A New York Times Best-Selling Experiment

I have decided to embark on a reading adventure and I’m bringing all you lovely folk along for the ride.

Here’s what’s going down.

I’m always on the lookout for great reads. Plus, I’d love to unearth the secret all those New York Times bestselling authors must be sharing behind closed doors. Because clearly, once I discover this secret, all the difficulties and challenges in my writing life will shrivel up and die.



So with that said, allow me to explain.

Over the next several months, my book selections will be confined to New York Times bestsellers.

Once I choose a book off this coveted list, I will commit to reading the first fifty pages (even if it’s pure torture).

Upon reaching the fiftieth page, I will stop and do two things:

  • Vlog 2 very short reviews based on the first 50 pages
  • Write cliffs notes below each vlog for all you peeps who aren’t into the whole vloggy thing

Review One will be for non-writing readers looking for book recommendations. No writerly jargon allowed.

Review Two will be for writer folk, who like me, wouldn’t mind unearthing the aforementioned secret. In these reviews, writerly jargon is allowed and embraced. I’ll be sharing any valuable lessons I’ve learned during the first 50 pages.

At the end of the post, each book will get a thumbs up, a thumbs sideways, or a thumbs down.

Thumbs up means I can’t wait to keep reading.

Thumbs sideways means I’m going to keep reading, but I’m not in a giant hurry to do so.

Thumbs down means I’m not invested enough to continue.

I’m hoping this adventure will accomplish 5 objectives:

  • expand my reading horizons
  • expose me to some genres I wouldn’t normally gravitate toward
  • train my inner reader to approach books with a learner’s eye
  • share valuable writing tips
  • share great books with great people

How often will I be engaging in this adventure?

I’m not entirely sure. That depends on what’s going down in my life at the moment.

But I have chosen the first book in my adventure!

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

It’s ready for pick up from my library as we speak. So join me in the near future as I review the first 50 pages of this NYT bestseller.

Let’s Talk: How do you go about selecting a book to read?

*Photo by JuliaF on stock.exchng

It’s Starting…

A few months before my wedding, I started having these dreams. And when I say dreams, I don’t mean the pleasant kind. I mean the kind where I slept in and couldn’t find my dress and frantically raced across town so I could walk down the aisle with pajamas and bedhead and bad breath. 

Yeah. Those kind. 
The sweat-inducing, anxiety-ridden dreams that had me thanking the good Lord as soon as I jolted awake.

Which is sort of odd, because in general, I’m a pretty laid back person. I’m not a stressball or a worry wart. Yet the dreams came. Almost as if some sort of latent anxiety unleashed itself the minute I hit my REM cycle. 
Well guess what?
Last week, I had my first official debut disaster dream in which my book received horrible reviews. Nobody liked it. Nobody. In fact, I was walking down this hallway and overheard one writing friend say to the other, “It definitely won’t win any awards.”
I remember feeling mortified and depressed all at the same time.
So when I woke up in bed, with my book still safely tucked away in the vault at my publishing house (they don’t really have a vault), relief overwhelmed me.
Followed closely by a bout of nerves. 
Because in a little over seven months, people are going to read my book. Real live people. And some of those people are going to write reviews that I will see. And what if those reviews aren’t any good? What if I get a one-star reaction? Or worse, what if I get a whole bunch of mediocre ones? 
Confession time.
I care way too much about what other people think. I seek approval. I like acceptance. I want to please. Which is something I have to surrender to God every single day. I do not want my self-worth to hinge upon people’s acceptance or rejection of my work.
I want to keep my eyes focused upward. Because at the end of the day, I can’t control how readers will respond. I can only do my very best with the gift God’s given me and let the rest go. 
Let’s Talk: How do you respond to reviews? Or how do you hope you’ll respond? And for fun, tell me about the worst anxiety dream you’ve ever had. I’m sure there’s some good ones out there!