illustration art of an ipad, ipad pencil, open book, an open laptop, and a mug of chai

As someone who has multiple hobbies, I struggle with managing them all. There is always one that gets lesser attention. But I love having multiple hobbies. It is very satisfying to progress in different things and to have many skills. They also give me more material for whenever I need to introduce myself haha.

It's hard to remember my achievements and document them too. I have many things going on in my head everyday. Since we're in the middle of the year, this time is perfect to look back a little and note milestones. When doing this annually, I tend to forget about the smaller wins but they deserve some celebration too.

So instead of doing a June wrap-up, I wanted to do a mid-year check-in post. This is going to be a casual post about my year so far, what milestones I crossed, and what I look forward to for the rest of 2021.


For the last two years, I had aggressive reading goals. 150 books a year is a LOT, even if I fly through books. I actually reduced it to 100 in 2020 but increased it again after the pandemic began.

Due to those goals, I didn't let myself pick up many long books or books that I will take more time with. For example, non-fiction and literary fiction. This year, I didn't want any pressure on my reading for that reason. I wanted to branch out and take it easy.

I set my goal as 10 books and decided to increase the goal by 10 every time I complete the goal. So it'll go like 10 books then 20 and so on. I stopped increasing after 50 though, haha. Laziness prevailed.

As of now, I've read 75 books this year! I didn't set the goal but I'm still on track to read 150 books in 2021. This shows how much I turned to books for escapism.

I was reading around 3 books a week until the end of May when I went into a reading slump. Thankfully, the slump ended pretty soon. I picked up a romance book after 10 days and slowly worked up to reading more often. I'm still not back at 3 books a week yet but I don't want to be either.

illustration art of a person sitting cross-legged on bed, with a book on their lap, holding a mug.

While I love reading, it does take a lot of time which can be spent on other hobbies. Audiobooks help but sometimes I want to listen to music and draw. Or do something else. Being a book blogger/influencer* has tightly tied my identity with reading. If I don't read, I have an identity crisis.** This year, I've come closest to reading stress-free again. And it feels SO GOOD. Highly recommend it.

Most of my books have been romance (because comfort escapism) and many of them have been quality romance. Here are my favourite romance books so far:

  • Heidi's Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec and Andi Arndt (my review)
  • Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert. This was SO CUTE and heartwarming. I loved the sunshine-and-grumpy-couple trope and the setting.
  • Destiny's Embrace by Beverly Jenkins. Historical romances aren't my scene but this was amazing.
  • Drag Me Up by R. M. Virtues. I keep thinking about reviewing this and I back out because I feel like I won't do this justice. It's too good.
  • What Are The Odds? by R. M. Virtues. I think I can review this but I need more time haha. This is also very good.
  • The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas. Workplaces romances are not my thing but every other part of this was amazing. The tropes, the chemistry, and the plot made me love it.

In between the romances, I did manage to read books from other genres. And I read some GREAT books. Here are my favourites:

  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. Absolutely brilliant. Deserves all the hype.
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This had me ABSORBED and reminded me why I like literary fiction.
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. This was everything I expected from the hype and more. I fully annotated my copy and experienced emotions.
  • You've Reached Sam by Dustin Thao (my review)
  • Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto. This was hilarious and provided me with the escape I needed.
  • If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio. I'm so glad I finally read this. It was great and I loved that it had things to analyze. I spent quite a while thinking about every part of this book after I finished it.

Not all my reading has been great this year, but it was better than average. And I'll take what I can get. As for the rest of the year, I don't have a set TBR (as usual) so let's see where my mood takes me.

*in general, my identity is tied to books even though I blog about other things too.

**I know I'm not alone in this because I've seen other book influencers talk about this in passing. I want to write a discussion on this but I haven't figured out how to make it coherent yet lol.

an illustration drawing of a girl using her laptop


I welcomed 2021 with a blogging slump. I wasn't liking the look of my blog or the direction I was going in. It put me into a slump in October and I was trying very hard to blog regularly.

When the new year came, I reflected and journaled a lot. It made me realize that I wanted to start anew with my blog. Just the thought of a fresh start made me more excited about blogging.

After a ton of internal debates and a couple of pros-and-cons lists, I bought a domain and gave my blog a new home. And I'm so glad I did it despite my hesitations. Starting over with this blog has brought back my love for blogging. I especially love that every part of the blog is mine, including the images. I know that I haven't spoken about it much* but going self-hosted has been one of my best decisions.

