Yearly Wrap Up 2019 + My Two Year Blogiversary! // Reading 130 Books, Improving & Designing My Blog, Starting College, & Other Defining Moments

2019 is over and I am SHOOK.

It’s been a wild year. A crazy year for me on the blog and off.

And even more–TODAY IS MY TWO YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!!!!

I’m just as surprised. Who wouldn’t known that that impulse to create a blog two years ago could have grown into this?

I was gonna do two separate posts for my Yearly Wrap Up and my Blogiversary, but p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n and life got in the way so here we are. I hope you’ll still enjoy this monstrous beast giant of a post.

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Reading

In 2019, I surpassed my Reading Challenge of 100 books by reading 130 books!

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My average page count of 380 is unsurprising and about the same as last year. My shortest book read was Waiting for Godot, which I actually read for English class in the spring, and my least popular book was A House of Rage and Sorrow, and why is this the least popular it’s an amazing book and you people need to get on it and read it!

My longest and most popular books were Harry Potter (different versions because I actually own books 1-3 in the British version and 4-7 in the American version so take that all you purists who insist books must match in a series lmao). These stats were exactly the same last year which annoys me a little but tbh I reread HP every year and it’ll probably be the same next year so I’m just going to have to live with it.

Like last year, I read a mostly even mix of mostly YA fantasy and contemporary, with a few other books thrown in there. However, it was the fantasy books that really blew me away, as mostly fantasy made my top favorite books of this year, and contemporaries mostly tided me over.

I hauled a huge number of books this year–at least, for me. I basically doubled my book collection. Mostly these were ARCs from Yallwest, but there were also some ARCs sent to me by publishers. I also bought 3 books this year, which is a lot for me, but I was treating myself with some books to bring to college! And I bought two of them used from a library sale for 50 cents each, so my total amount spent on books this year was around $10, which isn’t too much for me.

My average book rating was 3.6, which is down from 3.8 last year but actually I think I read more enjoyable books this year since last year I just started blogging and tended to give everything a high rating. I had some horrible books which I ranted about here, and some amazing books which I gushed about here, and lots of books that were just good.

Here’s all the amazing books I read last year!

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This year I also participated in the Year Of The Asian reading challenge! I read 20 books by Asian authors, meaning I achieved the Indian Cobra level, which was my goal! Here are the books I read, and you can see I shelved them all on Goodreads!

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before // Always and Forever, Lara Jean // Girls of Paper and Fire // Empress of All Seasons // Descendant of the Crane // The Gilded Wolves // I Love You So Mochi // A Spark Of White Fire // Summer Bird Blue // The Way You Make Me Feel // Starfish // China Rich Girlfriend // Permanent Record // Ignite The Stars // The Star Touched Queen // A House of Rage and Sorrow // Flame In The Mist // The Girl King // I Believe In A Thing Called Love // Girls of Storm and Shadow

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Blogging

One of the things I was really focusing on with my blogging this year was focusing more on quality rather than quantity. I definitely achieved this goal. One thing a bit superficial but that I really like, is that I made myself all my graphics this year! This time last year, as you can see in my 2018 wrap up post, I had no graphics (such as these flower/swirl dividers, my header and button and profile pic) and no header images. I use them all now and I really like my aesthetic! I also changed my blog theme from the old Sela theme with the pink bar to this Penscratch theme.

What’s a bit less superficial is that I think I really improved the quality of my posts. Last year and the beginning of this year, I was trying to churn out a post every single day. Now I can’t imagine how I used to do that! Some of them were just generic Top Ten Tuesdays and Weekly Wrap Ups and things that I didn’t really put much effort into. Now, every post I write and publish I put much more effort into, and I’m especially proud of some of the discussion posts I’ve written.

This year, I published more than 100 fewer posts than I did last year. And with that… my stats decreased. This year, my second year of blogging, I got fewer views/likes/etc than I did last year, my first year. This is a bit hard for me to reconcile with because of course I always want to be improving. But, when I look at the fact that I published 100 fewer posts, a close to 50% decrease, but my stats definitely didn’t decrease by 50%, and I realize that although I may have fewer views total, I have more views per post, I can be happy with that.

And with that, I’ve hit a few milestones! I crossed 1000 followers this year, which is huge and crazy! And I’m so thankful every time I see the follower count. I also created a Twitter account this year, which has around 400 followers, which isn’t very many, but I hope to use it more next year to drive more engagement to my blog.

