Yep it’s that time of the year again for many writers and yes aspiring writers. The time where we decide to step up and take on a writing challenge, one in particular that many of us have come to look forward to with bounds of anticipation. Colorfully creative writing spurts of ideas, unimaginable plots, and for many, the true art of throwing writing caution to the wind.
It’s where spell check, run on sentences, and fragments alike are fully welcome at the writing-table. The challenge where quantity wins out for 30 days rather than quality (or for some of us sticklers….both). It’s NanoWriMo time, where for the solid month of November, writers from all walks, paths, and crosses of life, unite in our dedication, partaking of the possibility, and pure love of writing a novel in 30 days or less. The reward of course is the satisfaction deep-set in the art of writing your heart out, regardless of whether or not you cross the deadline at the end of the month. For me it always serves as my “I dare you” moment, challenging my resolve to write everyday, rain or shine, whether I’m in the mood or not.
It’s the challenge where you challenge yourself as a writer, not so much for the glory of writing a best seller (though some clearly have wonderfully accomplished this feat), but more so of holding in high regard, the challenge to commit yourself to making your writing dream or pursuit a reality. So with that being said, it’s time to start brainstorming (if you haven’t already). The time to gather all of your pertinent writing supplies and make pre-arrangements for keeping a supply of your coffee of choice on hand for those late night writing stints. Four days and a wake up to NanoWriMo. Writers I happily ask…..Who’s up for a NanoWriMo dare!!!!!
Now that we are truly on the edge of another summer’s end has left me thinking about just how my 2015 summer reading journey began. Thinking back, I recall making a change-up of sorts, shifting genre gears, breaking out of my customary book zone of all things YA. Instead I found myself at some point taking trips down roads of age-old classics, tripping down the sideways of the lands of paranormal, and even making a few fantastically winding detours down the historical fictions and sci-fi lanes of the engagingly wonderful. So to say that I happily found my great escape with more than a few notable reads, would be more than an understatement. Books are forever my escape into the wilds of an author’s colorful imagination, but this summer was truly my road trip of amazing. And as the sun settles on the cusp of summer, lowering one season onto the bridge of another, it will be this book reader/writer’s pleasure to dip into the folds of Fall.
Now that the month of June has made its sneak appearance marking the halfway point of the year, I decided that it’s time to revisit an old friend of mine quaintly and quietly known to me as draft city. I’m a little ashamed to say that my first and only complete story that I penned well over 2 years ago has been MIA in my writing community since its birth. Sure I’ve done the customary trial visit every now and then to the lands of spell check, start and stop proofreading, and of course the always drop in to the pit stop of revision alley. But in all honesty, I can’t say that I’ve invested as much time, effort, and devotion to truly making a go at this particular story. Now this is my baby, the story that once had me writing, scripting, and all but pre-selecting a cast to bring my story to movie life a few years back. Yet these days all I seem to be about is creating/building an entirely something new. Which in actually is not so new.
I’ve embarked upon a round trip to the writers gateway reading “Welcome back to the land and art of Brainstorming.” It carries the potential to serve as a writing gateway in reaching a creative destination towards potential untapped ideas, as I map out my subsequent journey to fulfilling my not so empty writing dream. So I got to say that I’m looking forward to seeing which twists or subsequent turns this “lost” story will spin out as I polish up the old, and collect upon the new ideas in revamping my way yet again into the eye of the Brainstorm.
Okay so I’m a little ashamed to say that it has been around a month or so that I haven’t written/or read any piece of literature in my all but nonexistent free time outside of work and family duties. Though it has not been for lack of trying, bad book selections, or the almighty dry up of creative writing flow. I must say that once again it has been my lackluster taboo of writing/reading drive that has left me a bit on the dry side of inspiration/motivation as of late. In the past I normally have at least been able to sneak a few stolen moments for myself to at least brainstorm a few chapters or even just take to reading a book or two that I usually keep tethered to my Kindle. Yet this month of May has been all but uninspiring for me to say the least. I’m hopeful that my feeble acknowledgement by way of this blog post will serve a higher purpose for me, or at the very least serve as a way to get my butt back in gear and back on the writing and reading bandwagon.
