2017 Bookish Resolutions

Yesterday I shared my 2016 reading and writing resolution results, but 2016 is over (woohoo!) so today I’m moving onto my 2017 book-related resolutions.

Reading Resolutions

  1. Finish more book series I’ve started: putting this one back on the list, since I’m still in the middle of some great series.
  2. Read more diversely: because We Need Diverse Books applies to all genres and categories, and because we need to hear these voices now more than ever.
  3. Listen to more audiobooks: after Amy Poehler helped me through an unexpectedly epic road trip, I’ve gotten into audiobooks. I always thought I’d been way too distracted to follow a narrative, but I’ve loved getting to listen to books while cooking or commuting or hanging out.
  4. Explore more picture books: I always say that writing a good picture book is like writing a good poem–seemingly easy but so hard to do well. Even though I don’t have any young readers in my house, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good story and some awesome illustration.
  5. Read more poetry: I took poetry classes in college, both writing and literature, and really enjoyed it, but my experience with poetry has seriously dropped off since then. The nice thing about poetry is that it’s easy to work poetry in on a regular basis–you don’t need to read a whole collection at once.

Writing Resolutions

  1. Turn off the internet more: I get a lot done when I go write in coffeeshops without free wi-fi (or at least where I don’t explicitly check for the wifi info).
  2. Write when I think I don’t have enough time: back on the list for 2017, because it’s still true and I still get more done than I think I can.
  3. Revise projects that aren’t finished: I’ve got a couple of complete drafts that still need work. I’d like to get them as far as I can take them.
  4. Stretch my writing muscles: try new genres, new formats, new categories.
  5. Have fun: because this one still matters and is still a challenge. It’s hard to separate the writing itself from all the possible end results, when all the possible end results are out of my control. The writing’s in my control, and it’s the fun part, even when it’s work.

Here’s to a year of expansive reading and joyful writing. Share your 2017 bookish resolutions in the comments!

2016 Book Resolution Recap

Confession: I kinda forgot that I made reading and writing resolutions for 2016, at least in an official way. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t make some progress! Some recaps from 2016 reading and reading

1. Finish book series I’ve started: I did manage to get through a few series that I’d started, including Dairy Queen, the Wolves of Mercy Falls, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I still have some series hanging out there, but at least I didn’t start a bunch more series that I couldn’t finish.

2. Read a few books for grown-ups: I did read outside of the YA sphere, but they were all non-fiction. I think that counts.

3. Add some non-fiction to the list: Totally nailed this one! I ended up reading way more non-fiction that I’ve read in years.

4. Pick from books already on my shelves: Well, I think I did that once…

Audio Book 5. Read more, tech less: Oddly enough, I think getting into audiobooks actually helped me reading more while tech-ing.

6. Finish my current WIP: I did get through a revision of this WIP, but it needs some more work before it goes out and is currently on a break. (Sorry, characters, I still love you.)

7. Complete a new first draft: I ended up completing a new first draft! It’s still way early in the revision process, but I really like this one.

8. Write when I think I don’t have enough time: I definitely could have been better at this. It’s so easy to think that a half hour isn’t enough time, when you can do way more than you think you can.Happy Dog

9. Start outlining new projects: I’m not an outliner, but I did start a spreadsheet of potential projects with notes about what they might include.

How did your 2016 reading and writing go? What were your successes, surprises, and challenges? And what’s on tap for 2017?

Be on the lookout for my 2017 resolutions, hopefully tomorrow!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Resolutions for 2016

I love reading the Top Ten Tuesday series around the blogs, but I don’t often take part. What better way to kick off the year in blogging than with a set of reading and writing resolutions for 2016? I’m not a real resolution person, but I like the idea of focusing in on book-related plans for the here.

So here we go–my reading and writing resolutions for 2016!

