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.
Some days I just can’t help but look back on this writing journey that I ventured into, initially for leisure, indulging a youthful passion of the arts that captured most of my teen years. Thinking back now I can remember ever so clear the pull that a well written book would hook me into, taking me far away from the sometimes fickle on-goings of teen angst, moodiness, and peer drama. It was during my teen years that I also explored my hand at writing, slightly and privately of course. That was until a class assignment gave birth to the possibility of pursuing something greater one day from my love of reading.
Turning in a sort of rogue freestyle essay, one that I can’t exactly recall the nature, content, or even topic of at the time, only that I had stayed up way too late writing, revising, editing, and yes tweaking each and every detail of, until I finally fell asleep with a proud glow of accomplishment after the final sentence lay penned. A few days later everyone received their graded essays back, but mine had a “See me after class” written in red at the bottom of it. Nervous doesn’t even describe what ran through my mind at seeing those words at that time. But what followed was a shot of unexpected.
Though I had fallen in love with my short literary work, I never dreamed that anyone else would, or even see potential in the scribes of a then shy teen. But hearing the amazed and encouraging words from my English Lit teacher was beyond inspiring for me. Having someone praise my creativity that I truly had no idea that I had and also advise me to pursue writing in my college years ahead was the moment that set me loose on my writing journey. It was more than liberating at that time, it was the day that I opened myself up to embark on this writing journey. Though I have strayed throughout the years, my writing journey is always and has remained a constant in my life. For me, quite simply put, it’s my writer’s life, the untold, still unfolding, yet to be reached destination that I remain hopeful of reaching one day. But until then I’ll faithfully remain on this sometimes rocky, yet always colorfully winding writing path, where the end will serve as the ever fateful vines of my vast new and ever branching writing beginnings.
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 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
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.
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.