It has been a long time since I wrote a full wrap-up, hasn't it? When I started writing monthly wrap-ups on this blog, they were ones where I spoke about books, blogging, and life. Eventually, I tried writing a full bookish one and liked reviewing every book read so I stuck with that.

One day last month, I happened to reread an old wrap-up where I spoke about everything and felt nostalgic. So, I'm back with a wrap-up about multiple things this month!

words on books

March started out as a very slow reading month. After reading 22 books in January and 16 books in February, I didn't read much for the first 19 days in March. Then, a dam broke and I read so many books that I finished my Goodreads reading challenge of 50 books. I don't have a strict annual reading goal so 50 was a random low number anyway. But I didn't expect to hit it so soon. I have now increased it to 75.

Since this an overall wrap-up, I'll stick to talking about the highlights of my March reading and not talk about all the books.

The book that I started in February and finished in March was Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree. I loved it. The cosy fantasy setting with an almost slice-of-life story and low stakes made it the perfect chill book to read. The romance wasn't a huge highlight in the book and I actually liked that. The story was focused on the main character's growth while setting up the first coffee shop in those lands. I highly recommend it.

After that, I didn't read anything for 19 days. And then, I started The Plated Prisoner series. I have been wanting to get into fantasy romance more so when Sil @thebookvoyagers recommended them highly, of course, I picked it up and WOW. Thank goodness I started it on a Sunday morning because I finished the first 3 books in ONE DAY. The books are thrilling, addicting, and easy to read. Unfortunately, I didn't know the series was incomplete so I'm impatiently waiting for the next two books *sob*. The books had a hold on me for days after finishing them.

After finishing the series, I went on Twitter to gush about it and found Sil having a brain rot over another romance, so I picked that up next. Restore Me by J. L. Seegars is a book that I would not have picked up based on the synopsis. But I'm glad I did on her recommendation because it was so good. I loved the characters and the individual growths. And the CHEMISTRY?! A+. I think I read it in two sittings. Here's my full review!

For my non-fiction read of the month, I read Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen. Although it's a short-ish book, I took my time reading it over the month. As someone who identifies in the ace spectrum, this book was like a hug. It made me feel seen and also think about things. Because I couldn't read good lines and keep quiet, I ended up making a group chat with two friends and discussing with them. It is a great book.

Twisted Hate by Ana Huang has been on my TBR since it was released earlier this year. There was a LOT of hype about it. I ended up borrowing the previous 2 books in the series as well. I didn't love them as I expected to and read the series out of order. I started with Twisted Love (book 1) and actually DNFed it halfway. Then I picked up Twisted Hate (book 3) directly because it was the book I wanted to read the most. Since it was nice, I picked up Twisted Games (book 2) which was not bad. Because books 2 and 3 referenced events from book 1 a lot, I picked up Twisted Love again and finished it. Twisted Hate was good, Twisted Games was okay, and Twisted Love was barely tolerable.

Surprisingly, I picked up another non-fiction book this month. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon was so much more than what I expected it to be. It is a short book with many pages of just doodles, but it has good content. After 50 pages, I found myself taking notes because it was making me think and learn. I highly recommend it for content creators. I am planning to read the other two books in the series soon.

person reading a book with coffee & a pair of glasses next to the book

words on the blog

Going into March, I wanted to post a helpful blogging post on recovering from blogging slumps. I had the idea from November but kept pushing it off. My biggest goal was to post that and I did it!

I also wanted to update any old blog post and ended up completely rewriting my post on what I learned in 6 years of blogging. There was so much to write about so I'm glad I rewrote it.

After months of writing no helpful blogging posts, I posted two in a row and I'm proud of how both of them turned out! It's always satisfying to write a blog post so well that I love it even if no one else does.

I also posted a review of the Chinese drama Falling Into Your Smile. While binge-watching the show, I had enough foresight to make notes as I watched hence why I could write the review fast. And it's apparently good because it's already showing on the first page of search engine results for "falling into your smile review"!

