Self care pt2 – Give Yourself a Reason to Read

 

I love to read. As a writer, it’s unsurprisingly one of my main hobbies. You’d think I’d be slaying books left and right since I’m not working and I spend the majority of my time alone. But you’d be wrong.

Besides my appetite and my ability to deal with conflict, my attention span has taken one of the hardest hits since my fractured mental health journey began. Back in the day I used to visit the library, fill my backpack, and have everything read and returned before my due dates came up. These days not so much.

Since I’ve been struggling I have still read dozens of books, but my numbers fall well below the book a week goal I had set for myself after graduating at the end of 2013. As 2017 kicked off I decided I wanted to make a better effort at finding books I could make my way through without abandoning them half finished.

I decided that I would become much more specific about which books I attempted in the first place. Usually I’d just stroll among bookshelves or scroll through my library app (I use OverDrive) until I found something that caught my fancy. That strategy has been failing me these past months as I pick up and put down book after book that I thought seemed interesting but failed to keep my attention.

That’s where my subject list came in. As I said at the start of the post, I’m a writer. And while my writing has suffered a fair bit during this trying time, lately I have been working on a new story that I’m pretty excited about. I’m still in the research phase of building my story, which is great for my reading goals.

At the start of 2017 I opened a new page on my phone’s notepad and started listing any subjects that related to my current WIP (work in progress). By the time I started checking out books I had this list to work with: Subjects to read about- Diverse books, Circus, Mental Illness, Magical Realism, middle grade, Suicide, Afterlife, Reincarnation

The only item on the list not specifically related to my WIP is “Diverse books”. Diversifying the books I read is just a general goal of mine, considering how easy it is to only read White/Male/Straight stories if you’re not paying attention to things like that.

The rest of the subjects on the list are components of my WIP that I’d like to read more about before starting to write my story. So far I’ve finished almost a dozen books this year, which is pretty damn exciting. I’m just a few books behind my old book a week goal, and hopefully I can catch up on those later in the year.

Here’s the list of the books I’ve read thus far, if you’re curious. They have all been immensely interesting and maybe I’ll get into specifics about my favorites in another post.

*=new reads

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern*

2. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma*

3. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge*

4. Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley*

5. The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer*

6. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi*

7. The Gracekeepers by Kristy Logan*

8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie*

9. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson*

10. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King*

Do you know any books that would fit into the subjects I’m looking for? Recommend them in the comments! Or just shout out any books you’re enjoying right now. I always love to hear what others are reading.

Until next time,

Be well, friends.

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