Resolutions: Read to Fuel Your Writing

Sunday, December 20, 2015
I have something of a love-hate relationship with writing resolutions. Part of the problem is that I’m fortunate enough to make my living writing. This means that meeting paying deadlines is going to take precedence over a resolution every time.

Because of this, I’ve decided against your typical writing resolution in 2016. Instead, I’m going to fuel my writing with a reading challenge. I found these challenges online.

The Unconventional Librarian’s Diversity Reading Challenge for 2015. I used this challenge last year although I didn’t start it until I found it in February. The Unconventional Librarian is a children’s librarian so this is a great one if you write for children. That said, the challenges weren’t “read a picture book about” or “read a young adult novel featuring” so I stretched things. My book about someone on the autism spectrum was an Australian adult novel, The Rosie Project. The 2015 challenge was posted on January 1st so I’m hoping the 2016 will be coming in a few weeks.

The 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. This is a 24 task challenge so I could do two a month. The majority involve reading an entire book. One is to read a play. Another is to read a comic. A lot of the challenges are genre specific – read a memoir, read historic fiction, etc. But there are also challenges that involve diversity in terms of geography, culture and gender identification. No matter what you write, this could broaden your reading and thus your writing.

The Reading the World Challenge. Author/editor Ann Morgan did this challenge in 2012. She read a book from every country worldwide in one year. I like “every country in the world,” but finding an English-language book from every country is tough. That said, Morgan published her book list so I can use it as a starting point. I think the diversity element would be valuable for my writing. Imagine. Cultural input from 196 countries. But that’s also 196 books in one year. This would be much more do-able for me as a five year goal.

I like these challenges vs coming up with my own because each would push me to choose books I wouldn’t consider on my own. I think I’m going to go with the Book Riot challenge. I’m printing that off now. I’m also going to print off a black and white world map. I really like the idea of doing that one as a five year plan so I’ll be coloring things in as I go.

Anyone care to join me in a writers reading challenge?

Sue is the instructor for our course, Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins on January 11, 2016.


Judy H said...

I found the Book Riot Challenge a few days ago and have it printed off and in my planner. I'm going to give it a try.

Sioux Roslawski said...

How about reading a book every month that will help you with a WIP? Reading a book that's similar in theme/tone/subject to a WIP would benefit me.

I know that's not very challenging--just one book a month--but it might be all I could manage right now.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Judy H: Have you selected anything to read for this yet?

Sioux: You have to go with what works for you. I'm fed by variety in part because I don't want to read middle grade fantasy when that's what I'm writing. That said, I know most people read toward what they're writing vs away from it as I do.


Angela Mackintosh said...

So many reading challenges! These are great, Sue. I love the "Read Harder" title. LOL Seriously though, that challenge sounds so fun!

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