As we enter 2017, I was thinking about what I want to do with my blog this year. Below I have outlined some goals and some challenges I will be doing this year! Check out the challenges page!
I will be participating in Diversity Bingo for 2017. The goal is to read a book that satisfies each space on the bingo board with the goal of covering all the spaces before the end of the year! By looking at the different categories, I can already see how this simple yet genius tool will help keep me accountable to read diversely across all identities (and in the intersections). I am not doing this challenge to win something or to show folks how many diverse books I am reading. I want to be clear that reading diverse stories is not a fad. I also want to stress that I do not want to police diversity by saying what books count, what books are authentic and what books do not count. I will continue to be in conversation with my communities around these issues. I am doing diversity bingo because I believe that all of these stories and experiences need to be told, because they are valid and authentic and wonderful. And I want to share the stories and the amazing authors with you! I will continue to update my board on the challenges page on my site.
Out of the Dust Challenge
I have a lot of books in my library that I have acquired over the yeas mostly through library and used book sales (those fill a bag for $3 sales). And I have noticed I read only a small amount of books from my own personal collection each year. I get swept up in new releases from the library or find a good deal on an e-book and neglect my growing physical book collection. My challenge this year is to read at least 20 books from my physical collection and I will try to keep you all update with [Out of the Dust] posts.
Goodreads Reading Challenge
In 2016, I created a manageable challenge of reading 45 books. With more attention to blogging, I actually started reading more! I will set my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal at 70 books for 2017 with the expectation I will surpass it. I will link with a widget from my challenges page on my blog.
100×1 New to Me Challenge
Along with this challenge, I will be doing another challenge – a variation of the 100×1 challenge (play 100 different games at least once in a year). This has proven too easy for me. With the amount of games in my gaming groups, I can easily complete this challenge in half a year. The challenge I will be doing for 2017 is the 100×1 “New to Me” challenge. This means I will attempt to play 100 different games at least once that I have never played before. A much harder challenge for me, because I do not have the finances to simply buy new games. I must go out to conventions and game groups, meet people, and learn games in community. I will be tracking all of it on Board Game Geek in a Geek List that I will post on my challenges page.
Diversity & Board Games
I have wanted to do some sort of board game challenge so that I could play games and highlight board games designed by diverse designers -> POC, LGBTQ+, differently abled, women, and non-Christian religions/spiritualities. I am still working on a system to organize this challenge/goal and I am hoping to collaborate with others in the board gaming community. I will update with a post when I create something solid. In addition, I want highlight games in game reviews by diverse designers AND/OR games that have authentic diverse representation in the artwork and theme.
This year, I went from 10 blog followers to over 90 blog followers! I was very shocked that many people wanted to follow and read my blog. I am looking to expand even further into the community (both board games and books) by collaborating, interacting, and meeting new people. This is a goal I will not be disappointed if I do not reach it, I just want to see growth in my blogging community.
At the Table (what I’ve been playing)
This post type has been in the back of my mind for a while now to discuss games I have been playing recently or games that have been played a lot recently. I find this topic interesting, not only to discuss different games, but to discuss why certain games (old or new) start getting to the table more often. I plan to do this every couple of months!
Board Game Reviews
I have been focusing mostly on book reviews and not so much on board game reviews. I want to get back into this and I started at the end of 2016 with a review of Oceanos. When I first started blogging, I had a very structured way of reviewing games (components, mechanics, fun, etc.) and I found I did not like that restrictive format. So I stopped altogether writing reviews. With Oceanos, I tried to take a similar approach to how I review books and I enjoy that process much more. Be on the lookout for more board game reviews as well as a continuation of my [Including New Meeples] series.
I think personal narratives are very powerful and can really add to a blog. I have read a handful of blogs that interweave their personal experiences posts very well. I used to do personal posts when I first started my blog and I want to revisit that style of posting. I believe we cannot be successful in inclusion and social justice work without relationships. And relationships require giving a little bit of myself to others.
I am open to any other suggestions you all have about what posts you would like to see!