Rediscover Reading

Do you go through reading droughts like me? Sometimes I just can’t find the motivation to read a single thing. When it’s just too tempting to watch tv or be on my phone, and reading feels like a mental strain? I only recently came out of such a rut, and I don’t want to slip out of the habit again because reading has been lifegiving to me in this past season! I’ve felt more relaxed, like I find it is easier to slow down and disconnect, and more inspired, easily finding new story ideas and an excitement to write each day.

Are you stuck in a reading drought or looking to refresh your love of reading? Here are some things that have helped me climb out of the rut and rediscover reading:

  1. The Library. Sometimes, the problem is that I don’t have any books on hand that I’m interested in reading, and I tend to have shopping anxiety so buying a book when I don’t know if I will like it or not is never easy for me. I also don’t want to waste time on a book I’m not enjoying, but I feel guilty if I don’t finish a book I spent money on. That’s why I love the library! I can check out three or four books at a time that catch my interest with no strings attached! If I don’t like a book, I don’t have to finish it; I can just return it to the library and start on the next one until something hooks me in.
  2. Book Club. Last year, my cousin and fellow author, Valerie Cotnoir, started a casual book club, which has been a big motivator for me to finish reading books. We don’t have to read the same book, but every month we gather to share about what we had finished reading and what we thought about it. It is really rewarding to be able to tell someone about a book rather than just write a review on Goodreads, and it’s also a great way to discover new books!
    • If you don’t know of any book clubs that interest you, start your own with friends you know who love reading!
  3. Readathon Day. This was my latest discover and it was a gamechanger, not only for my reading goals, but for my self-care! I dedicated two full days just to reading (although even just one day or one morning would be helpful, I think) and told my husband I was just reading for those two days. I got a book I was very excited about, cleared my schedule, gathered my favorite coffee and snacks, and snuggled down for a good read. I not only felt free to relax and just read (after all, it was in my planner), but it made me so excited to sink into the story that I’m writing.

You hear it all the time: writers are readers. And it sounds like a chore, like you have to read in order to grow in the very concrete skill of ‘good writing’. But I have found that reading grows so much more than a critical eye for good writing technique, it has grown my imagination, it has grown my ability to rest, and it has grown my love for storytelling.

My goal this year is to read 12 books – one a month, just in time for book club – and have had readathon day every 1-3 months. You can follow my reading journey on Goodreads.com – and you can review my books if you have read them there as well!

How To Be A Successful Writer

November is a month I look forward to all year. Not only is my birthday in November, but NaNoWriMo is too!

I am a huge advocate for NaNoWriMo, especially for aspiring writers. The community and encouragement during the entire month is incredible, and it gives so many amateur authors the motivation to really push themselves beyond their normal limits and prove to themselves that they have what it takes!

Being an author is an extremely independent journey. While there are people in your life who care about your writing, no one can help you do it. There are people who will encourage you, but no one can make you do it. The true motivation and drive has to come from you, the writer.Read More »

Pushing Through

This first week of 2017 has come with it’s own handful of challenges. After quite a crazy, travel-intensive December, I’ve been looking forward to getting back to my usual routine, but the transition has been awkward at best. Along with trying to adjust to normal life again, I’ve had this cold that just won’t quit, and it often tries to tempt me to just watch Project Runway re-runs all day instead of doing any work. I will say, I felt quite accomplished just getting the laundry done (not put away necessarily, just done).

Still, I have pushed throuh it all, not allowing this little stuffy nose and tired throat to slow me down. Even on my worst day, I’ve forced myself to suck it up, down the DayQuil, and meet my goals for the day. Including writing (but maybe not cleaning…)

This picture is a good illustration of what I’m talking about:Read More »