2018 State of the Blog

2017 was a good year for me and a good year for the blog.  2017 also capped what was, for me, an extraordinarily eventful decade.  A decade that started with the death of my sister.  At the time, I had lived my entire life in one state, and I was working at the only “real” job I had ever held.  A decade later, I’ve lived in five more states, picked up another advanced degree, changed careers twice, held five more jobs, bought two houses, and gotten married.  I’ve settled into a state and job and career and house that hopefully I will keep for a very long time.  I also lost my two remaining grandparents, and my wife lost her last grandparent.  But we have our first child on the way this spring.

I started this blog in the middle of all of that in May 2015.  2016 more than tripled 2015 page views.  2017 more than doubled 2016 page views.  Not only that, I had more visitors in 2017 than I did views in 2016.  And I did it on three fewer posts.  Jeffro tapped me for an every-other-week column at Castalia House.  I participated in Vintage SF Month and started two new series of my own—my Dark Tower Big Read and the Summer of Conan.  I continued my Throwback SF Thursday posts and reviewed far more indie books than in the past.

By books read, 2017 just squeaked by 2016.  But I was still six books off my mark in 2015 (presumably my all-time best).  By pages read, 2017 fell short of both 2015 and 2012.

I still really want to hit 100 books read in one year, but I don’t know that 2018 will be the year to do it.  Real life remains gloriously busy.  The blog has skewed my reading toward speculative fiction.  Once again, I read into the new year planning to read more non-SF.  I would like the split to look at lot more like it was in 2011 than in 2017.  And that would inevitably bring down the number of books I read.

I also have a top secret project in the works that will be affecting my reading and my blogging.  I stepped away from my column at Castalia House in November.  Throwback SF Thursday posts will continue, if not in the same numbers.  I will try to hew as much as possible to the groove I settled into last year of a post every Tuesday and every other Thursday.

I do plan to resume the Dark Tower Big Read, but I don’t have even a rough date in mind.  I have a lot of big plans.  I will be posting for Vintage SF Month this month and participating in a group reread of Dune and watch of the 1984 movie.  I would like to do a Big Watch of sword and sorcery movies.  I am planning an intermittent series called The Good, the Pulp, and the Superversive that will allow me to analyze some works in what I think will be a very useful way.  (To continue to flex my critical muscles, I also want to start picking up some beta reading responsibilities.)

But the big news is that I am going to do a massive series on Tolkien.  I’m rereading The Hobbit for the first time in years.  I’m rereading The Lord of the Rings for the first time in years.  I will finally read the Silmarillion in full.  I will rewatch The Lord of the Rings movies.  I will tape my eyelids open and watch *gasp* the Hobbit movies.  I’m going to get really fucking drunk for that.  I may even rewatch the animated movies.  I’m also going to dive into some of the stacks of nonfiction on Tolkien.  I will definitely talk about (and hopefully reread) Tom Shippey’s Author of the Century and Joseph Loconte’s A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War, both of which are outstanding.  I will read my copy of The Fellowship as well.  It is going to be a lot of fun.  We could use more writers like J.R.R. Tolkien.

Let’s raise our glasses to another great year reading and writing about speculative fiction.

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction). https://everydayshouldbetuesday.wordpress.com/ https://hillbillyhighways.wordpress.com/
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19 Responses to 2018 State of the Blog

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Posts Published in 2017 | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

  2. Bookstooge says:

    Well, lots of comment fodder here!

    1) Congrats on the visitor numbers. That is always nice to know that people are reading your stuff.

    2) Congrats on the little one on the way.

    3) A new baby and you think you’ll read more? I’m sorry but unless your wife is superwoman I expect your number of posts to drop dramatically.

    4) A LotR watch/read marathon sounds like a lot of fun to watch you participate in. Best of luck with the hobbit movie trilogy 😦

    Finally, whatever ends up happening here I look forward to it 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • H.P. says:

      I’m holding you personally responsible for not stopping me from watching Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bookstooge says:

        I accept the blame. I ended up buying each movie in the extended edition too. LotR=Total Awesomeness. Hobbit=Fanboy.

        Jackson just went out of control. It should have been one movie and not been all “epic”. I suspect we won’t see any more LotR stuff for quite some time now, thanks to the Hobbit 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bormgans says:

    My first child is a year and a few days now, and she cut my reading time in half, so I’m guessing if you want to read 100 books, you better pick very short ones. Anyhow, a small price to pay for a whole set of new feelings. Enjoy! It’ll be a non-stop wonder!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. H.P. says:

    Yeah, expecting to read even as much as I have been with a baby is probably a pipe dream. My job affords me lots of flexibility, so I have visions of staying up all night working (and hopefully reading a bit).

    Liked by 2 people

  5. bellawilfer7 says:

    The Tolkien re-read plan sounds amazing 🙂 enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Big Watch of sword & sorcery movies? I’d join you! What to start with?? 😀

    Good luck with watching The Hobbit… I managed to sit throgh the first (well, i was on a plane and couldn’t walk away) but thats it, no more!

    I hope 2018 will be an awesome year for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • H.P. says:

      I’m thinking maybe start in the fall? Sword and sorcery movies start one place–the 1982 Conan movie with Ahnold. Then the major movies from the 1980s S&S boom Conan started–Conan the Destroyer, Krull, Beast Master, Red Sonja, Kull the Conqueror. Many more low-budget flicks that might be worth digging up to hate watch. I would add the 2011 Conan movie and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. You could fairly include the sword and sandal and sorcery flicks (the Sinbad movies, Jason and the Argonauts, etc.), but they probably deserve their own series. I’m open to suggestion!

      I can’t sleep on planes. I used a couple of the Hobbit movies on international flights to force my brain to shut down out of self defense.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. pcbushi says:

    Woot! Definitely rewatch the Rankin and Bass animated Hobbit!

    Happy 2018, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m curious about your top-secret project. Any projected announcement date?

    I’m planning to write a few short stories in 2018, so if you’d like to beta-read something in the 2k-4k word range, I’ll send you a copy of my next one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I reread The Hobbit two years ago for the first time since I was kid (so like… 15years?), and it was great! All, I honestly remembered from reading what the troll scene – which was just as funny as I remembered XD

    I’d also LOVE to read the Dark Tower series! Got through the first 4 books before school started up again, and well… been down to about 2 novels per year now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. And oh yeah, did you watch the movie?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I should really look at my own stats on Goodreads, god only knows why I don’t do it 🙂 also, that’s an interesting story about your decade. Glad you got settled! Deep stuff, man.

    I won’t be reading 100 books this year. Too stressful 🙂 I want to relax this year… And read Dune, for that matter xD

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: 2019 State of the Blog: Every Day Should Be Tuesday Edition | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

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