18 December 2017

My 2018 Reading Challenge

Man, I've been really bad at this whole blogging thing lately. I've been doing just one or two posts per month for a while now. Something I'd like to work on in the new year (also something I say every year), among other things. But something I'm really, really bad at doing is keeping up with my reading goals.

Every year I make it a goal to read 100 books. Every year I fail miserably. I know I should set my goal lower, but I would just like to actually be able to do it once, and then I could be more realistic in the future. So! I came up with an idea to help motivate me to read more.

For 2018, each month of the year will have a different theme for the books I plan on reading. There have been some books I've been wanting to read, and others I've wanted to reread for a while. So I decided to devote each month to either a certain series or a theme, which will make a whole lot more sense once I list them.

My plan for reading in 2018:

January: Clear the bookshelf!

To start off the year, I'm going to read as many books as I can that have been sitting on my bookshelf for months or even years.

February: Romance

Perfect month for it, right? I actually have no idea what books I'll read yet, but I've got a good amount of time to figure it out. Suggestions are welcome.

March: Books made into movies

The rule for this is that it has to be a movie I've already seen, but a book I haven't read.

April: Poetry

National Poetry Month! I have 6 unread poetry books already to read and will possibly buy more to bring my goal up.

May: Books made into TV shows

Pretty much the same as movie month, but with TV shows, obviously.

June: LGBT books

Pride Month! See, I thought these things out. And I've already made a deal with myself that it cannot just be the G. Stop being so predictable, self.

July: Harry Potter (reread)

I've been watching the movies way too much whenever they're on TV lately and I realized it's been quite a while since I've read the books. Been wanting to give them another read for a while now.

August: Blogger buddies' books!

Because Friendship Day is on the first Sunday of August, I'll be reading all of the books that I've bought/won from all my blogger buddies. I really have a lot of them. Some of them are really short, too. I should be able to bust out a lot this month. Yay!

September: Banned books

Banned Books Week is in September, so I thought I'd devote the whole month to banned books! Only books I haven't read before.

October & November: The Vampire Chronicles (reread)

Ok, this one needed two months because I am just not a very fast reader. I got Prince Lestat as a Christmas present I think three years ago and never read it because it had been so long since I had read the other books in the series. Since then, another book (Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis) has also been released. It's 12 books altogether, and they're not short, so I'll be taking two months to tackle this goal. I was super into Anne Rice as a teenager so it should be fun to revisit her work.

December: Classics

I actually have a bunch of classic novels I've never read! But I'll probably wait to decide on all of them because I have plenty of time.

So there you have it! For most months, my goal is at least 8 books. I think August will be a lot higher to help make up for the rest of the numbers. Hopefully I can stick with it and make it to 100 books!

But first, I have some monstrous wrap up goals for December. Including:

- Finishing the books I'm already reading. THIS includes:

 - The behemoth that is Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. I'm on page 310 of 818. (Everyone wish me their best King George "Good luck!")
- Another behemoth because I'm a lunatic, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I was about 50% through this 760 page book when my Kindle decided to have a stroke and die, and I'm still waiting for my new one to arrive.
- The collected poems of Dylan Thomas. I'm about 3/4 through this and this is probably the only book I'll actually finish.

- I would also really like to reread Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman because I will hopefully be seeing the movie this upcoming weekend (the first showing around here is this Thursday and it sold out before I could buy tickets. I didn't cry or anything). I adore this book and it'll be my fourth read, but I can definitely bust it out in a day or two. Plus it'll probably get me writing again (bonus!).

- I would also like to peruse (probably not finish) this book I have on sexuality in Ancient Greece to help me with some symbolism in my novel. For one scene. That's commitment, people. I think.

I swear I'm done now.

What are your reading goals for 2018? Do you think I can finish all my December books? Any book suggestions for my different thems? What are your favorites?

06 December 2017

The Year of Not a Whole Lot

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

I almost forgot to write this post! That's what I get for procrastinating. Luckily the IWSG provides an optional monthly question we can answer, which is always great when I'm in a rush and can't think of an idea. This month's question is:

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Speaking of procrastination...

I did not get a lot done this year. Definitely not as much as I'd hoped. I really wanted to finish the third draft of Uneven Lines, actually much earlier in the year. But it looks like it's not going to happen again. There's just still so much work to do and not enough time to do it. 

I made some good progress in the beginning of the year. Not fantastic, but at least I had a steady pace going. I haven't had a good momentum since the end of July. I've only finished two chapter edits since then. There's just always something getting in the way - work, vacations, errands, a sick cat. And usually after all that I'm too tired to do much writing. 

I also just tend to avoid editing if I know it's going to be hard. I put it off. I know I just need to tackle it but it's hard to motivate myself. 

On the other hand, this novel has always been a bit of a slow process, but with some good results. It's extremely complicated and I've needed the time to figure things out. I also don't think I'd have the same story if I had gotten it done years ago when I first thought of it. I do think all the changes will make it a better story.

But still, I just want the damn thing done! I feel depressed sometimes that I'm not working on it, but then it's hard to work on it because I'm depressed and...it's a vicious cycle. 

I think if I can finish the current chapter I'm on I can bust through at least 3 or 4 more before getting to some really difficult editing. But usually even when I think a chapter will be easy, it turns out to need more work than I imagined. 

I think for next year I'd just like to do more. I'd like to spend less time doing nothing. If I can say I worked on writing every day, even if it's just for a few minutes, I'd take that as an accomplishment.