I realise that this post is likely to be, for some of you at least, akin to me sitting down in front of you and saying ‘good golly gosh, have you heard of this thing called facebook – it’s really exciting and you should all join.’ You are perfectly entitled to roll your eyes, yawn and tell me to join the zeitgeist. I have discovered Goodreads.
Okay, so technically I haven’t ‘discovered’ it. It was there already and some 1,385,566 other twitter users found them and followed them before I got there. But, I knew nothing about it at all a few months ago and now I do, and I feel that I have entered a whole new world.
For those who are similarly in the dark, Goodreads is basically a site for logging, sharing and recommending books. Like all good social media sites, there is also the social aspect to it. You are encouraged to find your friends, on the optimistic assumption that you have some. I still find it slightly galling that my user profile says that I have read 21 books and have 0 friends. That is clearly not true; I have read many more books than that.
I was introduced to the site through twitter and an invite to join a book club from the group’s moderator, Ian. This is an online, virtual version of a traditional book club; members read, rate and recommend books and they can get together to discuss what they think about the books that they are reading. Doing it virtually just saves on the cost of having to buy-in biscuits for everyone.
A discussion within the book club pages led me to another group, one that asks its members to submit their own short stories and poems based around a weekly theme. Of course, you do not need to submit every week and, to-date, I have only contributed a couple of stories. But the group is there, offering encouragement and a thematic suggestion every week.
What it has provided is a reason to sit down and write against a deadline. This may not result in the most sparkling prose, but it forces you to be focussed and to write clearly and concisely. And it has meant that I am building up a bank of stories that I can adapt, expand or tighten in my own time, to then share with you on Recycled Words. Which is what I am about to do.
Coming soon to Recycled Words will be a new short story, ripped from the pages of Goodreads, amended slightly and presented to you. I hope you will enjoy it. And if you feel inspired to write something yourself, be it a short story or poetry, then there will be a new topic every week to tempt you.
If you would like to find me on Goodreads, then you can do so right here. I will be the one sat on my own with a small pile of books beside me.