One of the features over at the Stringing Words community that I’ve never participated in is the Consistent Reader’s Club – until today. I’ve been telling myself ever since I got to the Kansas Workshop that I need to make more time to read, and it hasn’t added up to much, so I figured that an ego challenge might help. 😉
There are a few Consistency Clubs over at SW, and I’ve joined in most of the others from time to time. (There’s Consistent Writers, Consistent Editors, and Consistent Bloggers; I think that’s it.) Aside from Bloggers, which plays around to give participants the chance to choose their own schedule, the rules are pretty much the same.
You set a minimum goal that you want to accomplish every day – writing 500 words, reading for a half hour, or editing a page, maybe. You keep track of your progress, count up how many days of a streak you can make it up to, and post that count on the thread as often as you like. If you fall short of your pledge for one day – only writing 350 words, say, you can choose to lower your pledge for the entire streak if you like. But if you go a day with nothing to show for it, then you have to end your streak and start a new one.
It’s surprising how effective this has been as a motivational tool for me with writing and editing. Once my count gets up past 14 days or so, I get a buzz out of seeing it click higher day by day, and more than anything else, I don’t want to see the streak end and my number drop back down to 1 when I start again.
I’ll record the fine print to my pledge here for your benefit:
- I am going to read for at least 15 minutes a day, no matter how busy I am, no matter where I travel, no matter what else is going on in my life.
- Listening to audio books of any kind does not count.
- Re-reading any book (or stand-alone story) that I have already read in full does not count.
- Reading a writer friend’s work to critique it or give them feedback does not count.
- I vow, here and now, to stay on streak until the end of the year. That means that my count on December 31st will be 138.
To kick off my membership in the club, I picked up the copy of ‘Mixed Magics’ that I got for my birthday last year, and figured out where I’d left off in the second story from the collection, ‘Stealer of Souls.’ I really enjoyed the odd-couple adventures of Tonino Montano and Eric Chant.