Although January started weeks ago, it’s always a good time to reflect on the past and to make plans for the future.
As I first sat down to think about all that I did 2019, I thought about my major writing accomplishments. But as I spent more time considering the full spectrum of writing work I did, it included reading, listening to podcasts, taking classes, and even writing posts for this blog!
So as I look to 2020, I wanted to focus in on one aspect – reading. The first thing I realized is that I didn’t want a straight reading goal of something like: fifty books. I wanted to be strategic as I thought about what I would read. I came up with the following categories and assigned some numbers:
- Reading aloud with my kids: Picture books and Harry Potter 6 & 7 (24 + 2)
- Reading in genre (36)
- Fiction reading outside of genre (6)
- Books on writing craft (4)
- Non-fiction/how-to outside of craft (4)
Reading aloud with my kids
At the time of writing, I have eight-year-old-twins. I firmly believe there are picture books suitable for all ages, but there are books that will be less interesting to them – the time when we will sit on the couch reading picture books together might start to fade. While we’re in the zone, I want to capitalize on it.
I’m also currently reading Harry Potter aloud to the boys – I’d like to get through the last two books of the series with them before the summer. It’s something we love to do, and given that their friends talk about it more and more (spoilers abound) it would be good to finish it so there’s a chance for a few more surprises.
Reading in genre
This is a huge part of what it means to be a writer, and is recommended across the board. Plus, I love the genre I write in!
Books on craft
I love continuing my education and I think reading craft books are great ways to learn something new, but even when it isn’t new information, craft books are right there to remind you of things that you want to make sure to incorporate.
Reading outside of genre
I’m a writer and a reader – and while fantasy is completely my jam, that’s not the only type of fiction I enjoy. With the intention of being well-rounded, I want to make sure to dip into a variety of genres. I also learning across the board, and a few non-fiction non-craft books will make it into my reading list this year.
Whatever you decide for your own reading, think about how variety might help you meet your goals. Once you get your categories, assign numbers to each group, and then happy reading!