Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Salon: Writing ..AND.. Reading

It is taking a while to get into my new teaching routine, but I shall be there soon.  This week yearbook duties were successfully transferred to a capable replacement, and I should now be able to enjoy my new weekly schedule of working three-days followed by a four day weekend.

A portion of this additional free time is reserved for my writing endeavors, and I have had a rather productive week in that regard.  On September 1st I began a free online writing program hosted by Cat Wearring entitled, 30 Day Product Creation Challenge, where the goal is to write an ebook in a month's time.  Cat sends a daily email with a motivational message and exercises designed to keep us focused and stay on task.  While I have enjoyed reading the daily assignments, it wasn't until yesterday that they all seemed to culminate into a personal epiphany.

This is not another NaNoWriMo event where the goal is to write a 50,000 word draft of a story any which way you can; it is far more manageable, and Cat even offers suggestions for finding a viable idea.  Writing fiction is significantly outside my comfort zone, but for some reason I have not found a suitable non fiction topic to sink my teeth into.  I know that I want to practice travel writing, and I have a few memoir ideas, but nothing has grabbed my attention and ignited my passion to write for my own pleasure.

But as I was reading through this list of possible ideas (for the second or third time) I realized something:  I have been waiting for the 'blockbuster' idea rather than writing the smaller pieces.  I have placed such unrealistic expectations on this first writing endeavor that I set myself up for failure before I have had a chance to begin.

Writers write.  And I just need to follow that axiom.  I shouldn't worry about the size of the project or the audience appeal, I should just write what I know and what I feel needs to be told.

So this week I will be working on my ebook project:  Finding Joy in the Moment:  Spiritual Lessons through Photography.  I currently have twelve chapters outlined and an introduction drafted.  I have not been this excited about a personal project in a long time, and I look forward to the work and the joy I know it will bring.

On the reading front.... the heat wave broke in the midwest and cooler temperatures have finally arrived.  With the advent of this fall-like weather, my youngest and I have embarked on a Harry Potter read-athon.   While there is no deadline to complete this goal, it is my hope to have the entire series read by the end of the year.

I believe this is about the third or fourth time Mandy has read the books, but it will be my first.  I own the entire series in a variety of formats:  hardback, audio, and blue-ray video (I am most definitely committed to the series, I just have not made it a reading priority). While I do not typically listen to audiobooks (I find it difficult to follow without focusing on the written word), I am hoping the soothing accent of Jim Dale will help me to overcome this issue.

I have read the first five chapters of The Sorcerer's Stone and hope to read more on this relaxing Sunday.  The audiobook is loaded on my iPhone and I plan to listen while driving to and from school.  Hopefully I can finish the first book this week and then give a brief review in the next Sunday Salon.


  1. I love your project. I would read it. Yes, writers write. One more time, with feeling: writers write!

  2. I confess, I haven't read HP yet either, though I had huge summer reading parties at the library on years when new books came out.

    I'm happy th hear your excitement about your e-book. !!

  3. I tried to read the first HP book...and read just a few pages. Not my cup of tea.

    But so many love the books...I wanted to love them, too.

    Love your new blog and your new project. Enjoy!


  4. I love the idea of your ebook writing project. You'll have to let us know when it's finished. I'm glad the quest for a perfect idea didn't hold you back from starting. It sounds like you found your perfect topic anyway!

  5. I adore the title of your book, Finding Joy in the Moment: Spiritual Lessons through Photography. I have experienced that but could use some instruction and encouragement to make it happen more often.

    Joy's Book Blog

  6. You're in for a treat with the Harry Potter books!

  7. Your book project sounds very interesting! I have found a few really interesting photobooks that I am enjoying. I am a pretty seasoned photographer - I have been photographing for 30 years -, but there is ALWAYS new inspiration, new things I can learn, new ideas - it's so fulfilling.

  8. What an awesome title you chose for your book! I hope to read it once it's available!!

    I haven't read the HP books. I haven't even seen the movies other than the first one. Maybe I'll read and watch them one day.

  9. I read the first HP book aloud to the girls when they were younger, but never really got into it. Told them they were on their own for the rest.. 2 of the 3 devoured them. Have heard wonderful things about Jim Dale's narration. Hope you enjoy it!

  10. I hope you enjoy the Harry Potter series!! I look forward to the day when I can read these with my own girls. I haven't listened to the audios but I've heard they are great. In my own audio experience I have found that the more I listen the easier it is. In many ways it is a learning experience that takes time!

    Good luck with the ebook! That's fantastic that you've found a topic to be excited about.