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Reading on the Regular

From short weekly essays to books from 196 countries, here are reading recommendations that we hope might also inspire you to launch something new in 2015.

Image by Abhi Sharma (CC BY 2.0)

With 2015 on its way, some of you might have blogging goals for the new year:

I want to publish a post every day.

I want to launch a blog with a few of my favorite bloggers.

I want to take my writing to the next level.

I want to make my mark on the internet — in a way that only I can.

This year, I was especially inspired by ongoing and serial projects, like Leah Reich’s A Year of Wednesdays collection, Ann Morgan’s A Year of Reading the World book list, and Andrea Badgley’s Andrea Reads Americaย blog.

One essay a week, every Wednesday, for a year.

Leah Reich writes about culture, technology, relationships, and more. In her Medium collection, A Year of Wednesdays, she has published an essay every Wednesday this year. What I love the most is that these musings are quite short — two, three, four-minute reads on average — so you get frequent yet easy doses of writing, about pretty much anything.

Building a regular blogging habit — whether it’s a daily, weekly, or other goal — is challenging for some of us, me included. Leah’s Wednesday essay collection shows that you can shape a yearlong post series in a way that works for you. Write about whatever you want, when you want, and as much as you want.

Dig into her collection, and you’ll see what I mean.

196 countries, countless stories…

In 2012, Ann Morgan read her way around the world’s 196 independent countries (plus one territory chosen by her readers), focusing on and reviewing a book from each.

 

I followed along on Ann’s blog and highlighted her work on The Daily Post two years ago during this exploratory year, and yet I’m still working my way through her list of posts about these books. Even though Ann has finished the project — and is currently preparing for the UK and US releases of her book based on it — she’s effectively organized the site so that readers keep coming back for more.

Her blog’s menu gives you all the information you need, from what she did, to frequently asked questions, to the list itself. This list, organized by country, is bookmark-worthy; it’s a better way to dip into her archives (versus scrolling down to older posts or clicking on a past month).

Ann’s reading blog was an ambitious and successful project. Even if you’re not interested in the books themselves, her commentaries and method of curating content are worth checking out.

A literary tour of the USA

In the spirit of Ann’s exploration of world literature, Andrea Badgley is working her way through stories across the US on Andrea Reads America. You can browse by US state, or search by type, like American Vignettes (guest posts from readers), Essays (writing from Andrea), and Literature Capsules (summaries about books from a specific state).

Map courtesy of Andrea Reads America

Map courtesy of Andrea Reads America

It’s an ongoing project — Andrea still has a lot of ground to cover — and you can submit your own vignettes to her as well. Overall, I love seeing how a blogger takes a concept — reading books from different US states — and molds it into their very own creation.

I hope these three writing journeys not only offer something new to read, but inspire you to scheme up your own projects for 2015.

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  1. I only plan to be more regular with my posts, both in number and designated days. I usually manage about 3 per week, so I’ve decided to regularize it more and post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I also want to give more time to reading blogs and promoting my own.

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  2. Cheryl – these are excellent and stimulating examples of ways to become more specific, committed writers. it’s just so tempting to follow all of their journeys and neglect my own writing practice!!

    I am working on my list of 2015 projects now – I feel ambitious, energized and hopeful. And I see we are all in good company with our endeavors.

    Thank you so much for your informative and supportive posts throughout 2014. I have greatly benefited from your guidance!

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  3. I definitely want to write more regular. Need fo find a concept I can stick to. Writing short essays speaks to me. Maybe that’s what I’m going to do.

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  4. I want to take my writing to the next level that’s why I signed up for more Blogging U. courses. There are so much I still have to learn and there is a vast room for improvement. I will take and absorb everything I need to hone my skills as a writer and go from there and who knows it will take me some places I have never been before.

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  5. Thanks for the good ideas. I think I will take time over the next few days and check out some of these bloggers that have been suggested and manybe (heaven forbid) I might even learn something.

    My main goal is basicly not to loose interest in blogging and to keep up with it and not be an idea that came and went in two weeks.

    Keep it up fellow writers and readers. Good luck to us all and God Bless.

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  6. Thanks for the inspiration. Rolbos – the blog – has given me a lot of pleasure. It forced me to write 800 stories, gave birth to one book, and the second is on its way. WordPress gave me the medium, and for that I’m grateful. May many more bloggers persist in pursuing their dreams.

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  7. Thanks for highlighting these projects Cheryl. On the first of December, I started a year-long writing project called “abike4allseasons”.

    It is an experiment that focuses on creating a sustainable lifestyle through bicycle riding. I’ve committed to riding my bike through all four seasons in everyday life.

    At the moment where I live in Australia, it’s summer which means heat, humidity and thunderstorms.

    It isn’t an extreme adventure and it isn’t about giving up using my car altogether. The focus is using my bike more often, saving fuel, getting fitter, and enjoying being on my bike and all the benefits that come from that.

    I’m sharing the journey – the hiccups, the celebrations, the decisions it brings, the beautiful places it takes me, the interesting people I meet – on my blog: http://www.abike4allseasons.com

    Your post about the three projects has been really helpful as I set off on my writing journey ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. There is a feature every Monday called the Community Pool. You can introduce new readers to your blog and get tips from more experienced bloggers. Its a great place to post to increase your audience.

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  8. I’m heading into year two…and since it’s fairly unlikely that I will win the Nobel Prize, or become a gazillionaire, at this game – I’m going to take things nice and steady. I’m going to train myself to write regularly, and then once I am sure that I can produce something every…week, or whatever, then it will be time to sharpen up my writing.

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