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New Year: New reading challenge!

irelandAt this time of year, we are all thinking of new beginnings and resolutions. I have been looking around at a few bloggers who really have their teeth into the New Year to an unusual extent. These writers have not merely made a few resolutions; they have set challenges for themselves and they encourage us to join them in their efforts to scale new heights. I thought I would feature in my piece a couple that I have bookmarked for my own interest.

While I am fascinated by the wide variety of challenges, it is the reading or writing ones that are dearest to my heart. On my trawl through Google’s rich archives, I came across an American blog site run by book and film enthusiast Carrie Kitzmiller, which is a veritable treasure trove of literary challenges. Books and Movies!  blog site has one challenge in particular that might appeal to the discerning readers of this news site and that is the 2013 Ireland Challenge (now in its fourth year).

The details are broadly as follows: the challenge runs from January 1st – December 31st and any book with an Irish connection and in any genre qualifies for the challenge. Apparently, re-reads are allowed (which is very generous I think) and you can count any book read for this challenge towards another challenge if you so wish. Interested book lovers just need to register on the site and can upload reviews (and link to their own blogs) as they go along.

Finally, there is a graded commitment scheme so you just choose your level of participation and away you go. For example, the lowest level is Shamrock at four books read, moving up to ten books and more read for the Ceilidh challenge. I assume that you could aim cautiously and then upgrade if you were flying through your James Joyce. Mind you, I feel that Ulysses probably ought to count as more than one book due to sheer size!

If you are more of a writer than a reader (though I admit most writers read and vice verse) you could do a lot worse than check out Irish writer Alison Wells’ Head Above Water blog site for some early year therapy. Alison has begun a series of thirty-one blog posts designed to help with getting your creative juices flowing (and keeping them flowing). Each post will ‘explore ways of keeping our head above water in physical, mental, emotional and creative areas’, as Alison writes in the introduction to her blog series.

Each post will give you something to think about, something to reach for or suggest sources for inspiration. For instance, on the January 6th post Alison gives a link to a Ray Bradbury interview on tips for young writers. There you will find plenty of food for thought from an expert writer. Keep checking back over the rest of January to see what else Alison comes up with to inspire and encourage your creative muse.

Check out the links given in the text for more information.

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    • alisonwells
    • January 8th, 2013

    Thanks so much for drawing attention to my 31 blog posts. There’ll be more creative challenges and exchanges coming up. Best wishes, Alison.

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