It’s that time of the year when reading challenges are popping up on lots of blogs. There are so many great ones and I especially love the emphasis I’m seeing on underrepresented voices. As someone who’s gotten more serious about my writing in the last year, I’ve realized that this means getting more serious about reading.
As a kid, I’d sometimes go through a book a day– Goosebumps or Babysitter’s Club. In high school, I devoured my English class reading lists, always reading ahead of the class in 1984 or 100 Years of Solitude. Though I continued to read after graduation, the demands of college, then grad school, then parenthood slowed my pace waaaay down. Now I’ve been intetionally kicking it back into gear. If you’re a writer who, like me, wants to read to improve their writing, I’ve created this challenge for YOU– I hope it encourages you to push your limits with reading in a way that maximizes your efforts and deepens your involvement in the writing community!
- Beta read for another writer
This will be more than worth the effort when you have a beta reader for your own book. It’s also incredibly helpful to see books in their unpolished form. Plus, won’t it be cool to be on someone’s acknowledgments page?
- Craft book
My favorite is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
- Reread a book that inspired you to become a writer
- A “bad” book
Don’t spend a lot of time on this one, but it can be nice to both give your brain a break and remind yourself of things you don’t want to do.
- A comparable title to your work in progress
- A fiction book with a similar setting
- A nonfiction book with a similar setting
- Read something out loud
This is a nice way to really slow down and absorb the language of a book.
- A recent bestseller or breakout title in your genre
- A classic of your genre
Something you’re embarassed not to have read yet. Maybe the book everyone says, “Oooh, like ______?” when you tell them about your own work.
- Something independently published
- The published book of a writer friend
- A book that’s been on your to-read list for a long time
Get rid of the block that’s been stopping you from reading other things!
- A book by a woman of color (1)
- A book by a woman of color (2)
- A book by a woman of color (3)
Don’t skimp! I want you to read (at least!) three of them!
- A book by an LGBTQ author
- A book renowned for beautiful language
- A book renowned for its social message
- Something out in 2019 that you preorder
- Something out in 2019 that you buy on publication day
- A book recommended by, or named as an influence on, a favorite author
You get an extra point for each review you write and each tweet or email you send to an author! Share your progress with #WritersReading2019 and Have fun!