January 3rd, 2012
We begin 2012 in very good company: As the first blog post of the year, Teri Lesesne shares her new year’s resolutions for staying active as a reader and writer. To mark this occasion, we are offering a special package of Teri’s two books, Making the Match and Naked Reading at a special price. Check out the package here and then visit us again in February and March, when Teri will talk about her LOVE of reading and will lead us in a MARCH into books.
So tell us, what is your new year’s resolution when it comes to reading and writing?
New Year, New Goals
I am a list maker. There is something satisfying about making that list and then checking items off as they are completed. Of course, no list is ever complete; it simply morphs into a new list. As the new year opens, my first list centers on some New Year’s Resolutions. My professional goals are simple and to the point. I resolve to read more and to write more. Now, for the tough part: how to accomplish these goals?
- Set aside the time: As I wait for the coffee to finish brewing in the morning, I sit down with a book. Generally, I can read a chapter before coffee is ready. Sometimes I manage a few more pages as I sip that first cup. In fifteen minutes a day, a person can read an average of more than a million words a year or about 20 books. If you are a commuter, add audiobooks to your drive time. Make sure your devices have books loaded for that time when you are kept waiting somewhere.
- Join a reading community: Paul W. Hankins, a high school English teacher in Indiana formed a Facebook group a couple of years ago. Those of us who joined the community pledged to read 100 books that year. We posted our progress monthly. This was sort of like a support group for us all. It kept us on track. So, gather a few colleagues around you who will join in your resolution to read more.
- Make a realistic goal: My personal reading goal each year is to read one more book than I read the year before. So, if you have been dormant for a while, start small. If 100 books seems daunting, settle on a number that is realistic for you and your situation.
- Monitor your progress: Goodreads can help you monitor your progress once your goal is set. Once you set up an account, you can enter your reading goal and Goodreads will monitor your progress for you. Basically, I keep an open file on my desktop each month where I enter the titles of the books I have read.
- Save for that rainy day: I love a rainy weekend. It provides just the excuse I need to sit and curl up with some books. I have a separate TBR (to be read) stack for those days: books that I want to read in one huge gulp instead of tiny sips. Sometimes I have a big stack of picture books for those rainy days. At an average of 32 pages per book, I can knock out quite a few picture books on a dreary weekend. And I have found there are many picture books that work across the grade levels.
Where does the writing come in? I write daily on my blog. Most of the time I write about the books I am reading. However, from time to time another topic presents itself. My blog is informal and personal. It is also, though, a place to explore ideas and issues that might later evolve into longer pieces of writing. You might opt for a notebook. Even annotating a text by jotting notes and comments in the margins (or using these features with an e-reader) is writing. Readers and writers do not operate in a vacuum; they are part of a larger community. I hope you will join me this new year as I resolve once more to be active in my development as a reader and a writer.
Entry Filed under: Reading