Today I have a challenge for you.
I’ve been working on my novel for approximately a year. I can’t believe it’s been a year, but it has. When I started, I just jumped in with both feet and started writing. I really didn’t know what I was doing or what a challenge it would be for me, but I started anyway.
I didn’t have time to allow my fear to get in the way of me starting, but I also started before I knew what it took to write a book. Perhaps that’s why I jumped in feet first, I had no idea the amount of time it really took to start with empty pages and end with a polished and published novel.
Last year I didn’t know what character arc was or the difference between a scene and a chapter (I’m actually still a little foggy on those concepts). I had no idea that certain genres required obligatory scenes or all the different subtypes of third person point of view. I certainly had no clue as to the ordeals of editing or the enormous amount of time that goes into writing a novel.
I am amazed at what I have learned this year, all from reading. Reading books, posts, blogs, forums, discussions, emailing authors, etc. I have read over twenty non-fiction books on different aspects of writing, over two dozen fiction novels, and too-numerous-to-count blog articles in my self-directed writing course.
It is truly impressive what we can teach ourselves through reading. There are so many valuable topics that we can teach ourselves through books.
There is a book for that!
Do you want to learn about gardening? —There’s a book for that. How about building a house? —There’s a book for that. Would you like to learn how to write a novel?—There’s a book for that! Want to learn how to train a dog to bring you a drink from the fridge? —There’s a book for that. Would you want to learn about starting your own business? —There’s a book for that too.
There is a book for nearly everything you could possibly want to learn about, well, actually numerous books.
If I can learn how to write a novel in a year while working and writing said novel, what can you learn in three months or less? What would you want to learn if you could learn anything at all?
What have you been putting off learning? What could you learn about in 2016 that could make your life easier, better, or more fun?
Are you ready for the challenge?
I challenge you to pick a topic or subject, expansive or focused, and decide to learn all you can. How long would it take you to be proficient in that area? For a focused topic, one or two months commitment to reading every day. For an expansive topic, maybe six months to a year. How would you or your family benefit from that knowledge? The price of the books or blog articles would be far less than the cost to attend a university, conference, or online program.
If you accept my challenge to teach yourself something as I did in learning to write a novel, please send me an email or post your comment below. I want to know what new and exciting adventure you have decided to go on through reading.
A Yoda quote seems appropriate here: “Do or Do Not, There is No Try.”