Broadening My Horizons

Hello August!

               I'm here to give myself new reading goals! Huzzah!

               I realize I just posted my Quarterly Goals, and in that post, I claimed I would only read two books per month. If you know me, then you know that’s a total crock of... well, I lied. Yes, I know it’s not polite to lie, my mama and daddy raised me right. I apologize.

               I feel bad changing the game halfway through the quarter, but I have a problem with my current goal. And here I am to rectify that problem. At first I felt bad about changing my goals because I’m a perfectionist and I freak out when I make mistakes. (Don’t judge me okay, I know I’m crazy.) I keep having to remember that I am constantly changing and growing and my goals need to move along with me!

                My problem is this, I read too much fiction. GASP! Say it isn’t so! I wish I could. But that would be more lies, and I promised to keep it honest here.

                I love fiction. I love to immerse myself into another world, climbing mountains, and riding dragons and conquering evil using the words the author has crafted together to build an amazing world filled with glorious ideas. Loosing myself in the pages of a good book is as cathartic to me as therapy is to others. Just as easily though, I begin to lose my touch on reality and productivity.

                This is a problem on the most basic level as a functioning member of society (I do desire to be one of those, one day), but also as a wife, mom, sister, daughter and friend.

                I have goals folks. In all walks of life. I want to be the kind of person that inspires others. But I don’t think that sitting on the couch is all that inspiring. Sure, it sounds nice after a long day, but I need to do things too.

                I’m talking big picture here. I want to accomplish things with my life. I want to be a help-mate and partner to my husband in our life together. I want to be a happy, loving mom. I want to be someone that people can rely on for love, support and good advice. I want to learn more about what I believe in. I also want to be a phenomenal writer. (Go big or go home, right?)

               Don't get me wrong, fiction will give a certain amount of wisdom, let me tell you. In my limited life experience, I have a lot more empathy and wisdom because I read. There is always a message, something to be gleaned, even from fiction.

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                Here’s the verbal eraser... but. But I need to learn more... differently? Broad, arms outspread, if you will. 

                I am addicted to learning. I love to learn new things, but I haven’t been pushing myself to learn anything new lately. I’ve been writing sure, and that in and of itself is practicing a behavior that develops into a skill. So, I suppose I can indeed pat myself on the back for that one.

                Otherwise I have not pushed myself outside of my comfort zone in a long while. Even in my fictional adventures I’ve not branched out far. I used to have a much wider reach in my literary selections. I’d like to get back to that.

               I want to be a writer. And not just any writer. I want to be a good one. A great one even. I may not hit the New York Times Best Sellers List…but I’ll be darned if I’m not going to shoot for the moon. If I’m going to be as good as I can be, I must be willing to be teachable. To learn.

                I want to read a wider range of books. Not just new fiction. (*Disclaimer: I do believe it is important to read a wide range of current authors as more diverse people are being published than in the past, but I don’t want to get stuck in the trap of reading only what everyone else is reading.)

                What does that look like for me?

  • More non-fiction. Biographies, histories, philosophy, religion.
  • More books about writing, becoming an author, publishing, and all that my new career entails.
  • More classics. The challenge that they bring mentally is a much needed one.
  • More indie authors (independently published). There are some awesome ones out there!
  • More unique and diverse authors.

                My new monthly reading goal, beginning now, is as follows:  One non-fiction or classic book. One Writing related book. One new fiction book. (By new, I mean published within the last 10-15 years.) That makes three books. I’ll probably read more, but who is sad about that? Not me!

                I will say, whatever I achieve above and beyond this goal, is a welcome bonus. My biggest challenge is going to be waiting to read more fiction until I’ve finished my non-fiction or classic. I believe it is important to challenge and stretch ourselves.

                What are your reading goals? What does your “to be read” pile look like? Any recommendations on books (new, old, educational, fun?) that I simply can’t wait to read? I’ll add them to my list!