I was unsure of moving to a new domain and building credibility again, but I shouldn't have worried. It's been a little over four months since I started this blog and it has grown so much. In some areas, more than my previous blog which I had for years.

a cafe table with an open laptop and snacks. a wall print says "change is growth"

Allow me to brag a little and celebrate my accomplishments because I'm pretty proud of myself. Here are the milestones this blog has crossed in the last few months:

  • hit 2.5k blog followers
  • launched my newsletter and reached 100 subscribers
  • set up a resource library
  • the blog's domain authority is now 14 (more than my last blog's!)
  • got my first sponsored blog post opportunity!
  • multiple posts rank on the first page of google
  • 40 posts (note: I launched the blog with a bunch of blog posts up)
  • and this month, I'll mostly reach 7k views!

On my old blog, I managed to reach 5k views a month only after years and a TON of posts. The fact that this blog is doing so well makes me very happy, and is the sign that I'm doing things well.

One of my goals was to post less frequently but post only high-quality posts i.e. ones that I'm fully satisfied with. I wanted to post about once a week. This is the first month that I posted only four times, and didn't succumb to the pressure to post more. And this is the best month I've had so far.** That's amazing news.

I'm very happy about the look of this blog and the content that I'm putting out. Each post makes me proud. And the engagement has been significantly more as well, so that's reassuring.

Looking forward, I don't have any specific plans. I'm going to continue posting what I like and continue with the newsletter. The resource library is definitely going to grow a lot in the next few months. I'll need to figure out a new layout so it doesn't become a long page to scroll haha.

*mainly because I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested. If you'd like me to make a post on my experience of going self-hosted + advice/tips, let me know in the comments!

**it is partly because of previous posts that are getting traffic through search engines.

Related post: My Blogging Journey // Experiences, Trials, & Regrets

open laptop on a desk with book and mug with coffee


In the later months of 2020, I started digital drawing. My mom got a drawing pad and stopped using it after a couple days, so I tried it out. Since then, I've been hooked onto making art again.

I am an artsy person in general. I used to sketch and paint when I was younger but it stopped when I reached 10th grade. The Indian academic system pressured me and took all of my time. I discovered blogging in 12th grade and have devoted my free time to this since then.

So art got sidelined until I graduated from college. Digital drawing has rekindled my love for art and I've been enjoying the process a lot. I started with a drawing pad and Krita (a drawing software). Krita was a completely new thing to me and it took me a while to get used to it. I still don't know how to use all of its features. It has a LOT.

But I was annoyed that it wasn't very easy to use. It involved me having to set it up with my laptop every time, and requiring a proper space for it. I like to be flexible and draw in different positions. So after a lot of thought, and convincing myself that I deserve it, I splurged on an iPad!

While I use it for multiple things, I got it mainly for drawing and using Procreate. And I'm loving it! I've been drawing more often now because using Procreate on iPad is much easier than using Krita with the drawing pad. If you'd like to see all my art in one place, check out my Instagram! I turned it from a dead bookstagram to a random art account.

If you go back to when I started sharing my art, you can clearly see how far I've come in the past few months. It makes me really happy to see the progress as well. While I'm trying to keep the art for this blog on a cosy theme*, I am trying other styles and drawings too.

Some of my best work is available in the resource library for you to use as wallpapers. I'm especially proud of the latest addition which is a cosy tea party themed wallpaper using repeated patterns (that I learnt to make recently).

illustration art of a wooden tray on blankets. the tray has a coffee mug and a white card with a quote on it.

To top things off, an event occurred which gave me reassurance and encouragement about my art. I got my first ever art commission! I haven't announced that I'm taking illustration commissions even though I've mentioned it on my work with me page. Simply because I'm still a newbie and there are artists who are much better than me. I'm still learning and trying new things.

But a very lovely person reached out and enquired about commissioning me and I was honoured. I spent longer on that commission than on any other art project yet and I'm actually quite proud of how it turned out. It was also a whole new experience which I learnt from.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, I want to continue making art and enjoy it. I want to spend time learning new styles and experimenting too. If the opportunity comes up, I'd love to take a few more commissions as well? Let's see if anyone's interested haha.

*have to say, it's much easier to maintain a proper blog look when I can fully control the images too lol.


Despite this year not being great in many aspects, at least my hobbies are going pretty good! I'm mainly trying to lose myself in passion projects so that I won't have enough time to think lol.

I've always wanted to be someone who is good at multiple things and this is the first time that I feel like I can proudly say it because I've spent enough time on each hobby.

It's a huge satisfaction to have enough to say about myself other than my career. I have conversations with my friends where they say that they also want to have other things to do like me. But even creative pursuits take time and effort which is harder than bingeing or gaming. One has to take our time for it and spend time becoming good at another thing. I made it my priority because the results are worth it, and I'm very glad about it.

