My goals are a mix of “personal bookish accomplishments” as well as how many books I want to read and where I want to purchase my books.
1. Finish novel and begin querying in Fall 2013.
I’m writing a steampunk novel for my Masters thesis. It’s a retelling of a classic piece of literature, and I’m having a total blast writing it. I’m setting aside the entire months of June and July for revisions (summer vacation from teaching), and August is my deadline for completion! Wish me luck!
2. Graduate with my Masters in Children’s Literature.
Once I have my Masters in hand, my goal is to find a job in Children’s Publishing. I would love to work with middle grade or YA in an editorial or marketing role. I’m currently exploring different avenues and entry level positions.
3. Post at least one book review a week.
My schedule for January has me posting two to three book reviews a week because I’m trying to catch up from my hiatus. Reviews are slated in my posting schedule for Mondays, occasional Wednesdays, and Saturdays. I’d love to keep up a two a week schedule, but as it’s tough for me to READ two books a week (with teaching middle school and writing my thesis), I didn’t think that was a realistic goal for me to maintain.
4. Read 12 debut novels.
Last year was my first year attempting the Debut Author Challenge. I purchased 12 debut novels… but didn’t get around to reading 12 debut novels. This year I’m setting a goal to post a “Debut Review” on the last day of every month. This is a way of setting a deadline for myself, and I work well with deadlines (even the self-imposed kind).
5. Read 3 Newbery books and 3 Printz books.
I took a graduate course in Newbery books as well as heard a guest speaker who served on the Newbery committee. It gave me a real understanding and sense of honor for these awards. I’m always excited to hear what books are awarded medals each year, and I want to continue reading Newbery and Printz award winners each year (not just when I’m taking a class!) I also enjoy trying to figure out why this book was chosen/selected versus other books, and identifying the winner’s merits. I’m a total nerd!
6. Read 7 steampunk novels.
I am likely going to be doing an independent study in the Spring on steampunk, and therefore know I will be reading a bunch of it. I also want to read what is out there in terms of YA steampunk so as to place my own novel in context. Is it similar to what’s already been published? What does it have to offer that’s new? I have some theories, but I really need to read more in order to prove my assumptions correct. Some books on my list: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron, The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress, Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve, and The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann.
7. Read 3-5 contemporary novels.
This is a genre that I’m slowly growing to enjoy. This year I read Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (review forthcoming). All of which I enjoyed, despite not being an avid contemporary reader. This year I will undoubtedly be reading Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen, and Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. I’ll be watching for a few more contemporary reads to add as well.
8. Read 3-5 historical fiction novels.
This is a genre that I used to love. I totally grew up on the American Girl series. (Felicity was my favorite.) I’d love to renew my love of historical fiction because lately I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy and science fiction. I’ve heard great things about Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. But I’ll gladly take recommendations of great historical fiction.
9. Do majority of eBook purchasing from indie booksellers through Kobo.
I’m a little upset by what I’ve read about Amazon’s business practices and their interactions with publishers, authors, and booksellers. Despite loving my Kindle Touch, I want to shift my book purchasing to support independent booksellers. I got an iPad for Christmas and downloaded the Kobo app. Through Kobo, I can purchase eBooks from my favorite indie stores, like Browseabout Books in Rehoboth, Delaware or Politics and Prose in Washington D.C. I want to purchase eBooks from the stores that offer me great book events, opportunities to meet my favorite authors, and a great shopping experience.
10. Start novel #2.
I’m not even done with book one, and I’m already thinking ahead to book two! That’s partially because book two was started before I even began book one. But then there was the “Dystopian Boom” and I realized I had to figure out a way to make my dystopian trilogy different from all the others being offered. I had a unique premise, but I needed a different ending. Most dystopians end with either the protagonist running away from the dystopian society or rebelling against the dystopian society. I wanted an ending that would be neither of those. And I found one! A fantastic twist! I can’t wait to return to this project when I finish my steampunk novel.
Whew! Does anyone else feel like they need to print out all their goals and resolutions and post them on the walls to keep them in sight? I have a lot I want to get done this year!
What are your Bookish Goals?