I am not traditionally the type of person to make resolutions. Still, I like the idea of organizing my reading goals, which will be easy to keep, and my writing ones, which require more discipline. Posting it here is a nice way to remind myself of what I intend to read this year, and they (whoever they are) say public declarations are more successful than private ones.
150 books total. This seems ambitious, because I only made it to 84 for this year. But the majority of that was in the second half. I’ve really hit a reading stride. Plus, one of the teens that frequents the library blew past her goal of 150 this year, and I thought that was so impressive I had to try it myself.
5 newly published books each month. I’ve started with January, and I’m already through my new releases except for The Archived which I didn’t get an ARC of but do have on hold at the library. I’m going to try to read 5 new releases each month, and plan to make at least two of them debuts.
10 books off NPR’s Top 100 Teen Novels list. I was shocked that I had only read 25% of NPR’s list when it was released. Some of the titles I don’t think will stand the test of time, but some are going to be YA classics (or at least, seem that way) so I want to read them. Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, and Garth Nix are some sci-fi/fantasy authors I have yet to read, and I still have realistic titles like Speak that I need to cross off my list. I haven’t read any Sarah Dessen or 13 Little Blue Envelopes or Anna and the French Kiss. The book I feel most embarrassed about having not yet read is The Book Thief, so I’m certainly going to cross it off the list.
12 Adult novels. One a month…that shouldn’t be too hard. Even though I read a lot of YA for work, I still enjoy adult fiction. I just bought Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour Bookstore which I hope I’ll like, and I’m going to get through check out some classics I have yet to read. I might even re-read some of my favorites.
12 non-fiction books. Again, one a month. Maybe it’s a hold over from college, where I read thousands of pages of nonfiction each week, but I actually like thoroughly academic books. And just because they aren’t my priority any longer, doesn’t mean I can’t still read a few.
Books on writing. I have a list of books on the craft of writing that I plan to read this year.
Audiobooks. I’ve tried without success to get into audiobooks before. I’m going to try again.
In general, I want to go outside my comfort zone with subject and genre. I want to deliberately seek out more “under the radar” YA, read more books with male narrators, and read books about topics that aren’t particularly interesting to me (like sports) because I’m sure I’m missing out on some fabulous stories. I want to read more lower YA and a few middle grade books. I want to read to make me both better at my job and better as a writer, but also just simply for pleasure. I don’t want to let myself feel pressure to read and review tons of ARCs. I want to make it a habit to write shorter, group reviews of some books and will continue to refrain from writing detailed reactions to everything I read because I don’t want book blogging or reviews to become a chore. I resolve to keep reading fun. I also planned to be more organized about the blogs I read. To this end, I conquered Google Reader. This was a big deal and I feel like it will make a big difference in my life.
Write every day. Write fiction every day. I was doing great this fall and basically took off the entire month of December. I need to get back in the habit waking up and writing first thing every day. I resolve to not compare myself to other writers. I want to write first and foremost for myself. Write the book you want to read, they say (whoever they are).
Journal regularly. I’ve been hit or miss since I started doing this a couple months ago. I want it to be a habit.
Try short stories. I’ve never really written a short story. I have a hard time fitting an entire idea in something you can read in one sitting. This is the year I’m going to try.
Finish Cold & Sharp. Get 3 critiques. Revise. Query.
Write a first draft of one of my YA ideas. The trouble will be choosing which one of my many outlines deserves to go first.
Blog more regularly and with more balanced content. I haven’t been writing about writing lately, which I think is beneficial. It helps me process dilemmas I’m currently dealing with. I think I’ve gotten better at reviewing books (which isn’t as easy as it seems) but I’d like to improve on both my summary skills and my analysis. Thinking critically about books can only improve the writing of them.
Just like reading, I want to take writing seriously, but still have it be fun. I’m not going to get caught up in whether or not I’ll be published. I really like making things up and writing words. I like lying, and it seems healthier to do it with fiction rather than my life.
What are your reading and/or writing goals for this year?