For this month’s Ultimate Blog Challenge, I am going out of my comfort zone. You may have already noticed that I am sticking to one topic – reading – and writing about it the entire time. For those of you who have followed my blog, this will be a little different than my normal schtick. I’ve given this a lot of thought and feel like it is the right time for something new, and here is why.
- Getting Published – I’ve been doing a lot of writing between blog challenges, including a 2500-word personal essay on surviving COVID-19 and its impact on different parts of my life. I would love to share bits and pieces of that story with you, but I’m shopping it around to be published. And unfortunately, if I publish the story on my blog, it is not considered original material and, therefore, no longer eligible for submission. I’ll keep you posted if it gets accepted anywhere! I promise.
- My Reading Life – Maybe you and I share a common love of great stories. Whether you have a TBR pile as tall as mine (65 fiction books!) or are a summer reader or a patron of your local library, I think you will find there is plenty to talk about. And if you aren’t a reader or haven’t picked up a book in a while, maybe I’ll inspire you to give it another go.
- Books Open Up New Things to Discuss – If a book does its job, it will lead to questions about any number of topics to write about here. Recently, I read two books about living with regrets – The Midnight Library and Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing. After reading the first book, our book club had an interesting discussion about what our lives would be like if we made different choices. As you can imagine, some fascinating revelations came to light. This topic alone made for great conversation. This is what books do – shine a light on aspects of life that we don’t often think about and then talk about it. There are discussions to be had on a wide range of issues, and books often serve as the icebreakers.
- Change is Good – I’ve written plenty of posts about my kids, my dog, my job, my religion, my anxiety, and my everyday life. I’m not saying I won’t get back to that kind of writing because I most definitely will. Writing about reading is actually a pretty personal thing for me. Focusing on books might serve a bigger purpose. I can take a deep dive into my own interests, learn something new, and find ways to connect with others on a new level.
- I’m Still Looking for the Manual – As we all know, none of us are born with a “life manual,” but we can learn so much from books. This time next year, I will be an empty nester (or pretty close to it). I’ll be honest with you – I’m not looking forward to it. But, I need more information and inspiration that will prepare me for this next chapter. Who am I without my kids needing me 24-7? How will it affect my marriage? Will I be lonely? What can I expect, and what should I watch out for as I begin to figure things out? While I know I have people in my life who will advise me (and I am all ears!), I find that books are a reliable source when facing new challenges and opportunities.
All of this is to say that I have concerns that I will lose you as a reader if you are not interested in this particular topic. So much so that I felt like I had to defend my decision to take this new path. But, to grow as a writer and a reader, this is a risk I must take. I hope you understand and will stick around, comment on posts, and cheer me on. Thanks!