One year ago I made a decision to write a memoir. For many years I have thought about the idea. I have been encouraged by friends and professors who I admire. Last year I met with a writer who, after I explained my creative desires to, told me it was time to stop standing at the edge of the cliff and jump off it. A year later, I realize that I jumped, but not before tying a rope around my waist so that I could climb back up, taking two big steps back after reaching the edge again.
Ok, failure is a bit harsh. It isn’t as though I didn’t pick up a single book all year. I did pick up books, many more than most in fact, if I am lead to believe the statistics on the average adult reader. Last year, after finishing around 50 books as a masters student, I was drunk on ambition. Throwing caution to the wind I thought, “hell, as a civilian now I can finish more than that. No longer being a student means I have more time for reading anything I like!” Foolishly, I set my Goodreads Challenge to 75 books starting January 2014.
Halfway through the year it became apparent to me that this was too loafty to achieve. One late night in bed, the glow of my iPhone softly lighting my side of the bed, I guiltily lowered my challenge number to 50. And I’m still not going to hit that in two more days. But 38 is pretty good.
So, no. I won’t use the word failed. I read. I read much more than many others do. And I had some game changing literary experiences this year that I will share in another post. I have also struggled this year with mental health, which impacts my ability to read and create – another topic I would like to share in more depth at a later post. (Do you know how hard it is to write about depression and writing/reading when depressed. Yeah.)
However, instead of failure, I will stroll into 2015 with a focus on managing expectations. I want my goals to be lofty but not unattainable or inflexible. If I have to alter a goal through addition or subtraction of expectations, then so be it. I will learn to be kind to myself and value what I have accomplished (something I am very bad at). If anything, I am learning that reading is not an end-game experience. I will never read all the things. But I’ll keep trying and hopefully learn new things about myself and those that speak to me through their writing.
How did your 2014 reading challenge go? What does your 2015 challenge look like?
For five long years, Rae Ryan has lived in a storm over which she has no control. Little by little, everything has been taken away from her—her job, her relationship, her best friend and her home. Plagued by nightmares and a terrible family secret, she carries her scars as much on the inside as she does on the outside.
Hart Booker, another disappointment from her past, returns to Bar Harbor and shelters her from the rain. He reminds Rae that forgiveness is possible, happiness can be found on the other side of darkness, and beauty rests beneath her scars. But a sinister figure lingering in the background seems determined to pull Rae back into a past she’s been trying to outrun. Can she survive the storm and become part of the light she so desperately desires? Or is she destined to remain Pulled Within? Continue reading “Review: Pulled Within”→
I took the buzzfeed quiz, as so many of my bookish friends are doing, and I got Anne Elliot:
Kind-hearted and smart, you enjoy helping others and thrive under pressure. You can appear reserved, but aren’t afraid to speak your mind. You’re incredibly loyal to the people you love and are just an all-round awesome person.
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two, spoiler free, “teaser” sentences
Share the title & author
“Other people had money; he had only enough for roses. If he did without the roses he would have nothing for ages and ages while he saved until Joan was gone or different or lost forever.” Save Me The Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald