It’s me! Hi! I’m the problem! But I’m your problem, and there’s something to be said for that.
It’s twenty and twenty and three if you can believe it and even if you can’t, by some accounts. Let’s start the year right and Talk a little Bookish, shall we?
Prompts: What are your reading goals for 2023? What are your blogging goals for 2023? What do you want to do differently with blogging than you did last year?
What are your reading goals for 2023?
If 2023 were a real year I’d lived to see, and not some square on a holographic handyman’s cyber-calendar in a sci-fi dimestore-pulp from the 60’s, I’d say that my main goal reading-wise would be to get back into books; I’ll always be a damn fool for comics and they’ll always be a huge part of my reading and writing rotation, but I’d gone a little overboard with them before my newly-acquired Bachelor’s degree told me to stop or rot in debtor’s prison, and I’d like to take the opportunity to get more significantly into my TBR stack (looking at you, The Poppy War Trilogy, Earthsea, and The Rabbi Small Mysteries, to name a few), and dip more frequently into the current discourse (The Rhythm Of War has been out for like a friggin’ year, The World We Make just came out, and you know ya boi gots to do a reread of My Heart Is A Chainsaw before Don’t Fear The Reaper drops).
As with every year, I’d like to read more in the way of international, oppressed, and marginalized authors, and fortunately that’s going to be easy, or easier; time was, it didn’t matter how much you’d like to read P. Djèlí Clark or Rebecca Roanhorse or Cixin Liu unless you knew exactly how to find them, because they were buried under cozy murder mysteries and Tom Clancy and supernatural bounty-hunter romance and generic Western-European fantasy, none of which are inherently bad and all of which deserve to be read, but not to the detriment of voices that have gone unheard for far too long. Fortunately that’s changed, to a degree; it’s not like racism, misogyny and homophobia just vanished from publishing overnight (they have not), but there are large and loud forces doing everything they can to get those authors into the spotlight now, and it’s never been easier to find a staggeringly diverse array of authors with very little effort, for which I am grateful.
Also, more and more international and minority-created comics are finally getting attention, which you’d think would follow roughly the same trajectory as with prose authors, and you would be wrong. The Big Three (Image, Marvel, DC) have a vested financial interest in playing to the most lucrative audience (white men), and the publishers that are more able and interested in supporting marginalized voices in more than a token way (Boom!, Oni, Dark Horse, Aftershock) often have less room on the larger stage, but they’re still out there doing the good work with the space they’ve got.
I’ve also made the pretty embarrassing discovery in the past year or so that nonfiction can be…good? Like have you ever heard about people who didn’t like reading before they realized there were books about plants that ate dirty socks or wizards or sports or mice with swords or Wally McDoogle? It’s been like that for me with nonfiction; turns out there are plenty of hilarious, fascinating, intelligent authors out there writing intensely readable stuff, like Jon Mooallem, Jenny Lawson (although admittedly I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time and also definitely did not, how you say, steal her entire style), and Ryan North, and I have to imagine it’s one of those things where once you finally discover that there’s a book about dragons, uh-oh, turns out there are many books about dragons (some of which involve SMOOCHING) and that is a good problem to have.
What are your blogging goals for 2023; how do you want to blog differently than you did last year?
Well, just by way of example, as I type it is presently December 9th, and we’re re-watching Mare Of Easttown, which has no bearing on the date but is worth mentioning because man what a program. From this, you may correctly conclude that building a larger post-runway is one of my New Year’s Blogsolutions, and the community-activities above will be a huge help in that because I won’t sit bolt-upright on Thursday night and realize to my terror that I don’t have anything to write about that week.
I feel like attempting to set ‘goals’ in any area of life is…perhaps overly optimistic in the time and place we presently occupy; lemme text the new Covid variant, see what its plans are, and I’ll get back to you.
That said, I do intend to keep up as best I’m able with a number of blogging…games? Memes? There doesn’t really seem to be a good word for what they are, but things like this here Let’s Talk Bookish, the Bloganuary daily prompt-thinger I just signed up for, and the First Annual Scavenger Hunt, that kinda jazz. Not only are they fun, and take a measure of weight off of the creative machinery, but they’re a great way to connect with fellow bloggers and engage with the community, which I have to admit is not an aspect of blogging that I anticipated enjoying, but which becomes a larger and larger part of the experience the longer I do it.
The bulk of my posts this past year have been New Comics Hauls, which are a ton of fun and a great way to keep current but are, in the end, just lists, and don’t offer much in the way of insight or analysis because I haven’t…y’know, read them yet. The few actual reviews I’ve managed between them have only riled up my appetite for analysis and critique and joke image-captions, and if all goes a-right they’ll play a much larger part in the year to come.
Also just as a technical note, which may not be interesting but the prompt asked, I’d really like to figure out a better organization method for my site; I don’t wanna lump all the different kinds of stuff I write together into one nondescript, poorly-defined kludge, but having a million separate micro-classifications for stuff doesn’t seem like a great idea either. Maybe I just need to make better use of the Categories system? Unclear, and I’d like to clarify it.
So that’s me!
What about you all? What institution of higher learning told you to fuckin’ cool it with the flashing of the cash down the comic shop or equivalent? What genre did you belatedly realize was legitimate and not just a way for Ann Coulter to keep making money somehow? How many books did YOU read before you saw one dragon smooch another? Give a shout in the comments! Not too loud though, my adorable tiny wife is curled up on the couch, coccooned in the WARM, SOOTHING EMBRACE of DayQuil, clutching a kitten whose eyes plead for help and whose paws bake biscuits on the blanket like his life depends on it.
Until next time, be good to yourselves, be good to each other, wear your goddamned masks, and try not to murder your durdurs!