The Scope of Setting Reading and Writing Challenges

Almost through the first month of the new year and I can’t help but feel a triumphant sense of personal accomplishment in having already read four books towards my reading challenge I set for myself on Goodreads. This year I actually set a somewhat conservative and VERY attainable goal of the number of books and series that I hope to diverge myself into. For me this was completely strategic. Discovering and engrossing myself into the world of reading books has always been an all too easy habit that I have found for myself, diving into on far too many occasions….yet the act of actual writing has proven itself as a lost art on me for the past year or so.

It has really proven itself a challenge for me to set, find time for, or even worse just in developing and keeping an habitual time each day, set aside purely for writing. My writer’s drive and passion are still intact, pre-set to overdrive. In fact, the more I read, the more amped I find myself ready to put pen to paper to create my own literary tale for the world. Yet for the life of me I can’t figure out why I’m still stuck on an unfinished manuscript that has been in the works of the “revamped” stage for seemingly forever. This new year I’m suddenly trying to scope out any ideas for how to get back into the writing groove.
Though a challenge in itself with work and family obligations, realizing my writer’s dream is still a plausible possibility, right? While I’m no stranger to the challenges that life sometimes carries your way, seemingly taking you farther away from your aspirations and pursuits with each passing day. At the moment I can’t help but feel the threat of my stagnate writing becoming a life regret that has the power to haunt with regret.

But I’ve decided that even with this flicker of momentary defeat, I can’t let it settle in and take root. I must push on and pound the writing pavement by any means and creative avenues, no matter how great or small. Getting back to my writing shall undoubtedly continue to be a challenge, but not one flagged in the impossible. Write something everyday. Anything no matter how good or bad? Right? I’ve decided that this just may be the strategic shovel to dig myself out of the slump I’ve placed myself in. And what better kickoff than with the self challenge of posting regularly to this blog. It was after all my beginning platform to connecting and sharing a few random words and thoughts with the world when I first took the NanoWriMo challenge a few years back. And I can’t help but feel the surge of potential and promise each time when I put out a post on this little blog that still stands strong for me as I pound out word after word, pulling myself back into the writing game tonight. I’m thinking, yes it will continue to be a challenge, but one that is both welcome and accepted


1st & Down: Reading Game In Play

I just finished my first book of 2015, book one towards my reading goal made towards achieving this new year and it was magnificent. Yes the book series that I just started was immaculate, but the truth be told, it was the actual kick off to my 2015 reading goal that has left me more than antsy for all the GREAT books and works that are sure to comprise this new year. I can also attest to wanting to play catch up on various stories that I left behind in 2014. What books, authors, or sequels are you most looking forward to storming the scene this new year?

NanoWriMo: Catching the Fever

Time sure does fly. It’s almost hard to believe that the writers frenzy known as NanoWriMo is nearly upon us. I am proud to say that I am three for three in the years that I have entered and at times, though grueling, poured out my writing heart to reach the 50,000 word finish line. My first year I had no idea what I was in for. I was completely unprepared and winded up slaying word after word relentlessly just to reach my goal during that last and final week. No outline. No premise. Not even characters had been created, though I had an inkling of an idea back then of the genre and of course the perfect male centerpiece to swoon over. Other than that my first venture into the land of NanoWriMo was completely a blank slate.

My second year, I was a little better prepared, and of course learned the most important lesson during this writing craze, which was…..editing must be non-existent. Last year, my third year, I started and kept up a surprisingly good pace with my word count, pounding out more on my weekends to make up for falling behind during the week to compensate for the family and day job plight. I was able to finish ahead of schedule and for some reason it was that last trek into Nano that I felt the most rewarded.

The Nano dance is the sweetest tango that writers, both aspiring and published can step to. It’s complete and utter unpolished writing freedom. No rules, no choreography, no conformity, just endless amounts of passion and creativity on overflow. Though I won’t be able to attend this years writing dance, I am so stoked for all the hoopla and the insurmountable writing frenzy that’s about to take over writer’s everywhere. So I’ll leave you with these parting words for all those participating this year….Coffee IS your friend, unleash your writing heart, and most importantly whether you finish or not….Congratulate yourself for catching the writing fever known as NanoWriMo.

