Do you know what I do? I Prepare. With a vengeance. I Prepare so thoroughly that I squash the majority of opportunities for spontaneity because I have everything set down in a spreadsheet. There is evidence to suggest that the human brain is built in such a way that if you over-plan something your mind is happy to mark it as done and enthusiasm and motivated are diverted from that task to something else. This sounds accurate in my case!
I've approached previous reading challenges with a spreadsheet ready to go. I've come up with ideas for almost every bit of the challenge. I've even been a little panicky about those few that have blanks, even thought there have been MONTHS of reading represented by the full spaces. Essentially, this means I spoil the reading challenges for myself. I know what I'm going to do for weeks and it stifles me and after a few months I break free and call it a day because it all feels so regimented.
So. How to combine my enjoyment of the plus points of a reading challenge while tempering the negative side of it by countering my over-organising brain? I think I might have an answer...
I'm calling it the Pick & Mix Reading Challenge for want of a better name. There isn't a set number of books to read, and I'm not going to give it a time frame. I am going to read one book at a time. Yep, you heard me. One book at a time. With no idea of what's coming next and no spreadsheet to have anything lined up and waiting.
There are lots of reading challenges out there. Easy to pick one at random on Google, close my eyes and let fate guide me on another random pick from the list in front of me. Then go to a library or charity shop or bookshop and find something to suit. No sitting in front of a computer going through Goodreads and Amazon for likely candidates. Instead I'll be getting out there and connecting with books. Which is what a reading challenge is all about.
When that book is finished - and ONLY when it is finished - pick another reading challenge, and another random selection from that list. And so on and so forth.
When will I start? Actually, I started yesterday and am loving the book I picked up.