I recently finished participating in the somewhat complicated Seasonal Reading Challenge on Goodreads. This challenge typically involves 100+ tasks and absolutely requires that you plan your reading with the challenge in mind. I found that I did a lot better job keeping up with this challenge than I do with most of the other challenges I join. However, I didn’t find participating very fulfilling. This made me think about what motivates me to work on a reading challenge and what I need to get out of one to make it worth my time. Based on what I figured out, here are some tips for getting the most out of a reading challenge and a mini-challenge plus giveaway for you to try them out.
The first step to getting the most out of challenges is to figure out why you like them in the first place! When I asked other bloggers why they participate in reading challenges, the main answer I got was that they wanted motivation to read outside their comfort zone. That’s true for me too! I also participate in challenges for:
- Motivation to read specific types of books
- A feeling of achievement
I’m currently not doing my reading challenges in a way that helps me reach those goals, but participating in The Seasonal Reading Challenge gave me some ideas for fixing that.
1. Sign up for the right challenges.
If you want to read outside of your comfort zone or read specific genres, make sure to sign up for challenges that require you to actually do that. I find that if there are enough options for the challenge that I can avoid actually reading anything out of my usual routine, that’s probably what I’ll do! My go-to resource for finding challenges is A Novel Challenge, where you can find awesome blogging events and challenges for any type of book you might want to read.
2. Plan your reading around the challenges.
Actually sit down and plan your reading – monthly, yearly, or quarterly – based on what you need to finish the challenge level you signed up for. If you’re just reading genres you read anyway, this might not be necessary. But if you want to use challenges to push yourself to read something new, you’ll probably need to make an effort to stay on top of things.
3. Actually keep up with recording your challenge progress.
Don’t let the books you’ve read for a challenge pile up. Link up regularly. This will help you keep yourself accountable, increase your feeling of accomplishment, and make it possible for other participants to come check out what you’re up to.
4. Visit reviews from other participants.
If you want your challenge to be a social thing, be sure to visit other participants. This can be a great way to find other bloggers who share your love of a particular genre or who also value increased diversity in their reading!
5. Post progress updates.
If you need extra accountability, regularly reporting how you’re doing on the blog could be a good way to get that. It will also allow you to interact with your readers about your challenge progress and probably to hear about their progress as well.
I realize all of these things may sound obvious – basically, sign up for challenges that fit your goals and then do them – but this isn’t what I’ve been doing. I currently sign up for many challenges and then occasionally remember to check whether any of the books I’ve read fit these challenges. Even if you’re ahead of me on this, hopefully something on this list will be a good thing for you to work on during Bloggiesta, because that’s the mini-challenge!
Pick one of these things to work on (revisit your challenge choices, plan some challenge reading, update your records of challenge reading, catch up on linking up for a challenge, or visit other challenge participants) or work on updating your challenge participation in another way. Then let me know what you did in the comments and use the rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. Happy Bloggiesta!