Happy New Year's Eve! Hope everyone is having a great holiday break!
I turned in a book at the beginning of December, so I've been taking a much needed writing break these last few weeks. But that doesn't meant I haven't been getting up to things. If you missed it earlier today, I put together a free reading journal specifically designed for romance readers (yay!). All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter to get the download. (And if you're already signed up, check your inbox and spam folder if you haven't gotten it.)
So after that, I got to work on this next thing--putting together my reading challenge for the year. Since 2008 or so I've been doing annual reading challenges. But in 2015 I was so busy with other things that I never got around to setting a specific goal beyond "Read 60 books", which I did meet.
But what I noticed when I was going through my list to choose my Best Books of 2015 was that I'd gotten kind of homogenous in my reading choices this past year. Not necessarily a terrible thing. I love what I love and read what I want. BUT there are also a ton of great books out there outside of my beloved subgenres that I know I'm missing out on. AND as a writer, it's important for me to put all kinds of fodder into the creativity pot. If I only read within a narrow scope, it's going to affect my writing. I need to read widely and out of my comfort zone.
So I pulled out a challenge I created in 2014 (The Push Your Boundaries) and revamped it. Because when looking back, I found that I read a much bigger variety in 2014 because of the challenge. This is a challenge specifically designed to encourage you to read widely and to step outside of your normal reading zone (though not to give up what you love--there's a column for your favorites too!)
So, I thought I'd share it with you guys in case any of y'all want to join in. The key to this challenge is that it is PERSONALIZED. Other challenges are pretty specific: Read 5 Classics or 10 Mysteries or whatever. This is a lot more flexible. You know which categories you need to venture out in.
Below you'll find my chart that I've filled out, but then I'm also including a download for a blank chart. This is a Word doc that you can download and either print to fill out by hand or use electronically. What I do is type in my categories on the computer, then I print it out and use that sheet to either X out boxes as I read books or I'll write the name of the book in the box under the genre. Do what works for you.
In the doc, I've also included a list of possible categories to put in your columns. These are only suggestions. Feel free to add whatever you want or to make up your own categories.
If you decide you want to join in the challenge, leave a comment below! If you want to keep track of your reads online on a Pinterest board or something, feel free to leave a link to it. Here's my Pinterest board where I'll be keeping track.
Okay, ready to join in?
Here's my board.
And if you just want to see the category suggestions. Here they are:
So who's with me? And if you're not doing this challenge, do you have any other reading challenges planned?