Hi friends! 2014 is almost over (less than 7 more hours for me in Maryland!). Yesterday I shared my reading goals for 2015. Today I thought I’d re-list my 2014 goals and see how I did accomplishing them. Some I completed. Other’s I struggled with. Even though I didn’t complete every item on the list, I’m still really proud of myself.
1. Read 110 Books. I started slow on this one, but ended up surpassing my goal by reading 132 books this year for the win.
2. Read Anna Karenina, Don Quixote, and The Corrections. I made it through Anna Karenina and The Corrections, but Don Quixote still eludes me. Someday. Maybe.
3. Read The House of Mirth, Atlas Shrugged, and Absalom, Absalom. I read over a hundred pages of Atlas Shrugged before deciding it wasn’t worth my time. I definitely got something out of reading The Fountainhead, but ultimately I don’t think Ayn Rand is for me. Didn’t make it to either of the other books. In general, this year I decided I needed to care less about reading books I thought I “should” be reading.
4. Read more debut authors and get more advance copies to review from publishers. I read 4 or 5 ARC’s and got more comfortable with NetGalley, although I really need to improve on this in 2015. I read 6 recent debuts this year. Not so great, but not too bad.
5. Begin Querying my manuscript. Check! I began querying Dreamers with a lot of vigor in February and March, then stopped amid a lot of confusion (which I wrote about here). I’ve queried a bit more since then and showed my manuscript to a few agents I’ve met in New York (what is my life?!?!) who’ve expressed interest. After receiving two of the kindest, most detailed and thoughtful rejections ever in December I’m putting this one in the drawer, at least for now. Still, it’s been a journey that I’ve learned so much through.
6. Fast draft a new novel: In about six weeks over the summer I wrote a 200 page draft of a re-imagining of The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was set in the present in an artistic boarding school. Instead of featuring a character who stayed the same age while his picture aged, my main character’s appearance changed to match whatever his portrait looked like. I still like the idea, but I haven’t revisited it since I finished. Might bring this back up in my workshop this spring.
7. Read at least three LGBT young adult books. I definitely fulfilled this one. I read at least ten books with an important LGBT character, and six books with an LGBT protagonist. They were all actually excellent, but two that stand out are Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Openly Straight.
8. Read at least three banned books: Check! Hard to know how many of the books I’ve read this year have been banned at some point (for example probably all of the LGBT books have been banned somewhere by someone) but I definitely hit at more than three on the list of the most frequently banned books in America.
9. Read at least three speculative fiction books by/about persons of color. The Unwind series, by Neal Shusterman, and the Shatter Me books, by Tahereh Mafi, were some of my favorite books of the year and constituted a huge chunk of the 132 books I read this year. I also read Crossroads, by Mary Ting.
10. Begin an MFA program in creative writing in the fall: Accomplished! I’m now a quarter of the way through the New School’s MFA in writing for children program. It’s been more than I ever could have hoped for or expected.
So that’s 2014 for me! How about you? What goals did you accomplish? Which ones did you not get to? And what do you hope to read in 2015?