You know I love a challenge.
It’s going to be harder to write during the summer months, with boys underfoot and trips to here there and everywhere (bonjour, Bretagne!), so I’m going to spend my summer months feeding the creative monster.
I’ve been finding it hard to write recently, partly because my brain is begin pulled in fifteen different directions. I’m feeding it with information — about education, about fitness, about nutrition, about cognitive behavioural therapies, about music, about all kinds of practical stuff — but I’m not feeding it with the kinds of stories it needs to lift itself out of the everyday world and into the world of stories.
So I’m going back to the Bradbury Method of creativity-boosting. I did this last summer and it worked like a charm: I read a new story every day (and an essay and a poem as often as I could manage that) and found myself drowning in ideas. I had a burning urge to write; I sketched out ideas for stories; I wrote some of them over the next six months and released them as Kindle ebooks that have sold actual copies and generated actual profits. I have others that are still in various stages of drafting. But more than all that I was happy.
So that’s what I’m going to do: Read a short story a day during June, July, August. I’m logging my activity at my personal writing blog and you can follow along. (
I use Feedly on my iPad, phone and computer to keep up with the feeds of blogs I love. I highly recommend it. remember the old Livejournal friends view? It’s like that. Or the Facebook status update view without, you know, Facebook). Or you can Subscribe to Julie Duffy Reading (& stuff) by Emailand get a daily update of all my reading-related posts (some days it’ll just be the title of the story. Some days it’ll be a potted review, and frankly it might get kind of annoying, so use this method with caution). (Update: 2021, I mostly don’t do this anymore. Maybe I should get back to it!)
And feel free to join me. Leave comments, link to what you’re reading, start your own Reading challenge and blog…
[OK, I realize this badge is hopelessly Northern-Hemisphere elitist, and I apologize. I’ll make a change when I have a chance. Or you can use your Photoshop-Fu to put a white box over the ‘summer’ part…]
Your Own Reading Log
I’m using Google Docs to log my reading.
Here’s a copy of the form that you can use yourself if you want to join in and you like Google Docs. Save a copy of this form to your own Google Drive and rename it.
If you click on “Form / Go To Live Form” you’ll see a nice clean interface for entering your info. It’ll update the spreadsheet automatically (no silly little cells to click on).
If you’re an iPhone user, you can follow these steps to get a nice app-like link on your phone, to make logging your reading easier (I’m a big fan of ‘easy’)
Go to your form on in your browser (drive.google.com/)
Just make sure you save a copy of this document to your own Google Drive and don’t work on my copy, OK?
4 thoughts on “Short Story Reading Challenge”
Love the form. I’m reading quite a bit more than I have for a long time, and it’s nice to keep a record.
Thanks LuAnn! I’ve been slacking off (reading some big, heavy novels). I need to get back to this and your comment reminded me!
Many thanks for the encouragement and support. I like your idea about reading plenty of short stories to promote storylines and sparks for our own short stories. I certainly gained confidence during the month of May and I amazed myself with the resultant increased creativity.
Good on you, Malcolm! Keep reminding me of this….my productivity sinks in the summer (darned kids!).