Article by Wendy McCance
For several months now I have been in a reflective state of mind. I have been reviewing my career, my personal life and thinking about the world around me. I’ve been making decisions about what I would like to see next and how to make those things happen. This is nothing new, for I have always been someone who likes to adjust the landscape of my life by thinking about where I’m at and how to challenge myself.
It’s funny, whenever I am in a place where I find myself deep in thought, I turn to books. I tend to use books as a way to answer my questions. Books have been like mentors to me, their words full of wisdom and the topics full of new perspectives to absorb.
Going into a bookstore has always been a bit magical for me. Most of the time I go into a bookstore without any idea of what book I am looking to buy. I will walk around and invariably will get tugged in certain directions until I have several books that I have collected while walking up and down the aisles.
If I ever want to know what my state of mind is at a particular time in my life, a trip to the bookstore will reveal what is going on deep inside my soul. I might be in the mood to read travel books because I am restless for adventure or I will read a book of fiction by one of my favorite authors just because I want to read something that doesn’t resonate with my day to day life. Stepping outside of what is familar is an incredible feeling.
In the last few months, I have read more books than many people will read in a year or two. Recently, my husband and I decided to rearrange where we had our bookcases and as I restocked the shelves, it dawned on me that I had been in an extraordinarily reflective place for quite some time.
I decided to make a pile of the books that had spoken to me in the last few months and find out just where my head has been at. The results of seeing that pile of books was like going to a fortune-teller. I could see what direction I was unconsciously pulling myself and I got a good idea of what path I was placing myself on.
Below is the list of the books I have read in the last couple of months and what I realized about the topics I chose.
I was looking for new ways to market myself.
Are Liars Tell Stories, by Seth Godin (using stories as a way to enhance your marketing capabilities).
Success Stories Of The Social Media Marketing Superstars, by Mitch Meyerson (top social media professionals provide tips and strategies on staying on top and organized in the social media arena).
I looked for reassurance that my decision to following my dream was the right thing to do.
Quitter, by Jon Acuff (quitting your job to follow your dream).
Am I making the choices that will lead to success.
Play On; Now, Then and Fleetwood Mac, by Mick Fleetwood and Anthony Bozza (the upbringing of Mick Fleetwood and how Fleetwood Mac became one of the most popular and enduring bands around).
Stevie Nicks; Visions, Dreams and Rumours, by Zoe Howe (Fleetwood Mac through the eyes of Stevie Nicks and how she struck out to have a successful solo career).
Richard Branson; Losing My Virginity, by Richard Branson (how Richard Branson became the powerhouse he is today).
A walk down memory lane. How my childhood has brought me to where I am today.
Everything I Need To Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow (a fun take on how Little Golden Books shape your life)
Sometimes the world feels a little crazy. World news can be overwhelming and full of sadness.
The Psychopath Test; A Journey Through The Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson (relatively normal people defined by their insane edges).
The Leftovers, by Tom Perrotta (what happens when half of the population simply vanished? What would happen to those who remained behind?)
I have known people with Alzheimer’s disease and wanted to understand what it is like for them. Also I fear the disease whenever I am feeling especially forgetful.
Still Alice, by Lisa Genova (what it’s like to be diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease through the eyes of the patient).
One of my favorite authors who can always make the world feel a little magical is Sarah Addison Adler. Good reading when I need to escape from the everyday blahs.
Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen (revisiting childhood memories and seeing them through the eyes of an adult).
I’m not usually a mystery person, but I kept hearing great things about this book. A good read to pull me out of a boring day.
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (mystery what happened to the wife who had been in a volatile marriage).
There have been other books, magazine articles and internet posts that have been read. I read every day no matter how busy I am. It’s interesting to look through the pile of books I’ve mentioned. The overwhelming theme for me seems to be a need to continue to learn in an effort to expand my career as a writer and social media manager. Technology moves quickly and staying on top of the latest and greatest ways of marketing is of the utmost importance if I am going to survive in this field.
I have learned that I am also in need of reassurance that I am on the right path. I have always been fascinated with the way people can find their own success. What were their lives like growing up? What made them so determined to go after their dreams? What tripped them up and what were their genius moments? The whole topic fascinates me and is also comforting when I can relate to a struggle someone else faced and overcame. I’ve always been a big fan of biographies.
This last year has been a horrible year to watch the news. There have been so many atrocities and it has deeply affected me. At times, I have had to take a break from the news because it was just too difficult to hear about people suffering in such extreme ways. One moment I am trying to understand how people can think and act in such a horrific manner and the next, I am burying my head in a book just to get some relief from the heavy weight of a world that has gone a little mad.
So that’s it, my list of books. What books have you read recently? Can you relate to reading as a way to answer your questions? What book has been a game changer for you? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]