I published a full post talking about all of my favorite blogging moments of 2019, so you can check it out here if you’re interested, but for now, here are a few of my favorites:

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Writing

I wrote a lot during this summer. This summer, I wrote a 80,000 word historical fantasy novel with sort of cruel badass characters that was really fun to write! It’s kind of terrible, full of inconsistencies and plot holes and mush as my brain was jumping around and I know I’m never going to try to do anything with it, but it was fun to write and I know that I improved as a writer writing it.

I also wrote a second draft for the 60,000 word summer contemporary that I wrote last summer. This is a big deal because although I’ve written five full length novels in my life, they were all first drafts and this was my first ever second draft. Unlike all the other novels I’ve written, this is one that I think I may try to go about reworking and maybe even trying to publish in the future!

In total, I wrote about 140,000 words. This was basically all in the summer as I’ve really not had much time to write recently, but I hope to find a way to work writing back into my schedule.

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Life

So this has been both the best and worst year of my life. There have been some very high highs and very low lows and I wanted to briefly talk about them!

  • I’ve been feeling devastatingly lonely. Since starting college, I’ve made a few acquaintances, but no real friends. Nobody I hang out with outside of class, and nobody I can talk about how I really feel and really be my weird crazy self with. I eat every meal in the dining hall alone, and spend my weekends in my room and the library, some days not speaking beyond a “hey” at my roommates. I like being alone, since I’m an introvert and am not interested in partying or anything like that anyways, but I want… just a couple good friends. I don’t want a crowd, a party, but I want just one person I can talk to. Anyways, I’ve spent my fair share of time crying alone in my dorm because I’m just so lonely.
  • Furthermore, I was really close with a small group of friends in high school. We all went to different colleges, and when we met up again during winter break… everything was different. Some are interested in things we were never interested in in high school, and from the way they talk, I know I wouldn’t like some of their new friends. And I’m left feeling like… we don’t have much in common anymore. Hanging out was still fun, but it’s different, and I’m nostalgic realizing we’ll likely never be that close again.

Anyways, there were a lot of other things rough this year, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing them online (or in general). But since I’ve already talked about college here… here’s some more about it.

That’s enough of the bad though. Let’s talk about the amazing parts of the year!

  • I graduated high school! My second semester senior year, the first half to this year, was so much fun! Classes became so laid back and fun since we were able to learn without the stress of needing to get A’s, and I had so much fun messing around in class with friends!
  • My friends and I hung out and had so much fun together! We went to senior formal and prom together, and graduation and our all night grad party were absolutely amazing! We also hung out a ton outside of school, including on senior ditch day, and going to the beach and pool and mall a ton together this summer.
  • I got really into hand lettering and calligraphy this year, and started bullet journaling this year!! I’m basically addicted now.
  • I’ve gotten much better at baking too! I made a two layer succulent basketweave cake for a birthday, as well as a pink rose cake for my birthday, and a Christmas Yule log! And of course tons of pies and cookies and other confectionary delights!
  • I started college! I literally just talked about how it’s making me feel extremely lonely and it’s not been without its bad moments, but there have been some nice moments too. It’s been kind of cool moving out and being on my own, my classes are interesting, and I much prefer being able to set my own schedule rather than showing up for 6 hours of classes a day. And it’s so nice not having a ridiculous amount of busywork haha. 

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The Blog Community

Of course, the most rewarding part of blogging for me is always the community. Since this is also my Two Year Blogiversary celebration post in addition to my Yearly Wrap Up, I wanted to take a moment to share some of the bloggers who made my year amazing, whether that was because I loved chatting with them, loved reading and admiring their posts, or anything else and in between ❤ If you somehow haven’t seen these bloggers, be sure to check out their amazing blogs!

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Let’s Chat

How was your 2019? How many books did you read? What were some of your favorite things that happened in the year? I’d love to chat in the comments below ❤

yellowname

32 thoughts on “Yearly Wrap Up 2019 + My Two Year Blogiversary! // Reading 130 Books, Improving & Designing My Blog, Starting College, & Other Defining Moments

  1. omg seeing this made my day *cries* (!!) I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been feeling kind of lonely this year and that college has had its challenges for you. I hope things get better soon ❤ ❤ I'm also excited to hear you started bullet journaling; that's one of my favorite things to do besides read. I hope 2020 is a kind year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww Kay!! Love you so so much 💖 I’m so sorry to hear that college has been rough so far. I hope you’re able to join some new clubs this semester and meet new people because that was how I was able to find most of my close friends now!! I think Freshman fall is a really iffy time because everyone is still meeting each other so I personally didn’t meet some of my CLOSEST friends until Freshman spring and Sophomore year.

