goals you’ve set out for yourself and wish you the best of luck. I feel like half the time I try setting goals, I just get overwhelmed by all the things I need to do and curl up into a little ball, which doesn’t help with making lasting changes as you might imagine. I can’t wait to see your more frequent reviews and discussion posts! And your reply to this comment 😉

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      Thank you, Chana! Yes, I definitely don’t want to over-work myself or obsess over a deadline. They’re just habits I want to gradually work myself into. 🙂
      I find that setting goals for myself works best if they’re small-ish things or things that I’m already somewhat working towards! I don’t know why, but I think it helps psyche myself out if I can go, “Well, I can set this as a goal now since I’ve already been trying to do it for a few weeks!” That probably makes no sense. 😂

  • Reply Ellyn August 13, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    This is such a motivational post, Destiny! I hope everything goes well for you!
    I completely understand your frustrations with arcs, sometimes you get busy and you miss one and then it sort of gets left behind which is a horrible feeling! But, we’ve always got readathons and arc April/August types of things to help us pick up the “slack”, for lack of a better word!
    Good luck (and make sure to have fun!) ❤️❤️

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 13, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      Aw, thank you, Ellyn! ♥ Yesss, you get me 100%. Plus, sometimes it’s hard to prioritize the old ones, because then I worry that, if I’m focusing on the overdue ones, I’ll miss new ones, and it will snowball! I guess I just have to find a happy medium, and like you said, there’s always the occasional readathon or ARC challenge!

  • Reply Meredith @ Pandora's Books August 13, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    These are all really great goals! I feel like I need to do this for myself because, lately, reading and blogging feel more like a chore and I really want it to be fun again. but I’ve been in a slump and need to dig myself out. I figure, maybe creating some FUN goals will motivate me. Thanks for sharing yours!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 14, 2018 at 12:07 am

      Thank you! They definitely could help, even if it’s just changing your routine up a little – I find that switching things up from time to time helps me a lot! I hope it helps you too. I know how frustrating it can be when blogging becomes a chore! ♥

  • Reply Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense August 13, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Keeping up with comments and blog hopping is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I personally need a couple of days during the week when I don’t think about comments. Blogging is exhausting sometimes, haha.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 14, 2018 at 12:07 am

      That’s totally understandable! I definitely feel like I take 1-2 days a week where I don’t really reply much, but I try to get on and reply most days so they don’t build up. That said, we’re only human and we can’t be “on” 24/7 ♥♥ You have to put yourself first, always!

  • Reply Kelly | Kelly's Rambles August 14, 2018 at 4:44 am

    I can’t decide if you wrote this post ABOUT ME :’) I literally need to do everything you have also written so this may inspire me to do that. I’m definitely getting better with checking my Reader every day and commenting more but I’m so behind on reviews and review copies – woops!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 14, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      LMAO, KELLY. I love that we’re twinning on this but I’m also SO SORRY that you have the same struggles lol! How far behind are you, if you don’t mind me asking? I currently have 20 past-due ARCs to review, but most of them are from last year or the first couple of months of this year. And then I think I have about 8 reviews that need writing? It was up to 18 last week, but I’ve written a lot lately! I’m hoping to catch up today or tomorrow.

      • Reply Kelly | Kelly's Rambles August 15, 2018 at 6:14 am

        I’m totally cheating the system on reviews and have done some which were overdue as mini reviews recently which has helped. But reading-wise I am VERY far behind haha. At least 20. I’m going to try and keep on top of upcoming new ones I get and then try to read the backlist ones every now and then. I may have a NetGalley November because that’s where I tend to fall behind – I’m much better at reading physical arcs (although not always…) Glad I’m not the only person sinking on this ship!!

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm

          I actually think the mini-review idea is fantastic!! I’ve been considering doing that for some of mine, as well.
          NetGalley November is such a good idea!! Most of my overdue ARCs are from Netgalley, with a few from Edelweiss – I think I only have one print ARC that’s overdue. Like you, I usually am much better at reading those on time! I hope you’re able to get caught up soon, I know how stressful it can be! <3

  • Reply pinotandpages247 August 14, 2018 at 5:50 am

    I’m SO BAD at doing tags 😬

  • Reply Sionna (Books in Her Eyes) August 14, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Good luck with your fall semester!
    Writing reviews while reading the book is soooo hard. I can barely remember to update the status on Goodreads when something interesting happens haha. I’m also super bad at doing tag posts…. I’ve kind of given up on ones over 6 months old :/ So, I’m with you on trying to be better with this one.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 14, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you, friend! <3 I'm glad I'm not the only one with the tags, lol. Some of mine are so old I'm not even sure if I will do them, at this point. :/

  • Reply Anyssa @bookedshelf August 14, 2018 at 10:51 am

    These are all great goals!! Good luck! 🙂
    I really wish to be able to review more but life has been getting in the way lately that I don’t even have time to read! 🙁 How do you maintain a reading schedule?

