Monday, August 27, 2007

Stinkin' Challenge Update and Blog Question

Is it the time of the year? Is that why I am having total and utter challenge burnout??

I really really want to get some fresh challenges on my plate since I really don't want to read any of the books I have left, but I just can't commit knowing that I already have about 22 books left to read in 4 months!

I did find a new challenge for 2008: In Their Shoes hosted by Visally. Read any number of biographies, memoirs, and/or authobiographies in 2008. Easy peasy. :) I'm not going to even think about posting my books until closer to January, but oh whatever---I guess I will think and obsess about it a lot.

But on my current challenge front, I don't want to read any of my By The Decades Challenge books. Well, this is all fine and dandy, but I haven't been reading in any particular order, so I have big gaps in my decades (mostly 1970). The real downer is that four of these five books that I have left are also my Book Award Challenge books. So if I don't read them, I'll be behind it two challenges. Encouragement would be great here!! :)

My George Washington biography for Non-Fiction Five is REALLY boring!! If I can read a chapter every night I'll finish it before we leave for Alaska. Of course, last week I said that if I read a chapter every night I would have it finished by yesterday. Obviously since I'm halfway through ch 3/7 that didn't work out as planned. Urg!

The good news is that I am right on target for Something About Me, Armchair Traveler, and Literary Classics challenges. I'm thinking if I can get ahead on these, it will leave more room to read the others that I am dreading.

What keeps you reading?? Oh, I finished Bridge to Terabithia this weekend (not for any challenge at all). My review should be up tomorrow sometime...hopefully.

And now my blogging question: I am thinking about beginning a new blog--totally book UNrelated, but am having a difficult time with the formatting. When YOU as a reader are browsing blogs, do you prefer short blog posts (unlike this particular one) or more detailed posts? Now, this blog would be more for ME as a journal type blog--travel-specific (Adventures of Trish and Scott aka Hubby type blog), but I'm not sure if one post per trip would suffice--a rather really really long post--or shorter posts per event/excursion. Hmmmm...I'd love to hear your input!!


Bookfool said...

I like short posts. Oddly, I write huge ones on my book blog and my travel and photo blogs are very brief. I did a blog of our trip to Alaska here, if you'd like to see what my travel blog posts are like:

I see you went on a cruise to Alaska. We flew and rented a car. It's amazing, isn't it? I think I spent about 8 months blogging about our trip.

Joy said...

Personally, I like short posts. When I see long posts, I either scan them quickly or skip them altogether. :) However ... there are different purposes for a blog. If the blog is for you (keeping a record of something), then do it how you want. If you are creating it for others, then certainly you need to accommodate your audience (if you want them to read it). If it's a combo, then compromise. :) Then on the other hand, you can do it how you would like and those that want to read it will and those that don't won't. How do you like that for wisdom!?!

As for challenges, Trish, all of them are supposed to be for fun. It appears that a lot of readers enjoy lists and crossing them off, which makes for great participation in them. Once again, however ... you don't need to feel bad about reading or not reading particular books you have chosen. If you're not happy with a choice to finish a challenge, choose another that fits. It really doesn't matter whether you finish or not (except personally). There's no grade, outside achievement award or even as much as a pat on the back. Okay, maybe there's a virtual pat on the back, but that's not worth the stress.

Also, there are many of us that have had challenge burnout and when that happens, you do whatever is necessary to relieve the pressure. I have decided not to join any challenges next year. Although I, of course, can change my mind at any time. :) What I did was create a challenge in the area that I wanted to read. I didn't plan for it to be a challenge, until I realized others may want to join me. I really want to read impulse choices this year. The challenges have been great, loved them, but it's just time for a change. It's okay for you to adjust whatever you need, too.

Did I say too much? And I said I liked short posts. HA! I do. This is a comment, a long one, but a comment. :)

Nymeth said...

I agree with Joy about challenges. You have to keep in mind that it's just for fun, so there's no really harm done if you don't finish or replace a book. Of course we all love the nice sense of achievement we get when a challenge is completed, but we can't let that become an obligation, otherwise there goes the fun and here comes the pressure.

As for your questions, as long as they are interesting, I like both long and short posts. Of course short ones have the advantage of not making you leave reading it for later if you have little time.

Trish said...

Bookfool - You're pictures are so beautiful! We leave for our trip on Saturday and I can hardly wait. Thank you for sharing your trip!

Joy - I like shorter posts as well, but sometimes they are so short that I feel I don't get anything I was looking for out of it (if its a book post). For example, I had to ask someone the other day...OK, but did you like the book--how did you feel about it?