    Also…HAPPY 2-YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!! You should be so proud of yourself for how far you’ve come!! I’m so glad that you started this endeavor because I love all your posts so much. Also, teach me how to read 130 books a year too??? That’s so amazing!!

    I’m sending you so much love, and I hope your 2020 is a fantastic year. You deserve all the best 😍

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  3. It sounds like you had a busy year! Congratulations on making all your reading goals and such! Happy 2-year Blogiversary! I love reading your posts, and I hope that you continue to post amazing content!

    I’ve been going through similar things with friends and transitions. I graduated from High School and went to college 5 hours away where I didn’t know anyone, and although I liked my school and made some friends, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that everything is changing and my relationships are constantly shifting. When I’m back home, I typically find that I’m more lonely because all my friends are off doing their own college things, and I’m just not that social with new people.

    It’s tough, but you’ll figure it all out. Just know that you’re not the only one, and I hope that can bring you some comfort.

    Happy 2020! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved chatting with you over 2019 and reading your posts too, you’re the absolute sweetest💜💜💜 Happy blogiversary, I hope many more years come your way!! I’m happy you had a generally good reading year.

    I’m so, so sorry to hear that you’re lonely. It can be so rough starting in a new place, I hope it all works out very soon 🙂

    I’ve been wanting to get into calligraphy as well! Do you have any tips?? I wish you the happiest 2020!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kaya! Omg yes you should totally start calligraphy! I love watching youtube videos of people doing hand lettering, or looking up google images of hand lettered quotes and stuff, and copying them; it’s much easier than writing stuff on my own haha and it’s a good place to start 🙂

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  5. 130 books is such an astonishing number! 🎉 That’s one of the highest book counts I’ve seen from other wrap ups, and it looks like you had a great year for reading! (I only read 50 books in 2019, and like 30 of them were for college 😂) And congrats on writing so much, too!

    I remember when you first announced that you made your graphics yourself, and I’ve always thought they were super cute, and they match your blog aesthetic so well! I’ve also been posting less than I used to when I started blogging, so my stats are going down as well, but I know there are a lot of personal life events contributing to that, so I’ve learned to be okay with it 🙂 I hope your stats can improve a bit (or a lot!) in 2020!

    And I feel you about being lonely in college. Last year was my first year, and I only had one friend, but I rarely ever saw her. I was very lonely and constantly cried over a lot of things, and I was eventually diagnosed with social anxiety and depression, which was scary because I had never been diagnosed with anything before. But I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses throughout my first year, and this year I’m very lucky to have some new good friends who share things in common with me. I used to think my friend situation would never get better, but it did. 🙂 I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a similar experience, and I hope you find your place in college soon! Things might not go as planned, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a way to make it work for you 💕

    I had a great year of chatting with you, too! Although I’m sorry I haven’t been blog hopping much in the past several months – I’m trying to get better at that! 😂 Anyways, I hope you have a great 2020, Kay! Good luck with everything!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! 50 books is still amazing too 🙂 Ahh that makes me so happy that you remember–sometimes I feel like I’m just shouting into the void and nobody notices lmao. And it makes me feel so much better to hear that you were like me and lonely and it got better–somedays (like right now as I sit alone in my dorm on Friday evening while my roommate is out probably partying lmao) I feel so hopeless and it makes me have hope to hear that your friend situation got better 🙂 I hope you have a great 2020 too and look forward to continuing to chat with you this year ❤

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  6. You read so many books and that’s amazing!! I plan on taking part in #YARC this year, and I want to aim for the Cobra as well! Hopefully, I’ll actually keep track and make it! I’m so sorry that you’ve been feeling lonely and that your first year in college was pretty rough. I lost some friends a few years ago after a move, and well, I can relate to that horrible loneliness and nostalgia when remembering all the fun that we used to have. It still hurts sometimes, but it gets better. I really hope that you make some close and amazing friends this year 💖 And that 2020 is much better for you in general ❤❤

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  7. Happy two year blogiversary, and huge congrats on accomplishing so much in 2019! 😄 130 books is amazing, and the fact that you loved so many is even better. And WOW you wrote a lot as well! That’s amazing! I’m so honored to be among your favorite bloggers, and I hope your 2020 brings many amazing and unexpected things ❤️

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  8. Happy blogiversary, Kay! Also, I hear that congratulations are in order because you smashed your reading last year! WHOO HOO! Girl you put me to shame ahaha! 😉

    Next, I can’t tell you how much it meant to get that notification telling me I’d been tagged in this post! I am literary crying right now. It’s been a tough week and work and that just made it all better. Kay, you are one of my favorite people. You have gotten me hooked onto so many of my [now] favorite books and you just radiate positivity and kindness. Reading your blog always makes everything just that little bit brighter.

