Reading (and writing!) Resolutions for 2016

I feel like my resolutions are getting boring because they are almost always pretty similar. Here are a few (not quite ten) reading and writing goals I have for the year. Let me know yours in the comments so we can cheer each other on!

  • Read 100 books (if I don’t list it I won’t do it).
  • Read diversely. This means race, religion, mental health, nationality, ability, body type, sexuality and sexual orientation, and the many other ways it is beneficial to read and support books with diverse authors and diverse characters.
  • Read debut fiction and new releases.
  • Read House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton. It’s been a goal since 2008 – hopefully 2016 is the year.
  • Complete a draft of a novel that is ready to be queried (and query it). Thesis semester, I’m looking at you.
  • Complete a first draft of another project. If the only thing I can control about this process is the writing, I want a back up project going to keep the pressure lower on whatever I’m querying.
  • Graduate my MFA program. (Hopefully this one won’t be too hard).
  • Take advantage of all the readings and networking opportunities and panels that I have because I live in New York.
  • Keep poetry a part of my life.

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly book meme and happy, happy New Year!

2015 Reading Resolutions: How I Did

Because I like to set lots and lots of goals for myself and because of this top ten tuesday post, I set a bunch (or 10 to be exact) reading resolutions for the year. Overall, I did a great job … which isn’t surprising since I’m in school and my job is partially to read lots and lots of books. One resolution did still allude me … my Moby Dick (although I have a feeling I will like this book way way way way more than I liked Moby Dick). Read on to see the results of my year of reading. Sorry (not sorry) it seems so braggy: Continue reading

Most Popular Posts of 2014

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Happy New Years friends and readers! I hope everyone had a lovely night last night. Mine included crab cakes, Settlers of Catan (my new obsession), Frozen decorations, fireworks, and a tiny bit of dancing. I’d love to hear about yours in the comments. Before moving on with the posts of 2015, I thought I’d list some of my most popular posts from 2014. Here we go!  Continue reading

Top 10 Bookish Resolutions for 2015

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I have two big resolutions for 2015. The first is to write every day. It might just be a sentence or a section I reread out loud to see how it sounds, but I really want to try to interact with my fiction writing every day of 2015. We’ll see how it goes. My second resolution, which is more personal, is to stop not doing nice things for people because I’m nervous or embarrassed about it. Too often I don’t give someone a compliment or write them a letter or whatever because I think to myself What if that is totally embarrassing. Hopefully that will end in 2015.

So now that I’ve got those out of the way, here are ten things I hope to accomplish in my reading and book blogging this year. These goals are secondary to to what I wrote above, but I still hope to cross at least some of them off the list.  Continue reading

Checking In On My Reading Resolutions

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You guys, how did it become April already? I know time flies when you’re having fun (and sometimes when you’re not having fun), but this is ridiculous. We are already over a quarter of the way through 2014!

In January I made some pretty crazy reading resolutions for this year. I’m not sure if I’m going to complete all of them, but I thought I would write a quick post to check in and see how I’m doing.  Continue reading

14 Reading Challenges for 2014

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Even though we are three days into the new year, I’m still making up my resolutions and new habits I would like to incorporate into my life in 2014. I know that I am going to be reading Anna Karenina, The Corrections, and Don Quixote along with my sister. I’ve also set my goodreads challenge at 110 books … which frankly makes me feel like I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew. While I’m still solidifying my other reading goals for the year, here are 14 reading challenges for 2014 that may be of interest.

Continue reading

I Need Some Motivation…

The new year and last Sunday’s links post have me thinking about what motivates people, more specifically what motivates me. Why do people make New Years resolutions as opposed to, as one of my favorite people to Facebook stalk pointed out, not make March resolutions? What is it about the power of January 1 that makes people think they will accomplish things they’ve failed do throughout 2011, or even throughout their whole lives?

I always make New Years resolutions. And I almost always keep them. This isn’t because of my superior willpower. Instead, I attribute it to my ability to choose either very doable, common sense resolutions or a resolution so vague you have to try not to keep it. To give you an idea of where I’m going… 2005 = answering my cell more. 2009 = drink more water. 2011 = floss and never look back.

When I get specific and think about what I really want to accomplish, whether it be in a year, a month or a weekend, I tend to over promise. Basically I make a list so long that I set myself up for failure.  I will write a novel, get a job, and learn to play the guitar this January, then in February… Then I don’t accomplish any of these things and feel like a total jerk.

This is part of the reason I have a really hard time with setting specific goals when it comes to reading or writing. I abysmally failed my goodreads challenge last year and have extended my “deadline” for finishing the first draft of my current writing project too many times to remember. I think originally it would be finished sometime in 2009 (I didn’t actually start typing words until October 2010).

So if tough love and deadlines don’t work, what does? If I knew, I certainly be charging you all for that information.  When I wasn’t working last fall, I thought I stumbled onto this secret of all writing/weight loss goals. I only allowed myself to eat calories that corresponded to the number of words I’d written so far that day. I had to write 300 words before I could eat my cheerios. Did it work? Kind of, I wrote about 80 pages and lost 5 pounds. Was it crazy? Yes, but I felt much better about myself after reading about a writer who makes himself write 1,000 words before he goes to the bathroom every morning. Talk about motivation.

If anyone else has a good method or funny story about how to stay motivated let me know. Preferably one that doesn’t lead to you almost fainting in your Jazzercise class.