As self-proclaimed reader and writer, I’m awful at consistently doing both reading and writing. This is mostly because I am the worst at starting things, which is not just a nice way of admitting I’m a procrastinator (I’m definitely a procrastinator). The beginning is always the hardest part for me. Once I start, I almost always finish.
A great example of this is that I started writing this article two weeks ago and I’m just now finishing it. Starting was rocky, but here I am finishing this article and hopefully setting the stage for my writing and reading ability for the new year. Overall, 2018 was a hard year for me in general so my reading and writing prowess was definitely at an extreme low. I really want to change that in 2019.
To start off the New Year, I thought it would be best to create some guidelines to have a more productive reading and writing year. While making resolutions is easy for most people to follow, I have never once properly stuck to the resolutions I’ve made for myself at the beginning of the year. Overall, this should be an interesting journey to see if I can muster up enough self-determination to tackle these reading and writing resolutions. So here we go!
1. Read at Least Two Books a Week
I’m one of those people who start a book and most likely finish it in one sitting (if it’s good) so reading two books a week will not be too hard. To get the motivation to read two books a week, I’ve set my Goodreads challenge to reach 100 books.
I’ve only ever managed to read 50 or so a year, and this will be a really interesting challenge. My to-be-read pile is quite large already, and it will grow with all the new book releases coming out in 2019. A few books I’m looking forward to reading are Nobody’s Looking at You by Janet Malcolm and Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan.
2. Write in My Journal Daily
Collecting journals has been a passion of mine since elementary school. I was writing in journals way before I knew I wanted to be a writer. Now it’s so cool to look back at what the past versions of myself wrote down and found important enough to document. A journal entry I found from one of my very first journals was a pro/con list of all the kids in my 4th-grade class. How cool is it that I have documentation of who I liked and hated when I was 9?
This is why I want to journal more frequently. In 20 years, I want to know what 21-year-old me cared and thought about. So, after today, I will document every day of the year in my journal. This will also (hopefully) get my creative juices flowing to write more fiction.
3. Listen to a Literary Podcast Once a Week
Podcasts are a new (at least new to me) form of media that has been taking over recently. At first, I was apprehensive because I thought it would be like listening to an audiobook (I’m not the biggest fan of listening to audiobooks), but instead, I really enjoyed a few podcasts. My favorite podcast is ArtCurious, an art history podcast that is teaching me more about a topic I miss learning about in school.
Now I’m on the lookout for a literary podcast to continue my English literature education. My hope is that hearing about literature will spark my creativity and make me want to write more. The History of Literature and Overdue are two podcasts I’ve been suggested by other ex-English majors so I will be giving those a listen over the next few months.
Do you have any tips to be a better reader and writer? What New Year’s resolutions are you setting?