2016 In Review: Things I Read, Wrote, and Blogged

2016 In Review: Things I Read, Wrote, and Blogged

2016 is officially over. Thank goodness.


This years had it ups and its downs (very oh-so-deep downs.) However, through it all, I kept reading and writing. Not to mention, this is the year I started blogging! So in this (longish because hey, it was a long year!) post, I’m going to focus on the positive: Literature!


Okay, so for maybe the first time ever, I completed a New Year’s resolution: Read 52 books. I tried to read a little bit of everything. Here’s how I did:


Now, because I like talking about books, I am going to host a mini awards ceremony for the books I read.


Without further ado, here’s the official rankings for 2016:

readingThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

I wanted to like this book. I really did. But I just didn’t enjoy it. I wanted it to have  a thicker plot. I wanted to care more about the characters. I wanted the book to have a satisfying ending. But, as this book loves to remind us, we don’t always get what we want. I understand, to some degree, why it’s a classic, but it just wasn’t for me.


The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

This book had me CACKLING. I couldn’t put it down. It’s perfectly whimsical and was just the thing I needed to get me out of a reading slump. This book didn’t change my life, but it made me smile- a lot. And when I read it, that was what I needed. This book invites you to take a break from reality for a while and I’d highly recommend accepting.


A Doll’s House by Henrick Isben

GAH. This book is the perfect feminist, plot-twisting, complex creation. I’m so happy I read this. I never anticipated the turns the play took and Nora is one of the most interesting characters I met over my year’s reading. I hated her, loved her, and by the end of the play, found massive respect for her. The last few pages of this play make it all worth it. if you’re looking to read a classic play, start here.


Come, Thief by Jane Hirshfield  // Edna St. Vincent Millay

There’s a tie for this one. I just couldn’t choose between Come, Thief and Millay’s poetry.

Come Thief: Wow, I can’t believe I only read this collection this year! I feel like I’ve known Jane my entire life. Her poems are intimate, thought-provoking, and starkly beautiful. I believe she is the best ‘traditional’ poet of our generation.

Millay: I feel like Edna and I are friends. Millay had a fantastic grip on language, and her poems are witty, emotional, and gripping. She’s the perfect poet to read while snuggled under a blanket sipping hot chocolate.


Picture Of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

This book really surprised me. It was beautifully written, and funny in all the ways I didn’t expect it to be. Dorian was obnoxious in the best way possible, and the world Oscar painted was vivid, inviting, and gruesomely terrible, all at the same time. Oscar Wilde is one of my new favorites.


Citizen by Claudia Rankine

If you have not read this book, go get yourself a copy RIGHT NOW. Citizen is easily the best book I read this year, and I am convinced that Claudia Rankine is the smartest person alive. This book is wondrously crafted and eye-opening. It weaves race, pain, and beauty together with its clever use of words and formatting. It redefines our idea of what poetry is. Claudia dubs it “An American Lyric,’ and nothing could be more accurate. This collection of poetry, images, and prose is the current song of our nation.


This was the year of editing.

If anyone else has tried to edit a first draft, you know that “This was the year of tears, doubt, and having a minor mental break down over whether or not that one minor character actually belongs in your story” is basically synonymous with my first sentence. I thought my writing would be a lot like this:


When it was really more like this:


However, I still managed to get some quality writing done.