Reading Resolutions

  1. Finish book series I’ve started: I’m the worst at series. Even when I love the first book, I have such a hard time finishing the second and the third. Usually it’s because I finish the first and want a book with a different feel (eg, contemp vs. fantasy, historical vs. sci-fi) immediately after. but then I feel like I can’t remember everything about the first one and I put the second off and start a new one and the cycle continues. This year I want to finish all the series I’m enjoying but just having finished yet before starting any new ones.
  2. Read a few books for grown-ups: YA is my thing. I love YA. But sometimes you gotta see what the adults are reading, right?
  3. Add some non-fiction to the list: I tend to read fiction, but straying toward non-fiction has been great in the past. I want to keep that up in 2016.
  4. Pick from books already on my shelves: I know, it’s hard to go to the library and not get a book or two or five. But there are already so many great books at home I haven’t read yet, and several of them could also help with resolution #1.
  5. Read more, tech less: it’s easy to get caught in the laptop/phone futzing cycle. Any time I spend at home, looking at a screen is time I could be reading.

Writing Resolutions

  1. Finish my current WIP: I wrote a full draft last year and am diving back into revisions now. I’d love to get it in a solid enough place to send it out on submission within the next few months.
  2. Complete a new first draft: I dipped my toe into another WIP at the end of last year, and want to have a complete draft finished by the end of the year. This one is still very much in the early phases, so we’ll see how it actually goes.
  3. Write when I think I don’t have enough time: even if it’s half an hour, I can get something done. You don’t need a huge chunk of time; little blocks of time add up.
  4. Start outlining new projects: because it’s easier to write the first page when you already have an idea of where things are going.
  5. Have fun: because writing is hard, but it should also be joyful. No matter what happens with publishing, it’s a joy to spend time with characters and stories.

Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for putting together the Top Ten Tuesday series! Have bookish resolutions of your own? Share yours in the comments or in a blog post!

Dusting off the 2013 Resolutions

The end of the year is a time for looking back and contemplating growth and all that good stuff. In this looking back, I realized I actually posted about some resolutions/goals at the beginning of the year. (Way to keep on top of those, Annie.) Okay, so they were more things I was excited about than resolutions, but let’s see how real life panned out:

Then: Getting to know more of my fellow 2014 debut authors through OneFour KidLit. Our blog is now live, so I’ll be sharing thoughts, experiences, and (hopefully) funny videos there as well. Make sure to check it out.
Now: I’ve gotten to know several of the OneFours, and hoping to get to know more, especially now that the blog is about to kick into full 2014 gear.

Then: Attending at least two retreats/conferences.
Now: Check! I went to a few NESCBWI gatherings and flew down to Savannah for the first ever Fourteenery retreat. Overall, lots of writing time and good times with some amazing writers.

Then: Taking real author photos.
Now: Finally did it! Check some samples out at my Facebook page.

Then: Finishing up QotA edits.
Now: The now-renamed TCYWR is fully edited and out in the world in ARC-form! I had a pretty fantastic editorial experience all around.

Then: Going full steam ahead into the next project.
Now: Still working through the next project, but much further along thanks to my lovely critique group.

Then: Going to more concerts (as inspiration for the next project).
Now: Didn’t get to as many as I’d hoped, but maybe I can extend this over to next year.

Then: Reading more and keeping better track of what I read.
Now: Got in some great reading time this year, but also could have torn myself away from the blogs a little more. As for keeping better track of what I read…well, there’s always next year!

Then: Baking more bread.
Now: Tried a couple new recipes. Things got a little funky on the apartment front, but I’m ready to try all sorts of good bread baking in the new kitchen.

Then: Finally putting up the rest of our pictures on the wall instead of stacking frames on the futon.
Now: Well, at least those frames didn’t have to get taken off the wall. Onto new walls!

Then: Going to lots of readings and literary events in the area. (So lucky that so many authors live in/visit Boston.)
Now: Didn’t get to as many as I would have liked, but I went to the Boston Book Festival, got to meet Sarah Dessen and help celebrate the launch of Golden Boy.

Overall a pretty successful year. Here’s to lots more adventures in 2014!