Reading: Fuel For The Writing Mindset

Sometimes just the mere act of reading a well written book has the impeccable ability to lift your mind and soul to unimaginable heights. It’s beyond amazing how another’s string of words or sheer creative writing genius can move you in ways that can shatter a bad day, offer a momentary impasse to life’s everyday struggles, or even sometimes just afford you an unblemished slate to free up and draft a few ideas of your own. It’s a pure and simple, yet arguably undisputed truth. Reading truly is fuel for an overworked or sometimes an over crowded mind.

It can layer a few necessary life essentials necessary to recharging, refueling, and even reigniting a writers mindset. The pull and power of losing yourself in a delicious story can serve as more than just fuel for a writer, and for me its been definitely more than just a casual outlet to life’s woes. For some of us aspiring writers, it can very well wind up being the life line that tugs and re-awakens the writer in us. I for one can attest to the power of reading, where a story and/or its characters can taking you from feeling empty to breathing a palette full of creativity and life.

Sorry just had to take a moment to revel and rejoice in the unwavering magic woven within the world of books….the true jolt that will forever keep my pen flowing.

The Journey. The Struggle: The Writers Peak

Days and nights are on full throttle, spiraling poignantly out of whatever control that we neither dictate nor have much choice in them seemingly closing in around each of our respective writing goals. For me I can’t help but feel the slow, undeniable loosening grip on this journey that I tracked, paced, and set forth upon years ago. Though I still feel the drive, enjoy the rush of creativity, and crave the air of magic and freedom that writing embodies as soon as the trickles of ideas emerge creating that story that keeps many of us up night after night, pounding the writers pavement to triumph. Continuing with set goals, writing until lights out, and staying on the writers journey is a task in itself. But I, like many others will forever keep the faith. My writing journey is still being travelled, destination still unchartered. Within this post lies the untold tales of my current detour I’ve stumbled upon. My writing struggles. My continuing journey.

Following the YA Book Trend Trail Road:

Recently I took to perusing Amazon and the recommended suggestions for reads on my Kindle and couldn’t help but take notice of the latest and greatest stream hitting the top sellers lists. Now I generally have stuck to the YA genre and have as of late recently dipped into the NA pool as well (mostly fiction reads). But taking note of the book trends and top picks that led reading lists, I saw that Dystopian is still a strong front-runner with the stellar success of franchises such as Divergent, The Hunger Games, and even the latest breakout churning from book to film The Maze Runner. There were also other notable mentions leaving their own blazing trail of tear-jerker success woven out of tragic love and loss story plots that have seen success at the box office as well as falling into a best sellers list or two.

Now I’m not questioning the validity, strength, creativity, or even if these books are worthy of all acclaim that has followed many of them. But I do have to wonder what role has the magic trail of simply following “What’s hot and trending” has played in keeping the book hype going for these books. As an avid reader I do relish finding a good book to fall into, and I’m not ashamed to say that I too, at times have been prone to falling onto the “Best Seller” bandwagon. But I do find that I’m more into venturing out on my own, into the sometimes unchartered book lands in search of good reads. And I’m even happier to say that my journey has led me to zones of fantastic pieces of literary work, classics, and even some not so wide known or promoted, yet undoubtedly just as brilliant as those of the latest “trend”.

So I’m left just slightly questioning if the “trend” trail is what is reeling in more of today’s readers than the quality and/or content of the actual book? Or if the not so lost art of discovering your own book treasures is still prevalent when seeking out what to read? Either way, no matter what your preference, I’m just happy that books and reading in general continues to spare a place among the almighty trend we call everyday life.

Best Sellers: Readers Fandom or Film Series Magic

Over the last few years I can’t help but take note of the influx of best sellers to hit the big screen. Even network TV isn’t immune to the takeover of popular books. The invasion of these works to the big and small screen seems to be running rampant, undoubtedly in search of the next big thing to pull respective fan bases under the same spell that captured them as die-hard readers.

Now there have been more than a few box office failures and small screen cancellations, but does that truly diminish the magic that those well composed books created in the first place. For me, nothing takes the place of the creativity poured out over the pages of a good book, not even that of a work that has managed to tip over into film. So here I stand (or sit), torn as a reader/moviegoer. I’m a somewhat super fan of way too many book series to name. Yet I can’t help but be pulled into the intrigue of seeing some of my favorite works see the light of the big and small screens. And this is where my book and movie fandom comes into play.

Does a best seller need to be confined to the glorious pages of a book? Or should it be set free to transform into the interpretation of film magic?