My posts are not specifically written for search engines. The ideas are borne out of my interests. But it feels so validating when posts rise to the top. I have a bunch of posts ranking high in search engines but get the same rush whenever a new post does well.

Even with all that, blog stats weren't great in March. I don't know why but I went into March expecting my blog to do better than the previous months. It didn't. Engagement rates stayed around the same but traffic from search engines reduced. In fact, a few of my posts dropped in rankings. It's disappointing but it happens. I realize that I can't be doing everything at once.

Surprisingly, even though my stats including page views per day were reducing, this blog hit 1000 views on 28th March! It has been a long-time goal of mine to hit 1k views in one day but I thought I was months away from hitting it. No idea what happened on 28th March but it was apparently a great day for this blog. It feels surreal and I should celebrate this somehow.

On a similar note, this blog's Domain Authority increased to 18! I don't consider DA to be very important right now because it doesn't correlate to how good a website's each blog post actually is. It's a bunch of other metrics. But seeing a higher number does feel good.

illustration of a person writing on a notebook on a table with a mug of tea next to them

Over the last week, I've been thinking a lot about what content I create and how I can do it better. As I mentioned, I read Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon and it gave me ideas while questioning what I'm really doing. My thoughts have been swirling on what I post, how I talk, and how I connect with y'all.

When reading a self-help book, one can never be sure whether it applies to everybody. But we won't know until we try. So I'm now doing a 30 day Show Your Work challenge on Twitter to try some things that the book mentioned. I'll be sharing behind the scenes of my blogging process every day for 30 days. I've never tried this explicitly before but I'm looking forward to seeing if it's helpful and interesting for y'all.

Another thing that I've been thinking about is my newsletter. It's been a year since I started sending monthly newsletters! A whole dozen attempts at writing good emails and connecting with y'all on a different level. When I started it, I had no idea about how newsletters work. And to be honest, I still don't.

I'm a little bit afraid of not knowing what I'm doing because there are 350 subscribers now! That is WILD. But I'm learning with every issue and hopefully, it's good. If you're not subscribed to my newsletter yet, sign up below!

words by other bloggers

As usual, bloggers have been creating absolutely amazing content and showing that blogs are still here to thrive. Although I haven't been able to blog hop as much as I wanted to, I did read enough. Here are some that I loved in March:

words on life & other fun stuff

March has been a month of new routines. COVID protocols have been largely relaxed and life is slowly going back to "normal". Considering how I graduated and joined the workforce during the pandemic and was hence robbed of many experiences, life is a little weird.

My main problem has been finding time for blogging with the changes in my schedule. It made me think about how I used to manage posting thrice a week during college days. Of course, I wasn't spending as much time per post and on other hobbies, but still.

Looking back reminded me that my posting times were more relaxed. Right now, I post on Friday afternoons (for me) and my reasoning for that time is not a good one. It actually is not a proper time for many reasons. So, this month, I'm thinking to switch up the time I schedule my posts to go live to help with my routine.

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

During my free time, I've been practising brush lettering on my iPad. I know how to brush letter on paper. I learned it a long time back. But brush lettering on the iPad is quite different. The pencil grip is different, the pressures are different, and just the way it works is new. So I've been learning it lately.

And it's so fun and calming! Colouring books never worked to keep me calm while also keeping my mind away from overthinking but lettering somehow works. If I want a brain break, I open Procreate and practice lettering with some practice sheets that I found online. It's honestly so nice.

Other than that, my days are chugging along. Although there's a lot that I want to do, I realize that I can't focus on too many things at once. There's enough for me to think about and experiment with for now.

chat with me!

How was your March? What books did you read? What were your favourite blog posts? Are you thinking about changing or starting anything? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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 ➔

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  • Kal @ Reader Voracious says:

    I love these kinds of wrap ups and am glad you got a little nostalgic to do one again!!! I feel like I've seen LEgends & LAttes everywhere... I should read it.

    Reply ➔