Sunday, December 31

Let's Talk 2017 Triumphs: Two Stories, Many (Mis)Adventures (+ BTB Sign Up!)

Hello, everyone! With this year drawing to a close and the new year looming ahead of us, we at The Regal Critiques decided to interview each other about the year past. We'll be talking about everything, from blogging and reading, to everything else life had in store for us this year!

What were your resolutions for 2017- both blogging (and reading), and personal, and how did you fare with them?

Veronika: I'm not much for resolutions, I think, yet I did have some. One was to take control of my TBR and have no more than 300 books on my (goodreads) to-read shelf, which I succeeded at! Obviously, that is still a big number, even though I don't own all those books (yet), so there is a lot of work still to be done there. As for personal resolutions - I promised myself I'd study more and procrastinate less, and, well, the improvement in that area is slow as fuck. But it IS happening?? So like, yay, I succeeded a little bit? 

Ruzaika: I don't really do resolutions, but since I did expect this year to be really, really busy, I did hope to be able to balance blogging and reading *okay*  along with uni. It was my final year at uni, so things were bound to be pretty hectic (and trust me, they were!), so I didn't set too high a reading goal. I just about managed to read 42 books, which I consider a brilliant feat, thank you very much, and I did manage to survive uni. So I consider this aspect of the year, at least, a success. 

What has been the most challenging in the past year about being a blogger?

Ruzaika: Consistently blogging, or blogging at all in the second half of the year. By then I was fully into my BSc research and dissertation and I barely found time to read (and I also very inconveniently fell into the kdrama hole) and this left me little to no time and energy for blogging. In fact, I took three blogging breaks in the latter half of the year (though I did call of the first hiatus a week into it because it felt surreal to be on a break on the blog). There was lots happening personally too and somehow or the other, blogging consistently proved to be a HUGE challenge.

Veronika: STUDIES STUDIES STUDIES. I schedule a few weeks of posts ahead, yet, I had to take some time off from the blog twice in the past year, I believe, each time around end terms and exams. This, by the way, ties in with the procrastination - if I had studied earlier, did my assignments earlier etc. then all these things might not have crashed together. I definitely want to do better in this area next year.

What are some of your blogging, reading and personal achievements of the year? The highlights?

Veronika: A big achievement for me is that I have received quite satisfying grades so far at uni, especially this semester. A huge highlight of the past year was seeing Imagine Dragons for the second time in my life, now at a musical festival. It was raining throughout the whole concert, we were cold as hell, we had no rain coat or anything, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT. I'm also glad I managed to hold onto most, if not all, of my friends even through uni when we have had very limited amount of time to meet up. It is REALLY weird to go from seeing each other every school-day in high school for four years to having to plan every meeting. And, yes, I started uni 1.5 years ago, BUT the first semester wasn't that tough, I guess? Afterwards, though, I definitely felt like it was harder to find times to meet up. 

Reading-wise, I managed to complete the #24in48 reading challenge this summer, and it was actually more fun than it was stressful, so I might do it again. As for the blog, I'm just glad we're still doing it, and that we have quite a few new ideas for the upcoming year and are still willing to put all the work into it. 

Ruzaika: There isn't much that I'm proud of blogging or reading-wise, but on the personal front, I completed my placement report in January, started the final year of my BSc in February, had my psychology HND graduation in April, and carried out my individual research project quite satisfactorily and completed my dissertation too. I also found a new hobby or two (kdramas are liiife), found a whole bunch of new friends. most of whom managed to last the year, held on to my old friends, got rid of a toxic one or two, and also grew a lot as a person, I feel. It was a good year, thinking back.

Which was your favorite post (or posts) you made this year?

Ruzaika: While the second half of the year was quite a disappointment on the blog for me, I did do great in the first half and even managed to write up a few posts I'm proud of in the latter half of the year. Vera and I had quite a rough time with uni and this affected the time we used to spend on posts together, but our post for Spooky October is something I really loved working on, not to mention our discussion review for Final Girls. We also curated lists of diverse books releasing in the first and second half of the year, which I think turned out really well, and I also really, really enjoyed working on my tbr for Diversity Bingo, where I also included a huge list of other recs, and since I didn't do well in the bingo at all, I daresay this list would prove to be of use to me in the future too! In terms of reviews, I loved both working on and the output of my review for Being Miss Nobody. I think it looks really pleasing and I intend to beak up my reviews in sections or bullet points more often in the future!  

Veronika: I love my review for Wonder Woman: Warbringer, I worked a lot on it, and I feel like I did a bloody good job of showcasing both the positives and the negatives of the book. As for 'other' posts - I really enjoyed making a post about my favorite opening lines. I loved seeing people in the comments become interested in the books listed, just by reading those brilliant openings. Also, my September recap, aka my first ever real recap on the blog, was a lot of work to write, because I included books, posts, music, movies, shows, basically, EVERYTHING I was occupied with that month, but it was so satisfying to look at afterwards. I stopped doing recaps for two months, but I'll 1000% get back into making them. You'll probably see one at the end of January. :) 

What are some of the events in the bookish world and the OTHER world, that caught your attention this year?

