I love Fridays. Not just because it’s the end of the work week which, of course, is vital. But because it marks the time when I am thoroughly reminded of how many truly amazing writers there are out there. I have the blog roll and it reminds me, too. But I don’t check as often as I feel like I should and Friday provides that terribly needed kick in the ass to go and read and remember. And what I’m remembering is that reading other writers is just as important as writing. That’s something I forget sometimes.
Like last year when I was so busy trying to meet my self-mandated blog post count that my reading list was disturbingly small. Of all the amazing books I had sitting and waiting on my book shelf I only read… maybe five of them? A terribly low number, considering that the whole point of all this is to get better at writing.
But thankfully, I am not alone in this. Many other people feel like they should be reading more, and one of my fellow bloggers relayed me to a useful tool to assist with this. I came upon it last Friday when I was trolling my blog roll for new posts and I came upon an interesting side bar over at Eric J. Krause’s Writing Spot. Eric is a good writer and in order to become a better writer he, in his infinite wisdom, has set a challenge for himself to read more.
That challenge has a name, because another blogger I discovered thanks to Eric’s link, created it: The 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge. I had never run across the Book Vixen before clicking on the link in Eric’s sidebar. But I’m glad I did because it reminded me of how vitally important that reading piece is- not just for my writing, but for my brain.
So, I am officially signing up to outdo myself. I’m going to blow last year’s measly list of books out of the water by reading a total of 12 books this year. Why 12 books? Because it’s 2012. And, more practically, because a book a month seems reasonable to expect of myself. And because I already read one so I technically only have 11 to go. And because I figure this blog needs more book reviews.
I actually started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed before I finished Pride and Prejudice because I was so disgusted with the marriage obsession that I needed to read the words of someone coming from the other end of the spectrum. But now it’s just that on my reading list, and I’m giving myself a week to finish it because of the need to outdo myself.