    • I finished the first draft of my novel– I started it in last year’s NanoWrimo, reaching 50,000 words, and then picked it up again in January, 2016. I wrote another 39,000 words this year. I officially finished the first draft the day before my birthday. It’s the first completed manuscript I’ve ever written!
    • I started editing this book (Calling it ‘this book’ and ‘WIP’ because I am bad at titles) and rewrote about 30,000 words. This sounds simply but it really means I changed plot lines and chopped off useless characters, which I still feel vaguely guilty about, but you know how it goes: We must kill our darlings. I hope to finish my second draft by next December.
    • I wrote a feature piece about a local coffee shop that was published!
    • I wrote a lot of poetry. Some for a collection, some just for fun, and for some reason, a whole lot of haiku.
    • Okay, big news: I finished my first ever journal. I love writing daily, but whenever I tried to journal, I’d flake out after a couple of pages. Most of my entries were apologies for not writing enough. But in my most recent journaling attempt, I forbid myself from writing ‘sorries,’ and it worked. I’ve kept a journal for the past two years, and a couple of days ago, I finally completed it.
    • I completed a 5,000 word short story.
    • Started a novel based on Emily Dickinson. (because I am obsessed with her.)

All in all, it was a fairly productive year! In 2017, I hope to finish the second draft of my WIP, finish a first draft of my new novel, continue working on my poetry collection, and start a new journal. Also, write more haiku, because at this point, I could do a collection of those.


In July, I started this blog. I then promptly forgot about it. (Oops.) I started seriously blogging in October, so I’ve officially been a blogger for about 3 months. In that time, I’ve achieved:

  • 1,270 visitors
  • 15 Posts

My most popular post was about creating a NanoWrimo Survival Kit.

But these are all just numbers. They can’t describe what a warm and welcoming experience blogging has been for me. Everyone on WordPress has been so kind and supportive. Thank you for being the awesome people that you are. Here are a few of the bloggers who made 2016 amazing. Some of them I’ve talked too, others I’ve just really enjoyed reading:

Lady Literary |  My Bookish Life |  Mind The Dog Writing Blog | Queens and Cupcakes |  The Artistics | A Writer’s Faith | A Blogger’s Memo Pad | Hundred Acre Books | Day-Dreamer Night-Thinker | Elizabeth Rose

I’m looking for more extraordinary blogs to follow, so please leave recommendations in the comments below…or, you could take my survey! Please help me figure out how to make 2017 the best blogging year yet by honestly answering the questions below. If you leave your blog address, I’ll go say hi, but you can also submit it anonymously.

Well, that wraps up my yearly review. Until then, you can find me on Instagram, Pinterest, or contact me at authorvpd@gmail.com. Happy new year!


25 responses to “2016 In Review: Things I Read, Wrote, and Blogged”

    • Thank you! Oh no, did it not appear? Haha I tried to put it in via Google forms, but if it’s not showing up, you could just answer the questions here/ send it to me through a contact form:
      How would you rate my blog from 1-10?
      What posts would you like to see more of?
      What’s your favorite thing about my blog?
      What could I do to improve?
      What are some blogs you recommend following?
      thanks again, and sorry for the confusion haha


  1. You are just too sweet for linking to my blog. You have made my day! Thank you!
    I’m so impressed with your blog, and loved this post in particular. I enjoyed your graphic about how you thought your writing would go, and how it actually went. Very funny. I also liked your reading list. I wish I could pack that much reading into a year! (Side note: I also read The Sun Also Rises this year. I think I enjoyed it more than you did, but my assessment was similar.)
    Happy New Year! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re welcome! I’ll just answer below:
    Your DIYS are really cool and they’re my favorite thing
    I guess you could post more frequently?
    You should totally follow Inquisitive Writer and Okoto Enigma

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Okay!
    1. I’d rank this blog an 8
    2. I’d enjoy seeing more writing posts, or reading posts. I’m interested in your NaNo as well; maybe post some teasers or hints?
    3. I really appreciate the writing posts, and enjoy the DIY posts. And photos of your dog.
    4. I like the DIY posts, and I really liked this post in particular; it was fun, with the awards.
    5. I noticed you read a lot of books that I’m interested in, or never heard of. Maybe do some book reviews? Or post more often.
    5. I recommend icebreaker694. And is it bad to recommend my own blog? Mainly because I hope you would enjoy my blog, and I’d be happy if you followed. Again, I hope that isn’t silly. But yeah, I’m really enjoying your blog and writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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