Veronika: Oh my, so many things happened this year. Do y'all remember when at the end of 2016 everyone was eagerly awaiting 2017, because it couldn't possibly get worse? And then it did. I don't want to get super-into ANYTHING, because if you care about world news or bookish news, you already know about them, so you probably couldn't give two fucks about my take on them. One thing I'd like to highlight is the way people helped each other, for example after the Manchester terror attack, or in Puerto Rico. It does give me hope for a better future to see strangers supporting strangers, if that makes sense. It is, however, disheartening to see that non-Westernized countries get NO attention from the media even when many-many people die. It's just... awful.

Ruzaika: Like I mentioned countless times before, I have been quite out of touch with the bookish world, but I do think I sense a lack of unity within the blogosphere, with people taking sides when something comes up more often than know what I mean? It's bound to happen in as diverse a community as ours, but it still is quite disappointing to see. The OTHER world hasn't been doing that great either, and things seem to be only going from bad to worse so I'm keeping my fingers crossed things turn for the better, if not soon, at least eventually, in the coming year! 

What are your reading goals for 2018? What do you want to change about the blog, the posts you create?

Ruzaika: I think I'll set my Goodreads goal to 25 this year. Ridiculously low, I know, but I feel this would take some pressure off me and actually make me read better? I don't honestly know but let's see how it goes! Regarding the posts I create, well, I've been mostly posting reviews for either ARCs or review copies this past year and that has, to be frank, taken away some of the fun of blogging. I hope to reduce the amount of books I accept for reviewing the coming year and focus more on books I'm actually dying to read, mostly backlist titles (I signed up for the Beat the Backlist challenge for 2018 on Vera's encouragement!), and also reread some of my favourites! 

Veronika: I'm going to set my Goodreads challenge to 100 books, which is something I've been doing in the past two or three years. I cannot stop myself from participating in the challenge, I don't have that much self-control haha, but I can set a goal I'll very likely meet. I know, I know, you are supposed to challenge yourself, but like, that is so stressful. 
As for the blog, I want to create more posts that I'm passionate about, that I enjoy. In the past year in particular I've done quite a few "filler" posts that I wasn't even into, be that reviews of books I didn't want to review or whatever else. I also want to create some kind of unique structure for my reviews - like my review of Wonder Woman: Warbringer is so well-structured and colorful. I LOVE THAT. Also, I really want to share more non-book-related posts. I'm so passionate about my favorite songs/artists, movies and tv shows that I should 1000% dedicate some posts to them next year.

As Ruzi mentioned, we've both signed up for Beat the Backlist, and we are both very excited, especially because we are on the same team, which is *drum-rolls* THE BOOK BARDS.

That was our 2017, and our hopes for 2018. What about you? Has 2017 treated you well, or has it, like it has for us, been quite challenging? What are your new year resolutions? Let us know in the comments below! And oh, 



  1. I did set a few reading goals for 2018 but most of them are things I'm not going to do, including the Goodreads challenge. I'll be setting that to 1 book. I know I'll read more than that number but I just don't want the pressure; I simply want the challenge to appear (I'm hoping this year the colour would be green hahaha) so that I can track my reading year better :)

    1. First of all, good luck, Noelia! I feel like not setting a challenge can be harden than setting one, at least for me. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO COOL IF THE COLOR WAS GREEN. Or black. Argh.

  2. You did really well, girls - especially considering the stress you were under. Even if you weren't co-blogging, you would have written like 67 posts each...31 more than those I was able to write alone LOL.

    "I loved both working on and the output of my review for Being Miss Nobody".
    I went to look because I didn't remember the structure of this particular review (since you mentioned it), and it says that the page doesn't exist...
    Well, you both mentioned structures anyway. I have to say that, since I've been breaking my own reviews in parts (with headings), I like them a lot more. They're easier to read I think, and definitely less intimidating haha. Also, having a structure of sorts help you organise your thoughts better - so I'd say, go for it!

    Non-book related posts are great. I like to talk about TV series from time to time, and I definitely want to do that more.

    It sounds like life treated both of you well in 2016 (uni struggles apart, but then again, you did well in that department, didn't you?). I hope 2017 will even better! Looking forward to seeing new things on the blog, too, since you mentioned you have a few ideas (THERE'S NO BACKING OUT NOW! LOL).

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! *throws confetti*

    1. (I hope 2017 will "BE" even better, of course...*rolls eyes at herself*)

    2. Thank you for the heads-up! We've corrected the link! :) We'll definitely be experimenting with different structures and formats, you'll be able to see one I've tried when my next review is published on the 11th. #selfpromo Best of luck & happiness to you in 2018! :)

  3. I think you both did amazing in 2017 and here's hoping 2018 is even better!! I'm doing Beat the Backlist too so we should have some fun there!!! Happy New Year!!!

    1. Thank you! :) GOOD LUCK!! I cannot wait to get properly started on Beat the Backlist!

  4. The only resolution I made for 2017 was to become a vegetarian, and I accomplished that! But going into 2018, I’m just going to put less pressure on myself. I agree with you Ruz, I’m just going to set my reading challenge low and let whatever happens, happen.

    1. Oh wow, I imagine that was quite a big change, so congrats on accomplishing it! Hope your 2018 will be amazing & less stressful. :)


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