    I am so humbled and honored to be counted in your bookish squad. Please know that you are 100% in mine! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! *insert bear hug here* ❤ ❤ ❤

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  9. Happy blogiversary! So glad to hear that you had a great reading, writing & blogging year! 130 books? 140K words written? And 1K+ followers? That’s amazing and I’m totally in awe!

    I’m so sorry to hear that college and friends have been rough for you. Freshman year is a crazy time–you’re adjusting to a new academic setting, have greater independence, and you’re surrounded by strangers and starting over the process of making friends. I know it’s easier said than done, but cut yourself some slack. I know you’re probably looking around and seeing all these people who have already made friends, but I can tell you that honestly, a lot of those don’t last. A lot of people don’t find their quality friends until sophomore or even early junior year. I have 2 housemates that are probably my best friends right now and I honestly didn’t know one of them until junior year.
    Idk if that was helpful or more intimidating, but just remember: quality friendships take time! You’re only on your second semester of college, so there will be hundreds of other opportunities to find a friend to click with, I promise!
    Also, fingers crossed for you that you’re able to hang out with some high school friends over summer or other breaks!

    Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the shout-out! I love your posts and your comments always make me smile! 😊 I hope 2020 is an amazing year for you–I’m definitely rooting for you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy blogiversary, Kay!! It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful 2019. Also congratulations on writing over 140,000 words! That’s no easy task especially with senior year of high school and starting college so go you! 🙂 I hope you have a fantastic 2020! ❤

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  11. Awww, Kay, I am SO happy for you and all that you’ve accomplished this past year! A huge congrats on reading and writing so much, especially as you finished high school and started college! The first semester of college can definitely be tough, but I hope you find a wonderful group of people that you can trust and be your amazing self around! Anyone would be incredibly lucky to call you a friend, Kay! ❤

    I hope your 2020 is off to a wonderful start, and that it will be fantastic throughout the year!

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  12. Happy bloggiversary!! Fun to read your stats! 😀 Massive congrats on hitting 1000 followers- that’s huge!!! Really well deserved! Here’s to many more! 😀 ❤ And that's seriously awesome you wrote so much! I'm sorry this year's had a few lows- it is really hard adjusting and meeting new friends at uni, but I'm sure things will click into place and you'll meet great people- anyone would be lucky to have you as a friend! Hope you have a fantastic 2020! ❤

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  13. Happiest of blogoversaries, I’m so happy you’ve been blogging for two years and I really hope you’ll continue to do so and will continue loving it for many years to come! ❤ ❤
    You've read so damn much in the last year, that's amazing! I'm happy to spot Rosa Santos, I adored this book so much. I also loved The Fever King and The Library of Lost Things and can't wait to continue with the Renegades series, hopefully this year! 😀
    I'm so, so happy you focused on writing what you want to write, even if you did less posts. In the end, I feel like that matters most and even if that shows some decline in your statistics, if you're prouder of what you write, it's what matters the most! ❤ That's why I gave up on memes, too, I felt like I was just hurrying to write a blog post, but I wasn't ultimately satisfied with it.
    I'm so amazed by all the writing you got done, GO YOU! I hope you can find time to write and that you'll love it ❤
    And I'm so sorry you've been feeling lonely in college, I get that feeling. I also found it quite hard to adapt when I went to college, the both times (since I did two different universities) and it took a little while for me to find my footing and to find my people. I'm certain that you will, though ❤
    I'm sending you all the positive vibes and love and a wonderful wonderful year ❤ and thank you for mentioning me, it has been wonderful to chat with you and I hope to more ❤ ❤

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  14. Congratulations on two years, Kay!! WOW your blog is such a gem, and I wish you all the best in every single thing ahead of you in your blogging future.❤️The community would not be the same without your thought-provoking posts and funny, sweet, positive self!!

    130 BOOKS, WAIT, THAT’S PHENOMENAL. Yay for finding favorites and reading so much and for rereading Harry Potter every year…I really felt that one, haha. Also, congratulations on all your blogging successes this year, because that’s pretty gosh darn amazing! I’m so happy for you!!!

    I’m so sorry about the lows that college has brought- sending you all the love and support in the world. I hope things get better soon!❤️

    Thank you so much for mentioning me! You’re amazing and wonderful and kind and I adore you and your blog. I always look forward to reading your posts and having our comment conversations! I hope your new year is the best yet.

    Like

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