Thursday, October 30, 2014

Goodreads and NaNoWriMo

Today this post comes to you in two parts 

Part One: The Goodreads Reading Challenge 

If you do not know what the Goodreads Book Challenge is here is the basic run-down. It is a challenge/goal that you set for yourself regarding how many book you are going to read in the following year. When you join Goodreads you have the option of setting your a goal as to how many books/novels you are going to read in the coming year. If you are an avid reader and active Goodreads user or a giant dork like me, you will know that this challenge/goal can be both very fun but very stressful. As, I do not like not-meeting my goals.

For the past two years I have become an active user and for the two years I have set a seemingly attainable goal of 101 books. Yet, last year when trying read about 107 books I fell short and failed to reach my goal.
It was very sad. 
I, apparently, way over estimated the amount I read. Also, did not think to include textbooks in my profile. 
And this year, according to stupid goodreads, grrr, I am 45 books behind my goal. 
That, you see, is very frustrating for me. As stated, I do not like not reaching my goals. 

Failure seems to be mounting every day. Why is that? I love reading, I adore it. 
Here are my excuses. 
-I had surgery on my wrist--this excuse is valid in my opinion, I fell behind in reading because I could not exactly pick up a book without some difficulty--so fine, I give myself a 'pass' for that one
-Personal problems are vast and are yet unresolved--life my friends is complicated 
-I've changed what I read--I've been reading more classics and books that are more complicated-- some involve doing work
-Some books, specifically Self Improvement books, I don't add to my Goodreads profile  
-By putting so much emphasis on reaching that goal I often stress about it
-And, admittedly, I probably watch too much TV 

The thing is for awhile there I kind of forgot that really it should only be about the quality of what I read rather than putting so much emphasis on the quantity of novels I read...

Of course, I am still somewhat determined to reach that goal. But I am thinking that next year I will rethink adding a number to the Goodreads challenge. It is kind of stressful, logging on to see those big old reminders that 'I AM 45 BOOKS BEHIND' 

So what is there to do? Reading marathon or actually step outside of my house...?

Part Two

NaNoWriMo: To write or not to write

If you knew me you would know that really the only thing in life I want to do is write stories that touch and inspire and help people. So Nanowrimo is always a great opportunity for us lovers of words to sit down and write a novel. I have participated in it three times--won twice, lost once. Two years ago for example I met my goal of writing a 50, 000 word contemporary story. This year for some reason, now that I have time to participate, I suddenly felt wary and anxious of doing so. But mainly because this idea that has been floating around in my head is kind of a big one. One I think could actually be pretty great.    

I have been wrestling with making a decision about participating in NaNoWriMo for the past three weeks. Should I do it, should I not. Of course a myriad of excuses had come to my mind as to why I should not do it. I would not be able to keep up--I would end up falling behind in the work I have to do, ect, ect. But I managed to banish them. They were all pretty lame excuses anyways with a very flimsy foundation to begin with. All that is left now is that desire to write. But as well as that, lingering under the surface, I still feel that apprehension that is sort of like fear.

What if I fail? 

What if I get half way through this story and have no idea what to do next? 

What if it is a total disaster!

All those thoughts I believe are completely normal. But they are all just reasons why I have to do it--who knows, maybe this novel I am going to write will be a total disaster the thing is I will not know until I try! And National Novel Writing Month is the PERFECT opportunity to try my hand at writing a novel. God knows, I have the time. 

For all those with similar feelings, rejoice!
For you are not alone. 

There are things you can do to silence those nagging questions or worries. Creating a basic outline of the story, get to know your characters a little better, highlight key points, important moments, things that have to happen in order for the story to move forward. In other words, PREPARE! 

I believe though, that no matter what stage of your writing career you are at it will always be scary to write or start a new story, because at least in my case, writing is a personal thing. You create worlds out of your head, after all, it doesn't get much more personal than that. You usually have to understand life in order to bring a character to life. You will always have that fear that you will fail or let people down. It is just apart of being human, though.

Something else that can be done and something I do quite often is search for inspiration. Inspiration can come on a walk, in the shower, at night or in reading. Quotes from other writers or painters or musicians are some of the best ways to stay inspired. 

So this NaNoWriMo I am going to be writing a novel called The Complex. I invite you to share your experiences and your stories in the upcoming month, and I encourage you to WRITE WITH ABANDON. WRITE YOUR STORY, DEAR READERS, AND I WILL WRITE MINE. 

I wish you a safe journey into the uncharted territory that is the beginning of a new story.  

No comments:

Post a Comment