I didn’t know what read-a-thons were until I got into BookTube, but since I’ve learned of the existence of low-key (or overly ambitious) weekly Internet goals with different reading challenges, I’ve fallen in love with the whole concept.
THE JOYS OF READ-A-THONS
Read-a-thons, in case you’re unaware, are themed (or broad and casual) “events” hosted by one or more bookish people to “marathon” reading: to focus on intentional reading, whether it be reading as many books as you can, tackling your TBR at full speed, or reading certain genres or about a certain subject matter for a set amount of days (usually five to seven). Sometimes there are challenges or rules; sometimes there are none.
The best part about read-a-thons is the community, HANDS. DOWN. Reading alongside other people who are also making reading a priority for the week, even in the midst of chaos or busy schedules, is extremely motivating. There are sometimes Twitter sprints (designated chunks of time where readers put away all distractions to read together), video challenges or Twitter discussions, giveaways, and the like. I love read-a-thons because it pushes me to read more than I normally would in a given week or short period of time. Do I ever complete all the read-a-thon goals? Rarely. But my goodness does it enrich my reading experiences.
Read-a-thons are active. You just do it.
WHAT IF WE APPLIED INTENTIONAL “MARATHONING” TO OUR LIVES OUTSIDE OF BOOKS?
I started thinking: What if we got excited for marathons centered on intentional living? What if we set aside a week to focus on not just books (*gasp*), but our ambitions and our goals?
I love the bookish community because it’s all about books. But I also love getting to know the people in the bookish community and all of their real-life desires, fears, motivations, and ambitions. It’s why I love to watch vlogs: I love pulling aside the curtain to see the book lover and the mother, daughter, student, activist, entrepreneur, writer, and creative individual.
I think part of the reason why bookish people love to meet IRL is because we get to see beyond the books. We get to see what makes the other tick. We get to see dreams and passions beyond our shared passion for reading.
DO-A-THON: INTENTIONAL LIVING FOR ONE WEEK (May 1 – 7, 2017)
I love reading goals as much as the next bookish person, and I’m not willing to give that up for anyone. Reading goals already produce joy and growth in my life. But there are so many areas of my life that I neglect or put off because—as with a growing TBR pile—it’s intimidating or I need the motivation.
So, I want to propose something different. I want to host a week-long DO-A-THON to #GetShitDone and #GetInspired. But not just the boring-but-necessary things, like cleaning out my closet KonMari Style (though I desperately need to do this, and the DO-A-THON would be the perfect motivation).
I want to devote a week of my time to doing the things I always say I’m going to do or want to do.
I want to zero in on a creative project.
I want to finally produce those new marketing materials I’ve been putting off for my business.
I want to volunteer in my community.
I want to read to kids at an early literacy program.
I want to start a garden, start composting, organize my sewing room, LEARN TO SEW, learn to hula hoop, and send more post cards.
Listen. This isn’t bucket-list-athon (though it absolutely can be about those bucket list items). Sometimes to create space in our lives, we need to do the things that aren’t fun but necessary. The reality is, I need to clean out my closet and wash my car. But I also need to do some soul work. Maybe it’s the accountability and intentional goal to ask a stranger to coffee or go without makeup for one week. Maybe it’s finally focusing on starting your Etsy shop, or redesigning your invoices, or taking a break from social media, or figuring out an easier way to sort through your mail.
Maybe a part of your DO-A-THON is actually a book-related goal! Maybe you want to read a certain number of books like other read-a-thons, or maybe you want to finally take the plunge and start a BookTube or book blog.
CHALLENGES FOR THE DO-A-THON
The DO-A-THON is meant to be broad, because we all have different tasks, dreams, goals, fears to overcome, and desires. However, to choose intentional goals, the following may serve as a great guide for you:
- Do one thing that scares you or do something that challenges the story you tell yourself.
- Complete a project (creative or otherwise) that you’ve been putting off.
- Do something that involves someone else or do something for someone else.
- Learn something new.
- Do something to foster a calm or welcoming environment.
That’s it. The challenges, again, are not meant to be rules; they’re meant to be helpful guides.
If you’re interested in joining me for #DoAThonLife (May 1 – 7, 2017), use the hashtag to share some ideas of what you might do (or what others might do) to foster a creative, more abundant space for intentional living. And follow @DoAThonLife on Twitter for more updates!