I love New Years resolutions. That time in between the rush of Christmas and the New Year is the perfect time to reflect and to make plans. 2015 was a thrilling year I won’t forget. I signed with my agent in January, sold THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING (and a second book!) in March, and to several other foreign publishers in the spring. I spent the summer revising with my editor. The fall was filled with exciting first-time author milestones like getting my portrait taken for the jacket, seeing my cover for the first time and going to my publisher’s office for my first marketing meeting. At the beginning of December, right before my crazy season at work, I turned in my copy-edited manuscript. While I wouldn’t change a thing about last year, there are some things I want to do differently next year. Here are my writing resolutions for 2016:
1. Read more. I tend not to read a lot of fiction while I am writing, which was fine when I was working on my own schedule and writing in spurts. But with the sale of my first and second books, I know I need to change my feelings about reading while writing. I need to do both, all the time! Reading is one of my greatest loves, and it’s a fundamental part of being a writer. I learn craft from every novel I read. So this year I plan to read more widely, and to carve out at least an hour of reading time everyday.
2. Write freely. This year was all about revision. While I did write some new scenes during the revision process, I didn’t get into that wonderful, dreamy, free space when I am creating the characters and story. My writing-a-first-draft brain is totally different than my revision-brain. I am so excited to get to work on book two, and to be back in that day-dreamy part of myself where anything is possible.
3. Be present. This resolution feels like the most important one, and the most challenging. I know this year is going to be thrilling. My book is going to be published! It is going to be a physical book that I can see in a bookstore! There will be reviews, there will be readings, there will be events. All dream-come-true stuff. I don’t want to miss it! But I know first-hand how easy it is to get caught up in the excitement (and anxiety!) of every step, and how easy it is to get thrown when things don’t go as planned (or hoped for). I want to make sure that I take the time to slow down and savor the experience. I plan to tackle this resolution by returning to my daily meditation practice and making sure I get time outside everyday—my two sure-fire ways for me to keep grounded.
May you all have the cheeriest, creative, book-filled New Year! Thank you so much reading the Debutante Ball, and being with us on our paths to publication!