We are already a week into 2024. Some of us have it all planned out. Some are still finding our footing. As we look towards 2024 with hope, it is also time to reflect on the year gone by with gratitude.
Gratitude is not a fleeting emotion. It is a practice that impacts our emotional well-being. Quoting Cynthia Ozick, “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” There is a lot to be thankful for.
Thank you, 2023!
Beyond 2017, January is not a month I look forward to. New Year celebrations are always bittersweet. That said, I do plan out the year and set intentions for the future. Setting professional, personal, and of course, blogging goals.
Similar to the previous years, 2023 was a mixed bag on the personal front. Some highs. Some lows. Realizing a decade-old dream. A road trip and catching up with the extended family. Some welcome additions. Some painful goodbyes.
Although blogging took a back seat to work, it was an eventful year nonetheless. Here is a goodbye to the 2023 blogging year with a grateful heart.
Interview with Vinita Dawra Nangia
The highlight of the year was the opportunity to interview the inspirational powerhouse, distinguished editor and author Vinita Dawra Nangia Ma’am for my blog. I have been reading her columns since I moved to Delhi over three decades back. A down-to-earth lady who I had the privilege to interact with personally.
She discussed the literary ventures she leads for the Times, literary festivals, publishing, writing, and the question everyone’s asking – will AI replace writers? Her team including Smita Mishra was an absolute pleasure to work with. Do check out her insightful and motivating interview.
I shall ever be grateful to Jyoti Jha for the opportunity and guidance. Couldn’t have done it without her.
When I joined the book bloggers community in 2019, I connected with Evelina @ Avalinah’s Books on Twitter and consequently joined Book Dragons India hosted by Nandini. Their Discord communities of bloggers were instrumental in teaching me the nitty-gritty of book blogging. Unfortunately, the communities are no longer active.
Bookish League is my attempt to pay it forward. I launched it in early 2022 with just a handful of us bloggers. Health scares and hospitalization, it took a back seat.
What began as a revival with a bookish blog hop is now a vibrant community of book lovers that I cherish. A big thanks to the members for contributing to it with some incredible writing. Forever grateful to Cindy @ BlogaberryFoo for being my sounding board. She is always forthcoming with her guidance and suggestions, with years of experience hosting the Blogaberry Dazzle blog hops with Noor Anand Chawla.
Sharing my personal journey
Books have supported me during the darkest phases of my life. Surviving injury. Coping with loss and grief. I am a big believer in bibliotherapy and books always provide solace when my body is in rebel mode.
I am a very private person online (tends to be difficult if you are a blogger) and rarely if ever put up my pics. In 2023, I decided to share my journey and the healing power of books as a part of the Truly Yours Holistic Emotions Blog Hop by Rakhi Jayashankar and Roma Gupta Sinha.
The response and support have been overwhelming. Indeed the power of a community. It is all set to be a part of an anthology edited by Roma that will be out this Spring. My first-ever!
Books close to my heart
How can I not talk about books? I cut down on book review requests and blog tours in 2023 but there are a few that are close to my heart.
Reading Silver Lining by Kamal Shah felt like life coming full circle. An emotional catharsis of sorts. Our journeys may not have been exactly similar but I could relate to the author’s thought process. The strong will to not let the injury define me.
Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai reinstated the importance of sharing stories. How little we know of the world around us and how it is often colored by political narratives.
The Forest Keeper – The True Story of Jadav Payeng by Rina Singh, Ishita Jain (Illustrator) proved that all it takes is one individual and the determination to make a difference. Not all heroes wear capes.
A love story. A recipe book. A book on food trivia. The Indian Café in London by Veena Nagpal was stepped in nostalgia as an army kid. A book I keep returning to for the recipes.
Onwards and upwards, 2024!
As I complete five years of book blogging in April, it has been quite a journey. With decades of experience in the field including managing top-ranking online magazines and blogs, managing my own blog is a whole different ball game. I can handle SEO since I work with some of the best brains in the industry. I still struggle with certain aspects though, particularly social media. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Truer words haven’t been spoken.
This year, I hope to balance my blogging and work better. I would like to get back to book reviews, ARCs, and blog tours. Breaks my heart to refuse them time and again. I also hope to be more active in the Blogchatter community. I had to let go of participating in the #CauseAChatter campaign last year. One that was close to my heart and an active participant since its launch.
As always, I hope this year is kind. I have lots planned in the New Year and am raring to go!
Wishing you all the best 2024 has to offer! Have a blessed one!