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When George Costanza declared “the summer of George” in an episode of Seinfeld, I have to admit that a part of me was absolutely inspired. I don’t have a severance check to enable me to ignore any and all responsibilities for 3 months, but I do have the ability to declare some moments throughout the year as mine, and do exactly what I want to do and not just what I need to do.

I posted a couple of weeks ago about my solo trip to the movies and I plan to have other intentional, solitary experiences this year and look forward to them.

But more than about making some premeditated “me time” is the idea of simply incorporating some things into my life this year that I really don’t know why I haven’t before now.

At the threshold of a new year, many people are guilty of making the resolutions that are most superficial. I know, because I am one of those people. There is nothing wrong with setting a goal of physical fitness or healthier eating. I certainly know that I need to be focusing on those things more. But I also know that my mind has to be “right” or I’ll never make a commitment to those things. 

Instead of placing such lofty demands on myself the first rattle out of the gate, I decided to try a different approach with my resolutions. I decided to work from the inside out. 

If I see any piece of advice predictably repeated from more successful writers to other “newbie” writers, it’s simply to just write, write, and write some more. So that’s what I’m doing. And it’s easier said than done. The 9-5 that I have isn’t exactly conducive to my creative side and is a high-stress situation that often doesn’t relent, even after I get home at the end of the day. I’ve discovered that my weekends are usually when I do what I consider my best writing. And mornings. Ah, mornings. Long about halfway through my second cup of coffee, I’m ready to light the forge and begin chiseling out something on a page. In contrast, on weekdays, I’m lucky if I make it to a second cup of coffee before I have to grab my shower, tame the wild mane atop my head, and get the kid to 1st period and myself to an igloo cubicle on the second floor of my workplace. Writing is something that may happen, but it’s extraordinarily bad a lot of times when I don’t have the time to really be thoughtful about what I’m putting out there. This post? Comes on the heels of a week from the bowels of hell. My life has been a blur since New Years. I’m surprised I can even form complete sentences today. But I’m writing, dammit. I am writing.

But I’m also getting off track.

My point is that, to nourish my soul, I need to write. And because I need to write, I need to read. And I love to read, I always have. But lately, I just usually catch a few blogs or publications online and rarely sit down to finish an actual book these days. Which is counterproductive to the life I’m trying to build for myself as a writer. Books are where it’s at. And not only that, the discussion of books is equally essential to a developing writer. It gives you different perspectives to consider and what elements in a story draw out different responses in different people.

So I started a book club. I initially set the goal of 5 people which quickly escalated to twice as many before I had to say, “Whoa! Maxed out!” I have a small, less than 1200 sq.ft. house. This is already going to be intimate because we’re going to be sitting in each others’ laps. 

I didn’t put any restrictions on who could join, I simply said there would be wine offered. This served to eliminate any prudish folks who couldn’t handle the types of topics that might arise, and create an atmosphere where people didn’t feel the need to censor themselves. 

I was quite honestly surprised by some who signed up. And I think we’re going to have an interesting group of women bringing some very unique perspectives.

I plan to document our book selections here, and highlight parts of our discussion from our book club meetings. 

I’m all about the camaraderie of fellow readers, and other women, so I’m looking forward to this new addition to my life. 

Books have the same power as other art mediums in that they connect people. Sometimes they connect people who can’t connect any other way. 

As a writer, I can’t wait to digest all of these different perspectives and incorporate that into my own art. As a reader, I’m looking forward to exploring unknown territory and having such an interesting fellowship of characters along for the journey.