Midyear Review – Reading, Writing and Other Projects
July 15, 2022
Midyear nonfiction update

 

Like last year, I am using The Goodbye 2021 Hello 2022 planner this time as well. However, I didn’t do such a great job of updating it at the end of the first quarter. However, I sat with it over the weekend to do a mid-year check-in

Bookish adventures 

Every year I start with a short reading list. It is not an aspirational goal or a declaration of a challenge, just a small note to myself that I would like to read these books during the year.

I am an opportunistic reader. Or should I call myself a promiscuous reader?

I have a tendency to frequently stray from my stated reading goals. I easily fall prey to bright shiny book syndrome.

Why else would I buy more books or borrow a pile from the Singapore library when I have shelves overflowing with unread books at home?

Yet, when a book comes to my notice through book reviews and mentions by other readers or if I spot it on someone else’s desk/hand/reading list etc, I take a quick call – to read or not to read.

In Jan 2022, my list had 8 books. At the midpoint of the year I can confidently say that I have read 4 of those books! What about the rest you ask? I will get around to them, eventually. What surprised me greatly was the number of books I have read, even if they were not on my list. I have read at least 16 books in various formats – print, ebooks, audiobooks.. 

I have taken a detour from the original list but I am glad I did. Like life, that teaches us more when we veer off the beaten track, the books that I consumed on my detour were timely and relevant to my journey at that point. 

Of these 16 books, I have written reviews for 14. One habit that has helped me accelerate my reading while sparing my eyes is the adoption of audiobooks. Can’t praise them enough.

mid year fiction update

Have you read any of the books in these grids?

Writing wrap-up

In the first six months of 2022, I have sent out a newsletter every two weeks, as promised. In addition, I wrote 19 blogposts, several op-eds for the Straits Times including a piece about divorce, a topic that is close to my heart, essays for India Currents, and an unusual article titled Confessions of An Indie Author.  I also wrote consistently on social media and made new friends. 

Am I thinking of the next book? Of course I am. Stay tuned for updates.

Making noise

The biggest achievement for 2022 this far has been the launch of my podcast, Rewriting YOUR Happily Ever After. In addition to featuring behind the scenes information about my book, I have interviewed three women who have shared their divorce stories. The goal of the book was to help break the silence and reduce the stigma around divorce. The best way to do so is to get people to speak up. And with the podcast, I am able to do so. 

Other noteworthy updates

I made tremendous progress on my goal to learn new things. My intentions are good but sometimes, I am unable to keep my own promise. I began a course of study in Positive Psychology. If all had gone according to plan, I would have completed it in December 2021. However, it took me six extra months and I can say proudly that I have completed all the requirements of my Graduate Diploma in Advance Positive Psychology. Not only did I learn a lot, I also got to know interesting people and made good friends through the program.

Making new connections

I have lost track of all the online interactions I have done in the first 6 months – meetings with book clubs on Facebook, interactions on Instagram Live, and interviews on podcasts. One of the most satisfying aspects of the new found visibility I have as an author is the opportunity to make new friends. These are people who have read my book and felt the urge to connect. Some I have got to know over a phone call, some I have talked to while walking along a scenic route in Singapore and others I have come to know over a cup of tea

What next

The word I chose for this year (or rather the word chose me) is ‘savor’. It was a reminder to pay attention, be present, focus on life as it unfolded, instead of thinking about it as a stepping stone to the next moment.

It’s amazing how such a simple idea, to choose a word, can define the course of your days. From being an antidote for burnout, to allowing me to walk mindfully and do something as mundane as taking pictures with care, the word savor has improved the quality of my days. 

In fact, I had to consciously learn to slow down and enjoy the moment on my recent holiday to India where I had sandwiched a short trip to the mountains in between two hectic phases.

The first six months of 2022 have been productive and fruitful. Yet, there are always things on my to-do list. The first among them is to produce the audiobook for Rewriting My Happily Ever After. The second is to move ahead with the next book. I’m sure there will be other new endeavors that I will pursue.

How has 2022 been for you?

Drop a comment and let me know. How do you track your year?

 

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