But I’m thinking that maybe a trip back to writing and reading basics might be in order for someone like me. Someone who, while completely in love with books, writing, and all that a good sound story has to offer, yet still craves having a hand in paving their writing/reading journey. As the first half of the year is moving swiftly behind us, I feel the need to devise a plan of attack to getting back on my writing track. A creative kind of “Keep It Simple” strategy, one to help foster daily writing/reading habits back to a viable routine for me. Of course making and setting aside a respectable amount of time to bring my pursuits back into a plausible reality will pose a task for me. But deciding to make the effort will be the first true step.
And so as we approach the half way point of 2015, I am making it my mission to seek out ways to bring my first loves (reading/writing)back to the spotlight. (And by the way I’m convinced that books need readers as much as most of us readers/writers crave the inspiration that the literary world affords us).
So to anyone else going through the writers/readers sporadic dry spell just know that you, my friend are in good company, and NOT alone.
On my momentary hiatus of all things YA, NA, and fantasy fiction, I have found myself taking a step in a different genre direction. It’s one that isn’t entirely unfamiliar to me. But it’s definitely a genre of books that I haven’t ventured into in quite a while (I’m talking middle school throwback). I remember the first time that I came across the book series Encyclopedia Brown and of course Nancy Drew. I can recall all too fondly of the rush of excitement that I felt trying to decipher clue after clue that would point to the culprit masterfully hidden within each book. So I decided that the land of crime drama/Mystery would be right up my alley. But as much enjoyment I know could be found by taking a trip down my childhood memory lane, I decided that I would take on a more “seasoned” author of mystery. One that is indisputable in her legacy of delivering upon scenes masterfully crafted of murder, intriguing characters, and secret after secret that carefully plays out filtering the plot until the very end. I am speaking of the brilliant Agatha Christie.
The Mysterious Affair At Styles encompasses every bit the perfect writing formula for bearing its imprint of a classic “who dunnit” novel. Ms. Christie paints a deep-seated plot created of enigmatic characters, detail driven scenes, and will keep you guessing as to who truly committed the crime of murder until the very end. My very first book by this author kept me up reading way past bed time (which is not such a forgiving thing for those of us day jobbers).
Taking on this classic, one written before my time, yet I couldn’t help but find myself every bit wrapped up in the story as if it were written just yesterday (even though the wording and language did trip me up a time or two). See this is the true power that books can wield to readers of all generations. Even those of us who only tiptoe outside our reading comfort zone on occasion. Sticking to what you know is natural for many of us, but what I want to highlight with this post is that whether it’s with books, reading, or writing, I’ve found that there is usually nothing to be lost and everything to be experienced in taking a trip down an unfamiliar lane from time to time in the vast land of books.
With daylight savings under our belt and Spring only a few days away, it seemed only fitting to reassess my Goodreads reading challenge to make sure that I’m on track (or at least not too far behind) in my 2015 reading goals. Taking note of the books I’ve read thus far, I’ve decided that since Spring is the season of anew, that I’m going to step out and take on a book (or maybe series) outside of my usual YA genre comfort zone. Old School Classic maybe? Or maybe something crime drama, science fiction or contemporary romance? There are just so many relevant and worthy genres to choose from. And while there is NEVER such a thing as too many books, I can’t help but feel blown away while perusing all the literary works of past and current authors in print. And I can honestly say that it does my writer’s heart good to see so many of their dreams, persistence, and dedication to their ideas and craft on display and shared with the world. This is why I decided to expand my reading mind. This is why I journeyed to venture away from my customary love of all things YA and dive into the amazingly unpredictable world of books in general.
Long live the true love of just reading to book lovers everywhere.
Almost two months into this newest year, I am one and a half book series on target in meeting my book goals for 2015. While I am still in pursuit of my writing goals, my reading goals are what seem to be taking shape, nicely I might add. I guess for me it appears to be a round trip of what’s familiar that is keeping me focused on the passion of my bigger picture. Books. Though a writer at heart, I find myself at a standoff off of with my hearts truest desire. Writing. (Sorry, but a too good to be true story/plot will forever be my comfort.)
With Goodreads, reading and writing pursuits seem to go hand in hand.
So I must ask, What comprises or helps keep you up with your reading and/or writing life these days?