Y’know what, 2016 is getting a lot of stick (and probably RIGHTLY SO, so much bad has happened this year) and I think it’s important to remember good things, positive things, lovely things that have happened this year. I’ve had a weird year, it’s been both good and tough… but even through the tough you need to remember good. So here we are… here’s my favourite things about 2016 (in no particular order really!)
I have absolutely loved EVERY SINGLE second of becoming a blogger. This is a total and utter passion project of mine that I never thought would get off the ground, but here I sit 4 months down the line and I am a blogger. I don’t do this to get 1000s of hits, to get 100s of comments… I do it because it gives me somewhere to talk about what I do and what I love. Blogging has opened so many doors, it has enabled me to do so many wonderful things and has opened me up to some absolutely incredible people in this sometimes horrible world and I am so grateful. If you read this because I make you, because you’ve come across this blog by accident or because you’re one of these new wonderful people in my life who support then I thank you forever and ever. I love my blog. I love my blogger friends. I love that this is my corner of the world. I do this for me. It certainly made 2016 more bearable to talk about things I love, rather than reading lots of negative.
Bookish twitter friends
Becoming a blogger, and becoming more involved in the incredible twitter community has meant that I’ve made and met so many amazing friends. The little corner of twitter that I reside in, that houses me and my friends is wonderful. There are some people that I’ve had the luxury of working with, there are people that I’ve had the luxury of meeting and there are people who I am lucky enough to get to talk to daily on twitter. One of my favourites places to reside on twitter is with the SundayYA crew. My wonderful Rachel (@_sectumsemprah) looks after us so wonderfully and I am so so lucky that she’s allowed me into the bookish community of #SundayYA. There are so many people that I’ve become friends with on twitter that it astounds me… 6 months ago I was just a reader, now I’m a reader and a blogger and friends with these amazing people who blog and have important things to say. If you’re ever on my twitter just have a look at the people I talk to and you’ll find my wonderful friends…
One of my favourite things that has happened as I got more involved in blogging and books and twitter and being all over the place is that publicists open their doors and pass on their books. I have had the opportunity to read and review some absolutely incredible books this year. Mainly thanks to my wonderful friend Sarah (@xpectopatronerd). She has thrown so so so many wonderful books my way this year. I have loved reading each and ever single one of them to myself AND then to the kids in my school. The kids love when I come in with a new story. There have been so many other wonderful publicists letting me read their books, especially on Netgalley… (thanks to my wonderful bookish friends for introducing me to Netgalley!)
Communicating with authors
Maybe this post should just be a twitter appreciation post? Ha. I think twitter might be my favourite social media platform as it gives you such opportunity to communicate with people you might not necessarily get to otherwise! I was introduced to so many wonderful authors on twitter, and keep in contact with some of my faves (coughQueenMelcough) through twitter. It has been lush being able to just share with them that I loved their book/that the kids at school loved their book. Authors are wonderful people. They work hard and we should tell them we love their books!! Go on, find an author whose book you loved and tell them.
I was lucky enough to get to go to 2 bookish events this year! Having never been to one I was NERVOUS as anything to go to my first one.. UKYACX, which was in Newcastle this year (See my reviews here: UKYACX Take 1! MG edition, UKYACX Take 2: YA edition!). It was absolutely amazing. I loved everything about it! I was so lucky in that I was asked to be involved in the blog tour for 2 different authors (UKYACX blog with Gabrielle Kent!, UKYACX blog tour: Sara Grant). Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass are absolute machines organising and orchestrating the whole day. It was amazing! A few months later I got the chance to go to London and go to YAShot. I was HELLA nervous. Here was a massive bookish event, held in London with so so many authors and bloggers and people I admire that I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like. I had amazing people watching after me though… my wonderful friend Cora (@Corazzz) looked after me! I got to meet so many incredibly talented people that weekend… bloggers, authors and vloggers alike. My personal highlight was getting to see Melinda Salisbury again! She is my queen. Special mention to Chris from YAfictionados for being Irish, handsome and the sweetest. I had the best time at YAShot. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.
This year was the year in which I passed first year of uni and started my second year! What? Who would’ve guessed that?! It’s been a passion of mine for a long long time to become a teacher but I wasn’t ready for uni at 18 when I left college so I kinda had to put that dream on hold for a while. I never stopped trying though. After years of pushing and prodding from my colleagues, I had the moment where I knew I needed to get my ass to uni. So I did. Here I am a year and a half down the line with my first year under my belt, my dissertation to write and only 1 more module before I graduate. This is unreal. But I am pretty proud of myself. It is HARD working full time and studying. I’ll get there.
Yep. There we go. I got on a SCITT course. I will be (providing I get my degree) training to be a teacher from September 2017. What even. I am SO SCARED but SO READY. (See: Follow your dreams! for the full story.)
I think by default my job is always going to be one of my favourite things in a year. But I couldn’t go without mentioning it. I get to work with some of the most incredibly supportive, kind and funny people in the world and I get to work with kids. I’ve never not wanted to teach. It’s all I’ve wanted to do and I am so so lucky that I get to do it every single day. I love my job, I love the kids and the colleagues I get to work with. I can’t wait to keep that positivity into 2017. Teaching isn’t easy. It’s not the holidays and the playing that everyone thinks it is. It’s long days, emotionally draining, sleep depriving (the amounts of nights you’ll spend lying awake thinking about your next lesson, or your lesson that didn’t go so well is unreal) but it is so rewarding. I talked about how much I #loveteaching in this post: #loveteaching.
Not only has twitter enabled me to communicate with bookish people but it has opened up a world of tweachers (teachers who tweet). There are some incredibly inspiring people out there on twitter and getting to tweet with them and share ideas and thoughts with them is wonderful. We even have a growing teacher book community! I will get the people around me reading! It is my mission!
Obviously. I have read some absolutely incredible books this year. Some people may say it is ridiculous to have one of your favourite things about a year being books, but I don’t. Books are transformative. They take you away from whatever is going on and transport you to a whole new world. They’re just majestic. Well done to all of the authors and book sellers who managed to convince me (let’s be honest, it’s not hard) to buy your book. I love books. SEND ME THEM ALL. I have a best books of 2016 coming up tomorrow! Keep your eyes peeled!
There we have it. My favourite things of 2016. I rambled on a bit. But you get the idea. 2016 wasn’t all bad.