So if you want to pick up a hobby but haven't worked up to it yet, please do! Find the motivation somehow. DM me for encouragement if you need it. If you're not finding satisfaction in anything right now, start that hobby! You'll love it. It'll be worth it.

mid-year notes, a causal chat on my reading, blogging, and art pinterest image

be wordy with me!

Do you have multiple hobbies? If yes, what are they and how do you manage them? Do you love having them?

If not, would you like to? Is there any hobby that you'd like to pick up? Is there anything that you've picked up recently?

stay wordy, Sumedha
photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

Be wordy with me!

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  • agirlwithaview1 says:

    I absolutely loved reading your update. 75 books is so impressive and I've added a few of your romance recommendations to my Goodreads! Congrats on all your blog achievements too - that's so incredible! I absolutely love all the art you produce and your blog images are always gorgeous, I want to try creating digital art as I did start to learn but other things got in the way but you've inspired me to try again!

    Tash x

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  • Anika says:

    What a lovely post to read, it’s great to see so many achievements listed and we’re only half way through the year. Congratulations on reaching so many goals and reading so many books!

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  • I so feel you about having too many hobbies and neglecting one! It's cross-stitching for me these days but I'm looking forward to starting a new cross-stitch project in the summer. I'm so happy that you're happy with your blog and your growth. I think you put out really great content and your passion really shows so it's no surprise to me that you are seeing great growth! Also, LOL, I do the same thing with reading goals! I increase every 50 books or so but I got to 100 the other and didn't bother. Also, your art is amazing! I love seeing it!

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    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Thank you do much, Nick! ?? Ooh cross-stitching sounds fun and relaxing ? I used to crochet and lost touch smh. Also, you reached 100 already? Nice!

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  • Jayati says:

    I'm glad to hear you've read so much and had so many amazing reads! I adore Dial A for Aunties too and can not wait to read If We Were Villains and Spanish Love Deception! And ahh yes, I definitely get the identity crisis thing - I've been feeling so burnt out reading so much for my 30 books in 30 days challenge but at the same time, I know I will keep reading a lot even once it's over because not reading makes me uncomfortable and like I don't fit in wit my online friends because most of them are those I talk to reading about? I don't know if that makes sense.

    I'm glad you've gotten back your love of blogging and congrats on getting an art commission! You deserve it 🙂

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    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Thank you, Jayati ?

      That crisis is exactly what I mean! We're so used to talking about books that we don't know how to interact without talking about books. The same way I feel like a fraud when I'm in a slump and my friends introduce me as "person who reads too much". It's a whole ton of messy feelings smh.

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  • Birdie @ Birdie's booktopia says:

    1) I'm in love with your blog, your art, and you.
    2) Omg look at you thriving!! Be proud!!
    3) Seriously though, you're so talented and I'm so happy you're feeling comfortable here!!

    Reply ➔
  • Cherelle @ A Bolt out of the Book says:

    Love the mid year wrap up, Sumedha! So happy to hear that this year was more of a stress-free reading experience for you, I'll have to try out the slowly increasing reading goal! Ooh wow 75 books is still impressive, and haha same I do get an identity crisis when not reading, I'll be looking forward to the discussion when you manage to write it!

    I'm really excited for You've Reached Sam and If We Were Villains, so pleased that you loved them!! Also congrats on all the blog achievements, wishing you an incredible second half of 2021! ❤️

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Thank you so much, Cherelle! Do try out the increasing reading goal, it is much easier to aim for and is stress-free. Haha I'll try writing it now that I've mentioned it.

      Hope you have a great time for the rest of the year ?

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  • Meilifisayo says:

    This was so nice to read and you do have a lovely blog can see the effort through this write up.
    Well done

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  • Corinne says:

    You blog is doing so well already! I'm not surprised, it's lovely!

    Corinne x

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  • BookishContext says:

    The effort you put into cultivating your hobbies really shines through your blog! This was such a wholesome post to read?

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  • Lay @ bookshelfsoliloquies says:

    This was such a lovely post! I actually do something similar to you in terms of reading goals, for years I've had my base goal set to 33 books. It's a fun number and very achievable but I can add to it if I feel like it.

    I'm also a multi-hobby person! I'm terrible at balance though so usually there's one that gets way more attention than the others. Right now it's blogging and watching Critical Role while playing Animal Crossing ? But I really want to get back into my mor crafty hobbies like drawing, art journaling and bookbinding! So much of what I do is purely digital and I miss having to work with my hands and get a tangible result. I'm considering getting into embroidery and crochet stuff sometime this summer!

    I hope you have a lovely day!✨

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Thank you, Lay! Ooh I totally understand spending more time on digital hobbies. We really need to get off screens haha.

      I hope you have a lovely day too ✨

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