2020 Revised Reading Resolution
So one of my new year's resolutions was to read at least 30 books by the end of 2020. While I could totally say I've “read” 30 books, I really mean read 30 books start to finish. And in that case, I haven't finished one. I have a terrible habit of picking up a book, starting it, and then setting it aside. It's not that I get bored or disinterested — I think it's more I give myself excuses to not finish that book. Why? I'm not sure, really. Every time I try to pinpoint why and try to do something about it, but I end right back at starting but never finishing books. I love short stories, articles, essays, but something about books prompts me to be noncommittal.
I love writing, but I honestly haven't read books voraciously since my middle school days. I don't know if that's a me-thing, an adult-thing, or what.
I do know, regardless, it's important as a writer to be listening and experiencing stories outside of yourself along with your writing. I've been able to write or world build somewhat consistently, but what I've been writing down feels stagnant in a way these past few months. When I don't make an effort to experience stories and worlds outside of my own I get creatively congested. I had this fantasy of establishing a story and universe that's completely self-reliant. Creating a story and universe that doesn't significantly lean on another work as a precursor or inspiration, but that's pretty much impossible. Because even if I'm not outright referencing something else in that story and universe, all those little references add up. So ultimately, I'm just screwing myself over if I take that route in writing.
So I'm revising my new year's resolution. I plan to experience 30 stories that can be books or video games by the end of 2020. Those are works of art that I have to actively step outside of myself and experience.
And I'm going to list what I've experienced so far, in no particular order, just to keep myself somewhat accountable.
Games completed: 1. Hotline Miami 2. Hotline Miami 2 3. Final Fantasy VI 4. Final Fantasy VII 5. Portal 6. Undertale 7. Pokemon Shield 8. Katamari Damacy
Books read: 9. Warriors: Into The Wild 10. The Golden Compass
So, so far I've experienced ten stories in 2020.
I'm listing video games and books because, when I'm playing or reading these I find myself attentively subject to another creator's pacing and every choice they make in presenting the story. Music, film, and television do the same but it's less of an outright commitment. I like listening to and experiencing music all the time, it's honestly like air for me. I create my own stories by listening to music. And TV drones on in the background while I eat or clean. You can't really do much else besides read when you're reading. The same goes for video games.
I'm not going to list what I've been meaning to read or play and what I'm currently working on, because I think that'll just make me anxious about reading and finishing those stories as fast as possible. And then I'll be less motivated to actually read and play those things because of the anxiety I get from them.
Most of the titles listed so far I've played and read when I was a lot younger. However, I still count them because my experience and understanding of them now are wholly different than when I was a child.
Here's to experiencing at least 30 stories by the end of 2020.