As for the challenges, I came to the realization the other day when my bookshelf fell over (OK, yes hubby, it is a DVD rack and not a bookshelf!) and my books toppled everywhere that I have a sick sick addiction and need help FAST. :) Truthfully I'm loving all of my challenges except for the Decades, which I enjoyed at the beginning. With the George Washington, I WILL finish it if it kills me. :) I hate hate hate starting a book and not finishing if I make it at least 30 pages into it (unless its a million pages long). I ramble a lot...

Nymeth - Thanks for the support! And I agree with you about post lengths. BUT I think it also has something to do with how well the writer captures the reader's attention. For example, I always hit "read more" for your blog because I always want to find out more usually because you've caught my attention.

Stephanie said...

Oh yeah...I really suck at the challenges!! That doesn't, however, stop me from joining them! I like the idea of making lists and having a plan. Life just seems to get in the way!

Hmmmm....I don't really mind the size of a post, although I do suppose longer ones are more intimidating.

Trish said...

Stephanie - your side bars are very encouraging to me. :) I was actually noticing them the other day when I realized you signed up for yet another challenge.

And like I told Nymeth - I think it just depends on how well written the post is (and how much time I have!). My brain is so scattered most of the time that my thoughts are usually all over the place (in real life its even worse!!). :D

cj said...

Hey, Trish -

I'm still around. Just busy and suffer a bit of burn out on several levels. It seems to be easing, however. Thanks so much for asking.

So, as far as the challenges go - I'd say read what you want to read and if you don't finish, you don't finish. I mean, it's not like they're going to revoke your library card if you don't. I know it's a pride thing to finish but really. If the challenges are making reading seem like work, what's the point?

As far as the blogs go, I'd say it depends more on the topic as to whether or not I like long or short posts. Sometimes a short post won't cover what you're trying to cover. Ya know?


Wendy said...

You said: "Encouragement would be great here!! :)"

Go Trish, go go Trish, Yay Trish, you can do it Trish *hurls pom poms in air and takes a clumsy leap*

Hope that helps :)

Petunia said...

I try to limit the amount of challenges that I join because I know my tendency to look at them as a chore if I can't throw in something on a whim. I'm participating in 3 right now and am starting to feel crowded so no more challenges for me this year.

As far as post lengths go, it's quality not quantity that matters. If you're going to write long posts, make them worth the reader's effort. I try to keep my posts small-medium sized because I'm not really a writer, but I write a lot if I'm trying to make a point. HTH!

Petunia said...

Apparently I am full of crap because I just joined a new reading challenge. So anytime I give advice based on my lofty ideals, feel free to roll your eyes.

Petunia said...

I'm afraid to tell you which one or you might try to join it. =)

It called the Reading the Author Challenge. I just posted about it on my blog.

Lisa said...

Trish, I am right there with you on the challenge burn out, and then there are so many GOOD looking ones coming up that I want to do. I am resisting so far.

Trish said...

*CJ - Glad you're around here somewhere. Yes, reading is still fun, but what is a challenge without a little challenge? :)

*Wendy - Thanks!!! I've been reading reading reading my George Washington bio all day and feel much better about it. If all goes as planned (does it ever??) I'll have it finished Friday. Now to those pesky Decade books.

*Petunia - I definitely like to keep my challenges within check because I'm very list/goal oriented. I definitely don't want to be stressed about reading!

And I've decided that my new blog is more for me--that I want to be able to say what I want to, so if the posts are short, they are short, if not, then so be it. :) How about that?

*Lisa - Hmmm, I've been purposely NOT reading about new challenges (well, except RIP that I just signed up for and the new one for 2008). Oh well, what can you do??

Alyson said...

Trish- I may be even further behind than you. BUT I have a long, five-day weekend, so hopefully I can do some catch up. I have to, or I will never complete all my challenges. Grad school is already interrupting my pleasure reading!!! Can you believe that? :-)

As far as blog lengths to, it depends on how engaging the writer is. When it comes to travel blogs, I really like reading longer ones -- especially if it's a place I've been or especially want to visit. Interestingly, I was born in Alaska, but left shortly thereafter. I hope you write some long descriptive blogs about it. :-)

Trish said...

Alyson - I posted on your blog about grad blues (well, reading blues). As far as the other blog I'm starting, I've decided that it will probably be longer posts since it will be more of a journal type thing. I can get pretty wordy (if you can possibly imagine that!! *snicker*). What part of Alaska do you hail from?? I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself!!