About that 2014 reading goal


Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published on this date in 1884

Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published on this date in 1884

Yeah, not gonna make it.

It was a lofty goal.  I set it at the first of the year, confident that I could read forty books during the course of 2014.  I almost made it.  But not quite.

Reality is I’ve not been doing a lot of reading this fall.

No, that’s not exactly true.  I have read more than 30 books this year.  I’ve also read multiple scripts – multiple times.  And by the end of December I will have once again read all the way through the Bible.

So, missing my goal of 40 books by just a few is not all that bad.  Maybe I’ll be a little more realistic in 2015.

I know, as a writer, that I need to read.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
– Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Of course, as a writer, I also need to write more.  And I’ve been writing all year.  Just not always here, and just not always in the book.

Not reading 40 books is not a failure. It’s an adjustment.

In an email the other day Rob Hatch was talking about consistency and what it’s like to fall behind on commitments.  Here’s some of the best year-end advice I’ve seen:

My advice to you and to me?  Stop. Just Stop.

Stop trying to catch up on what you failed to do. Just do what you need to do right now. Do today’s work.

He’s right.  I have plenty to be doing right now.  I can’t obsess over not reading 40 books.  I should celebrate that I read more than 30.

Hatch says

There are times when we ALL fall behind. We ALL feel like we’re not keeping up. The key is to not let it dominate our thoughts or dictate our actions.

Own where you are and where you are (re)starting from today. Figure out what needs to be done to make this day successful and then…do the work.

I’m on it.



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