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 14, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you so much! <3 Honestly, the #1 biggest tip I have is that I read EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I make no exceptions on this, even if I just read 50 pages before bed, or a little bit of an audiobook on my speaker while I'm in the shower. Getting into that habit has done wonders for my reading numbers, because now it's second nature to me and I can't settle in for the night without reading!

  • Reply TeaPartyPrincess August 14, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Good luck!
    I may have to start reviewing books as I’m reading them – I’m terrible at putting “review to come” and just leaving it haha.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 14, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks, lovely! <3 Hahaha me too, it's the worst! I really miss the days when I first started blogging, when I would write a review before I even marked a book as "finished reading" on Goodreads. I had been blogging for 6 months before I ever even knew what "RTC" meant because I had just never done that. Those were the good old days lol!

      • Reply TeaPartyPrincess August 15, 2018 at 6:29 am

        Hahaha oh those days. I wish I’d never strayed because now 50% of the books I’ve read are unreviewed oops

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 15, 2018 at 1:57 pm

          Hahaha oh nooooo! That’s okay, I try to remind myself every now and then that I don’t HAVE to review every single book! (but then, you know, I end up doing it anyways… so I guess I should take my own advice lol)

  • Reply Kaleena @ Reader Voracious August 14, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    I started bullet-point reviews while reading and it has helped me immensely! I take extensive notes while reading but sometimes it’s better to just type out thoughts in a WIP draft.
    Also wanting to post more reviews – as you know one of my recent discussion posts was about how I am playing favorites because I only review approx 50% of my monthly reads on the blog. The problem is traffic on reviews isn’t as good so I need to find a balance.
    Good luck with these goals, I think they are all wonderful!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      I’ve been doing the bullet point thing for the last 3 books I read, and it really has made writing their reviews just feel so much more manageable. I’m amazed at what a difference it makes, just doing that one little thing! I think I’m also going to grab a new notepad for review notes today. I really like writing things down on paper when I can – I know it’s kind of wasteful when I could do it digitally, so I feel bad for that, but something about putting a pen to paper really keeps me in the zone, you know?
      Yeah, it really does make a big difference in traffic! :/ I wish it didn’t, but I understand – not everyone will be able to relate to a specific review, whereas everyone can usually find something they like about a meme post or whatever. It’s a bummer sometimes, though!
      And thank you!! <3

      • Reply Kaleena @ Reader Voracious August 14, 2018 at 8:23 pm

        Preaching to the choir friend – I write everything down most of the time hahaha. I also write in my physical books like a heathen so there’s that, but there’s def something about pen to paper that I love!

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 15, 2018 at 1:54 pm

          *GASP* WHAT?!
          Lmao, kidding, kidding. I don’t write in mine but I use page tabs and have lately taken to using highlighters in books that I like enough to know I won’t be unhauling them. I refuse to judge what anyone does to their own books, though!

  • Reply Victoria August 14, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I love your goals for blogging! I feel like I need to enact some of these as well. I keep putting off writing reviews, and then I don’t remember the info as much as if I’d written the review while reading/right after reading.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you! Yep, that’s my problem exactly, and it’s so frustrating but I can only blame myself lol!

  • Reply Annemieke August 14, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I love more disucssion posts. <3
    I tend to let replies to comments stack up too. But I really prefer to reply when behind the computer, but I've been slacking lately. I just went and replied to those from the last week and a half. So much time.
    For blog hopping I try to have most on my email or feedly so I can just add interesting posts to a folder so I know I'm not missing anything and I can just binge blog hop the posts I want to right away without having to go through my feed first.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 15, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      That’s part of my issue, too, is that I really prefer replying from my computer. The app is convenient but sometimes my thumbs get tired lol. 😛

  • Reply Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice August 14, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    These are all great goals! Good luck in achieving them, Destiny! And I love your book reviews and discussions. 😊❤️

  • Reply Dani @ Perspective of a Writer August 16, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Great goals, understand your pain. I hate missing arc deadlines and falling behind on my reviews. I try to schedule them now to make sure the arcs are read in time. Like others, I take notes to make reviews easier. Before I mixed the plot of two books… And I think your doing great! ❤️ I love your discussion posts and reviews!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 17, 2018 at 12:43 am

      Thank you, Dani! I’m glad I’m not alone. Something new I’ve been trying over the last few days is that I actually started using a spreadsheet to map out my planned reviews, instead of just writing them whenever and then posting them when I’m done. This way, I can look at it and say, “Okay, that ARC doesn’t come out until September 11th, but I have to post the review by September 3rd, which means I need to read it by…” I’ve been doing that all of this week and while it doesn’t leave a ton of room for mood reading, I feel much more in control which is so comforting to someone like me who gets really anxious when I feel overwhelmed in even the slightest bit, lol. Maybe I should add that to the post in case it helps anyone else! And thank you so much, you are too sweet! ♥

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    oh my god, me too about the tags. i am the WORST.

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      Lmao it’s awful, right? And the longer I wait on them, the less likely I am to EVER do them tbh…

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    Good luck on your goals! My goal is to write better reviews, read more, and engage in the book community either with a blog or bookstagram!

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