Hello! Hope you had a great end to 2021 and are feeling good about the year ahead. I spent a lot of my break sick (thanks, back-to-back sinus infections), but that’s thankfully behind me now.
Like December, January is usually a pretty reflective month where I focus on new goals for the year and what I hope to achieve. This is also partially because my birthday is a few days away, so I’m planning for big, bright things.
As a writer, one of the most important things to remember about making goals is that you cannot control every aspect of your career. For example, making goals to be published or hit a bestsellers list aren’t solely within your grasp, so if those are your goals and you don’t reach them, it can be really disheartening.
That’s why I tend to break down my thoughts into goals I can attain completely on my own, and dreams I hope will happen but I do not have full control over.
For 2022, my top bookish goals for the year:
Revise my YA gender-swapped reimagining of The Mummy and go on submission to publishers with my agent. I’m beyond excited for this step, no matter what happens! Making it to this stage has been a massive dream of mine for years, so come what may, I’m just thrilled to be in the room.
Write a brand new book, at least the first draft. I’m not sure what will happen with my Mummy book, but if it sells (the dream) or gets a request from a publisher for a revise & resubmission, then I’ll have to work on revisions once more. That said, once I’m on submission, the book is out of my hands for at least a while, and I want to work on another story. I have a few ideas, one in particular at the forefront, but I’m letting my mind wander for a bit.
Apply as a writing mentor. I’ve always wanted to be a mentor for a writing program but have been waiting until I had an agent. I have a particularly sharp editing eye and want to pass along my knowledge, especially since being a mentee in WriteMentor was such a wonderful experience in 2021. I don’t have control over whether I’ll be accepted as a mentor, but I can at least apply!
Read at least 22 books. Yes, I chose this number in honor of 2022! This is either a high or low number for some people, but I try to read a minimum of two books a month. I work full-time and have a decent amount of hobbies and responsibilities in addition to writing novels and beta reading unpublished works, so I try to create attainable reading goals that fit me personally, instead of trying to reach other people’s goals. There was a time years ago where I was reading maybe two or three books a year. Realizing how crucial it is to read as a writer, I started with a smaller goal to read 10 books, and it felt great to work my way up. In 2021, I read 29 books, and audiobooks were a major help to fit my lifestyle. I’ve currently read four books in 2022 and we’re not even two weeks into the year, so I’m feeling good!
My top bookish dreams for the year:
GET A BOOK DEAL! No surprise here! Last year, my biggest dream was to sign with a literary agent who would be an incredible partner for my books and career, and I’m still in awe that I’ve finally reached that dream. I’ll do my absolute best to prepare for a book deal, but ultimately, I can’t force an editor to fall in love with my book or my voice. I’m crossing all my fingers and toes this dream happens!
Attend YALLFest in Charleston. I planned to attend in 2020, but alas, we all had plans in 2020 that didn’t happen. The FOMO was real in 2021 when I saw so many friends and authors I admire were at the event, but the timing simply didn’t work for my schedule. This year, I’m doing everything I can within my power to attend and have it scheduled on my calendar, but it’s still under the “dream” category because I have no idea what the world will look like by the time November rolls around. I’m generally an optimistic person, but I also guard my expectations, so I’m waiting to see where we’re at.
Attend two in-person author events. Same rationale as YALLFest — I’d absolutely love to go to a few author events, but I want to make sure I feel safe attending (if there are even events to be had). Before COVID, this would have been a no-brainer for me to go into my much-loved Manhattan and see a few authors, but times have changed. Still, I’m hopeful!
Make my own “writer retreat.” This could probably go under the Goals section, but I’m putting it here specifically because I’d love to have a retreat that isn’t in my home. Last summer, I made my own little at-home retreat and took a few days off from work, but I’d love to combine my joy of traveling with writing. I have a dream to spend a few days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, writing to my heart’s content among the gorgeous mountains.
I absolutely have more dreams, but they’re more reliant on needing a book deal first. Some of my post-book deal dreams include: having a launch party (or several small ones around the country since I have friends and family all over), going on a book tour, being on an author panel at an event, signing my own books, simply holding my own copy in my hands, seeing it in a bookstore, having art or merch (such as candles) dedicated to my characters, hitting a bestseller list….I really could go on and on. I don’t usually dwell too much on the dreams, and instead try to focus on what’s right in front of me: writing. It can be easy to get wrapped up in those amazing dreams, and I think it’s worth remembering them, but at the end of the day, writing is one of the only things I can control.
But you best believe your girl here will have the most decadent launch party one day if that dream comes true!
Sending fuzzy blankets for this cold winter,
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