We are nearly twelve days into the new year of 2016, and this is the time when all of those ambitious, well-intentioned resolutions begin to slowly show cracks of weakness in the foundation. A few more fledgling weeks and many resolutions will seem like a fading dream, something that we wanted to do but, perhaps, next year will work a little better. But this eleventh day marks the bold moment when I step forward and declare to the world what I aim to do as a writer this year. Part of being a good writer is being a good reader, which means I will be including a reading challenge. Another part of being a good writer is reading across my own genre and audience, which means I will be coming up with a second reading challenge in the next week or so to bridge that gap. And, of course, there will be writing-related resolutions.

READING RESOLUTIONS, PART I

My sister shared a great reading challenge on Facebook, which comes courtesy of Modern Mrs. Darcy. I made most of my selections that same afternoon and have already plowed through the first 224 pages of The Count of Monte Cristo so far this year. I encourage my followers to take up this challenge as well, since 12 books is a very manageable feat and, I think, my next post may involve this challenge as well with a few recommendations geared toward those reluctant readers.

Reading Challenge

And here is my finalized list (with a pair of books taking up the #3 spot):

1. Calamity by Brandon Sanderson (Coming 2/16/16)
2. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
3. The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson & The Poetic Edda
4. Redshirts by John Scalzi
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
6. Splintered by A.G. Howard
7. The Aeneid by Virgil
8. The Decameron by Boccaccio
9. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
10. Arthurian Romances by Chretien de Troyes
11. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
12. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

As you can see, many of these books either fill in the gaps for some classics I have meant to read and not gotten around to yet or belong to the wonderful category of Medieval Literature in some fashion, which is my passion outside of Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

WRITING RESOLUTIONS

As Ava Jae mentions in her video, resolutions for writers should not be to get a book deal or to land an agent. Those are things out of a writer’s control. Instead it should be a resolution that the writer can accomplish without depending upon outside help. Therefore here are my resolutions for writing:

  1. To publish 50 blog posts in 2016, which amounts to about one a week from this point onward. My plan is to post on Saturday and to cover writing topics, provide reading and writing updates, and more. This helps me to build my platform as an author.
  2. To post a Facebook Status and a Tweet twice a week, on two separate days. This will not include the ones that come from making these blog posts, nor will simply sharing/retweeting something else count. This is, again, to help me build a platform as an author and hopefully gain some followers and, in turn, readers.
  3. To write 4 days a week, edit one day a week, and post on my blog one day a week. That gives me one free day each week to do whatever draws my interest for the day, which could be a complete rest day. The amount of writing and editing will not be dictated, as some days it might be pushing it to find time to write a paragraph. But if that is all I can write, at least I will write that much!
  4. To submit at least one short story or poem per month to a magazine, journal, or other venue. A small, but steady, trickle of outgoing submissions should, hopefully, increase my chances of getting a few more things accepted and published this year.
  5. Large goals: Write 6 new short stories and 1 new book manuscript this year. That means a short story every other month while also hammering out a first draft of a novel. It may be a sequel, or it may be something completely new and unrelated. A few weeks of brainstorming, while working on short stories, should give some clarity. I hope to have the book chosen by the time this month ends.

So there you go. Five writing resolutions. Thirteen books on my reading resolutions list. And an upcoming Sci-Fi/Fantasy Middle-Grade/YA reading list to pair with it.

What are some reading or writing resolutions you have made for the year?