January 3, 2011

Learning By Example

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I find something energizing about January first, don't you?  It's a lot like a blank page - a fresh start full of possibilities!

At the beginning of the New Year, I feel inspired to try new things... and totally overload myself with projects and commitments of all kinds :)  Everything seems so interesting!  I've got a number of school/library/book festival visits scheduled already.  I'm taking an 8 week writing course starting a week from today.  I'm going to do the Picture Book Marathon in February, and PiBoIdMo again in November, and I intend to write at least one novel this year (do not laugh!) in addition to my usual writing.  Plus the blog.  Plus the marketing/publicity work that mid-listers like me find it important to pursue.  Plus my writing group.  Plus life in general.  I hope you're beginning to understand my fondness for caffeine :)

But now I've found another fun, worthwhile thing to do and I invite you all to join me!  A couple of my fellow bloggers are doing it, or did it last year.  Over on Home Girl's Book Blog a 100 Book Challenge is being issued.  The Goal: read at least 100 books this year!  The challenge says any book counts, including crossovers from other challenges should you happen to be doing any.  I plan to stick to picture books, MGs and YAs because that's what I write (or hope to!)

Here's my theory: yes, reading is time-consuming, but if you're going to write, there's an awful lot you can learn from reading talented authors in the genres you're interested in.  For me, making a serious attempt at a MG or YA novel can only be helped by learning from example.  Also, it gives me a good excuse to read a lot of great books :)

So who's with me?  Anyone else want to give it a try?  Eventually, when I figure out how, I'll put a button in the sidebar, but for now, the link above will work.  Comment below if you decide you're in - I'd love to have some company!  I don't know if I'll make 100, but I plan to give it my best shot.  I'm thinking of starting with Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater.  Right after I finish this post.  And do some writing.  And laundry.  And take the dogs for an outing.  And make a fresh pot of coffee :)


  1. I saw this on another blog and I think I may join in! I just went back in my reading journal to count how many picture books I read from August (when I started taking this writing thing seriously) to December and I read 146! So, I don't think I'll have a problem with 100! : )

  2. No doubt, you can read a lot of picture books in a hurry! The MGs and YAs take longer, but are so worth it! I have to confess, though, as inspiring as those books are, it's easy (for me anyway!) to get intimidated by the talent of other writers out there and feel like I'd be better off pumping gas at Cumbies :) I'm interested in the poetry thing you're doing - I'll have to look into that...

  3. I just read your "No Sword Fighting in the House"! Very cute! I love all the Camelot references!!

  4. Thanks, Megan! I just wish the artist had gotten the point! (pun intended :)) And now you've already read 1 of your 100 books!

  5. I thought the exact same thing as I was reading it. There was a lot of missed opportunity there!


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