Writing

Resolutions for 2010

I didn’t have time to post resolutions earlier in the week . . . and now it’s January!! Snuck up on me somehow. Out with the old decade, in with the new. It drives me a little crazy to think of years and decades passing so quickly. 2009 bombarded me, like a year-long kickboxing session. I’m hoping 2010 will be more like yoga. RIGHT, sure it will.

Usually I post my resolutions from the year before to see how I fared. This year the results are embarrassing! I only accomplished two of my seven professional goals in 2009:  1) improving the website and starting a Facebook page, and 2) reading 65 or more books. In my defense (that is, to make excuses for myself), I did go through some life-changing ordeals. 2009 was about survival; 2010 will hopefully be the year of writing!

Because I love to talk about books, I’ll sidetrack and chat about the 77 books I read in 2009 . . .

~ 64 were audiobooks! I almost met my goal by auditory means alone!

~ 58 were Young Adult or Middle Grade novels.

~ 47 had some type of fantasy element. It’s too time-consuming to differentiate between high fantasy, urban fantasy, contemporary fantasy,  and futuristic stories.

~ I read books by 46 different authors. In the second half of the year, I decided to broaden my horizons and try several new authors. 29 of the 46 authors I just discovered this year. My favorites of the new authors I tried: John Green, Tamora Pierce, E. Lockhart, Markus Zusak, Suzanne Collins, Shannon Hale, Francisco Stork, Maggie Stiefvater, Rebecca Stead, and Kristen Cashore. Some of these are fairly new authors, but most have been around for awhile. Why did I wait so long to read their books??

~ Only two were nonfiction (and a third was based on a true story). That’s rather sad. I read partials of nonfiction all the time, but I rarely sit down to read a nonfiction book from cover to cover. Ironically, I’m in the middle of a nonfiction audiobook right now, but that will have to wait for the 2010 book list.

~ I gave a top ranking (five stars) to 27 of the books . . . which means over a third of the books I read were excellent. And 44 books received four stars. 2009 was hard in a lot of ways, but it might just be the BEST. READING. YEAR. EVER.

Okay, I’ll try to reign in the book joy for now. It will resume on Wednesday with the discussion of WHEN YOU REACH ME (by Rebecca Stead, mentioned above!). For now, I suppose I should get back to the whole point of this post—my 2010 resolutions:

1. Work on the second draft of TRE in January and February.
2. Send TRE to critique partners in March; work on third draft.
3. Attend at least one writer’s conference.
4. Finish TRE and query agents.
5. Start on TRE sequel or rewrite EOL.
6. Read fifty books.

In case you’re wondering why I might drop from 77 books to 50—I’m guessing I’ll have less audiobooks. This new house is smaller (thus less cleaning) and has a dishwasher. Cleaning and washing dishes used to be my best audiobook time! Plus I’ll be trying to write like a madwoman, so that means less reading of the paper variety. I’ll do my best to average a book a week.

More personally, my husband and I resolve to read devotions and exercise together every day (alternating Pilates and kettlebell). We figure we can hold each other accountable that way. My son is usually in bed by seven, so we’re setting aside 7:00-8:00 PM for devotions/exercise/household chores. Then I get to write for the rest of the evening, and everyone is happy.

Ellie recently made a very good point: “I want to write for the rest of my life, so I need to make writing a healthy habit instead of an obsessive one.” That’s not a direct quote (sorry, Ellie, I can’t remember exactly what you said!), but you get the idea. Don’t shut yourself away and write in every spare second. Find a way to balance family, exercise, writing, and other priorities. Then you’re less likely to get burnt out on any one thing. Easier said than done? We’ll see how balance works in 2010.

Don’t forget—book club on Wednesday! And I’ll resume WERE next Saturday!

Happy New Year!!

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4 thoughts on “Resolutions for 2010

    • Too many books, too little time! I’ll leave Louis and Larry to you, Dad!!

      And once you finish reading all those, I’ll recommend some books for you! *wink*

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