2017 Goals

It's that time of year! I love goal setting and making plans, so the beginning of the year is always a fun time for me. There's so much possibility at the beginning of the year, and so much energy to go after your dreams.

This year feels a little different. I know I'm not the only one dreading the upcoming inauguration. I worry about what will happen to the rights and safety of so many marginalized communities, and I'm prepared to do my part to resist whatever horrific policies come our way.

While I don't think we should normalize what's happening in politics (because it is NOT normal, and it is NOT okay), I do think finding some normalcy--especially if you're part of a marginalized community--is a good thing. So to that end, I'm embracing my usual, optimistic, goal writing self today.

A quick note on terminology: I use the term "dream" to refer to something that you cannot fully control. A "goal" refers to something that you control. In other words, signing with an agent is a dream while querying your novel is a goal.

My 2017 Writing Goals

Overall Goal/Dream:

Better balance my writing goals with my personal life. (I have a tendency to hyper focus on writing and forget to do things like cook dinner and visit friends. This year I want to work toward my goals without ignoring everything else.)

Short-term Goals (first half of year):

  1. Revise YA for agent
  2. Revise MG for agent
  3. Plot collaborative book with CP
  4. Provide free writing workshops for community
  5. Read 15 books (8+ written by authors of color)

Long-term Goals (second half of year):

  1. Draft collaborative project
  2. Additional revisions for agent
  3. Brainstorm next solo project
  4. Attend a writing conference or select one for 2018
  5. Read 15 books (8+ written by authors of color)

A note about reading goals. Last year I tried to read more books by marginalized authors, but when I looked back at my Goodreads challenge for the year, I realized that while I'd read many LGBTQ+ authors, all but two of the authors were white. That is a HUGE failure on my part. I've been part of the discussions of diversity in kidlit too long for this to be acceptable. This year I'm actively making sure I read books by authors of color (and so far those books have been AMAZING. I'd been missing out on so many awesome stories!).

I encourage all readers (especially if you're white) to take a look at what you're reading and make sure you're walking the walk and not just talking the talk when it comes to supporting diversity. Otherwise, we're complicit in publishing's white supremacy problem.

Now you tell me. What are your writing (or reading) goals for 2017?