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Keeping a Reading Log

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Hello! I'm experimenting with blogging every day. Because I'm very new to this, I need your help. Please take a minute to drop me a line and let me know what you think. I will post stories, thoughts, and possibly recipes (if I'm having an off day). Here's the post for today.

I started keeping a reading log last week, and I LOVE it. I had sort of a reading log back when I was reading for my PhD, but I was always able to keep the main points in my head and just search for it. I think it was because I was reading on a single topic, so just taking notes was enough. Then, when I wrote, the process would be: I write something like "executive functions growth spurts between ages 3 and 5 [REF]" because I knew I had read it and then just needed to find the correct article to cite.

But now, I'm reading all sorts of things and for all kinds of reasons. Here's my log from Sunday:

  1. Excerpt from Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard: liked it, want to read, put it on my Goodreads list.

  2. Being Bored is Good [Medium] by Monica Heisey: she's funny, I like her writing style. Followed on Medium. Premise: being bored is good. Not scientific, the text doesn't support the premise. Blog?

  3. Query letters [Medium] by Zach Payne:

  4. Query letters are business letters to convince an agent to continue reading.

  5. The magic is in the story you're telling.

  6. If 1 in 10 agents request to see any part of the book, you're doing great.

  7. He's got a query letter deconstruction thing, might be helpful later.

  8. Good in a Crisis [Lenny] by Alex Ronan: Highly anxious people tend to be good in a crisis - the world matches their anxiety. Anxiety as fuel? Ultimately not helpful->deadweight.

See? It's all over the place. I read literature to find inspiration and to soak up writing. I read essays for motivation and interest. I read technical material about writing or marketing or any one of the skills I feel I need to improve on (which is all of them). And I read stories about real-life people if I come across them. To be honest, I read anything that I find interesting that I come across. I like reading. And now I get to read whatever I want for "inspiration". Love it.

Because my reading is all over the place, however, I need a reading log. It serves several purposes. It keeps my texts and notes organised so that I can go back and remind myself what I read and what I learned from it. It also helps me connect ideas. I cross-ref in my notes, and I also go over them every once in a while (I started the reading log last week, but the notebook has been around for about six weeks) and find connections I missed. And the last thing it does is gives me a sense of accomplishment. When I look at that log, I feel like I've done something that day.


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