New Year’s Resolutions

Sparkler.

Photo by Flickr user Amodiovalerio Verde.

I like to sit down around this time each year and take a few minutes to reflect on the last year and look ahead to the next one. First off, I’d like to thank everyone who read, liked, shared, commented on, or followed this blog this year. You all are amazing, and I hope you’ve found my posts helpful. If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, or one I’ve mentioned that you’d like me to expand on, please let me know in the comments!

2014 was a busy year for me — I wrote a book that got me my first full requests from agents, went to a writing conference as a veteran rather than a rookie, took over the library’s adult summer reading program, and started planning an all-ages convention to kick off next year’s program. The year hasn’t been without its setbacks — rejections from agents, entire drafts of books I’ve scrapped, and missing out on a job as a teen services librarian — but I’ve done my best to learn as much as I can from these experiences.

This year, I’ve given myself both concrete goals/resolutions for 2015 as well as long-term goals/wishes for the future. The former are things I have enough control over to achieve in the next year, while the latter have too many variables for me to expect myself to accomplish all of them in one year. I’ve laid them out here, so you readers can help hold me accountable for sticking to them!

Short-term resolutions:

1. Read more widely. I want to read at least one book in every genre this year — including nonfiction topics. I’m trying to get past the mindset that reading nonfiction = work, because I know there are plenty of nonfiction books I’d enjoy if I gave them a chance.

2. Finish editing my current WIP and dive back into the query trenches. I’m giving myself a deadline of March 31 to send out those first queries, partly because I’ve already spent so much time on several drafts of this book, and partly because of my next resolution.

3. Write a draft of at least one novel in 2015. This means start on page one and get to “the end.” It doesn’t have to be a publication-worthy draft (though that would be nice), but it does need to be complete.

Long-term goals:

1. Sign with an agent and publish a novel. Ideally, the first part of this goal will happen in 2015, but I can’t control the market or agents’ reactions to my writing. All I can do is keep writing, keep reading, keep studying and improving my craft. Eventually, I’ll get the right book to the right reader (agent) at the right time.

2. Become a full-time writer and a part-time librarian. Right now, these two are reversed; but someday, I’d like to be making enough as a writer to support myself. I don’t think I’d want to quit working as a librarian entirely, because I like the wide variety of questions I get, and I like helping people find the resources they’re looking for, whether that’s a test-prep book or a journal article or a science fiction novel similar to their favorite author’s books.

3. Win a Printz Award. I have huge respect for the authors who win this award — their books contain some truly gorgeous writing. I haven’t loved every Printz winner I’ve read — some of the stories themselves just weren’t for me — but I have been able to appreciate the quality of the writing. This is another goal I have very little control over, as selection for these awards is subjective. Again, all I can do is keep writing and improving my craft, and hope to get the timing right one day.

So, those are my goals for 2015 and beyond. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Any writing-related goals for next year?

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