2015 Book Challenge

…..or 52 books in 52 weeks.

 

Of all the hobbies and interests I have (I may have to revisit my proclivity for starting new hobbies), reading is my oldest and most treasured. It feeds so many parts of my soul. Scouting out a favourite book shop, becoming intrigued by an interesting cover, the discovery of a new author as well as the thrill of pouncing on a new release by a favourite author.  The joy of holding a book and smelling those crisp pages. Then the ritual of settling in with a cup of tea, maybe a slice of cake and getting transported to a new world. I love the way a good book changes you, the way you think and view the world. I might not always agree with the books point of view but I do love being challenged to think a new way and to hold my current views up to a new light. A good book can make you smile and laugh, cry, or be sitting there scared for the characters and experiencing an adrenaline rush as they embark on adventures. My partner tells me that when I’m particularly engrossed in a book I turn my head with the page as if I’m impatient for the next page but can’t quite let go of the last. When the book is amazing I no longer even see the words on the page, just the vision in my mind of what the words inspire.

 

I devour books, I lose myself in them. There are times of course when they are an escape taken too far and I find myself with the uncomfortable feeling that I’m reading my life away. It’s not enough to just read recipe and craft books, to read about the creative lives of others, or of other places I want to travel to. The next step is to get up and do them myself. This feeling of reading being a barrier between me and the world has been the case for a few years now. I reread novels that make me feel good, that transport me to a glorious fantasy world. I read science fiction, fantasy and childrens novels where the hero vanquishes her enemy and usually makes a cadre of friends along the way. And as wonderful as reading about these adventures is, I feel that it is a disservice both to the books and to myself. They are great books and genres but my life is more than this. And this year….well this year I want to challenge myself, to get out of my cosy little comfort zone and to open my horizons a little more and embrace some new styles of writing that I may not try given my own proclivities. When I mentioned this to the lovely Andrea from Letmeknit she sent me a link to Pop Sugars 2015 reading list. I read through it and was immediately a little uncomfortable with a few of the selections: A play? A book that scares me? A book with bad reviews??? Given that uncomforatble feeling I immediately printed it out and put it in my planner. I’m sure I’ll weasel in a few favourites to the list, and probably add a few books on the side but it has already had me scouting out books that I wouldn’t normally read, which was the challenge I was after.  Book reviews will come as I finish the books. Here’s to a hopefully eclectic reading year.

Year of Living Creatively

Life is a curious thing.

I’m 34 and am still trying to figure out what I want to do and where I want to be. Somehow I thought that the life I wanted would just appear without my active involvement. But if I don’t live  a life that is true to what I believe in, if I don’t actively do the things I love and if I don’t surround myself in an environment that means something to me than I’m not living my life. And the chances are that I won’t be happy and I’ll spend my time living out the dreaded “what if”.

So after a few rather momentous, and to be honest horrible years in my life, I’ve decided to approach this year differently. I love making things and I love trying new things. I think I may actually collect hobbies. But they are always a guilty pleasure that I never allow myself to really pursue. So instead of putting them on the bottom of my priority list they are now going on the top. I’m going to spend this year attempting things that I’ve always been a little afraid to try and working on skilling up in crafts that I love but never gave enough time to really become good at. I’m going to allow myself to focus on me.

This blog will hopefully record my successes and failures in all the different passions in my life as well as sharing what I’ve learned along the way.

This is my year of living creatively.