I’m bad at things.
Not all things. There are some things I’m good at. Beard-growing, Starcraft, I make a surprisingly good Persian three-bean stew – but there are lots of little things at which I tend to fail. I was always a little bit of a start-essay-the-night-before person in college and though I’ve become a lot better at deadlines since, I still spend more time thinking about completing tasks than just going and completing the task.
It’s like in the Leaving Cert post-Mocks when you write down the points you received and idly do abstract calculations about how many points you’re likely to go up. They say you go up at least ten points in each subject (the they in this case being nobody who has ever actually completed the Leaving Cert) so if that C3 becomes a C1…
I’m not as bad as I was. It helps that I’ve turned my main source of procrastination – daydreaming – into the thing I should be doing instead of procrastinating. But I don’t make doctor appointments when I should. I mean to answer that e-mail, but it might be a day or two before I get to it. I walk around my house telling myself that I should be doing the thing I’m supposed to be doing instead of doing the thing I’m supposed to be doing, agonising over every passing second and how much closer I’m getting to the deadline and dear God I can actually feel my cells dying as I consistently fail the universe over and over agai –
It is a part of myself I am trying to excise, and thus we come to the Goodreads Book Challenge.
My reading habits are a bit all over the place. I read a lot of fantasy and science-fiction, mostly based on recommendation, and there are a handful of writers who will basically always have my money. I read my friends’ books, and I read comics, and every so often (but to be honest, not enough) I delve into the ivy-wreathed temple that is classic literature and attempt to read the books that it seems like everyone has already read. When I’m writing, it does tend to push my writing habit a bit out of whack. Reading when you’re elbow-deep in a manuscript can have unexpected side effects. You start second-guessing yourself (forgetting that your work is in its infancy and what you’re reading has been edited and proofed and polished) and worrying that ideas will influence you. I like to read comics when I’m writing novels. The medium is different enough that I can be excited and inspired without worrying about transference. The Goodreads Challenge is a great way to keep track of what you’re reading, and in 2014 I managed to hit my goal of a hundred books, but last year I just… didn’t. I got distracted. I read books and didn’t get around to updating, and as is the way with these things, the longer I left it the more afraid of updating it I got.
WELL NO MORE.
(he yelled dramatically at the sky)
I have a modest goal of 50 books. I will try and review as many of them as I can, even if it’s just a few lines. I will not curse each of my cells individually for failing if I don’t get there, but I will also try and get there. I’ll keep a list on the site as well. If you’re doing the Goodreads Challenge as well, comment below! We will assault the bastions of literature together (did you know they’re writing new books all the time? Isn’t that the most unfair thing you’ve ever heard? When are we going to sleep?) and 364 days from now we will hopefully be victorious.
Happy new year!