Three habits I plan to maintain for a joyful 2019

Happy New Year to the lovely readers of this blog! I hope you had a wonderful break and are not starting 2019 with a fever, like me!

This year is a pretty monumental year for me and a lot of my loved ones. Friends are moving back home, others are getting married, and others are pursuing new callings and careers.

And of course, THEY COULD HAVE NAMED HER ANYTHING will be published this year! I was actually reminded of that fact early morning on January 1st, when I woke up to find that my book had been included on this fantastic Electric Literature round-up by R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries.

What a thrilling way to greet the new year!

But because I know this year will already be busy, I’ve decided not to make any resolutions but to just continue some of the good habits I started in 2018.

The first good habit I want to keep is to continue reading short stories. There is so much great online lit out there, and I like being able to support the small journals and magazines that are consistently publishing great work from emerging writers — among my favorites are Barrelhouse, Joyland, and Kweli Journal.

The other good habit I definitely want to maintain is to keep working on my second novel. During #NaNoWriMo, I wrote about 40,000 words, and I was shocked that I was able to produce so much, given that I usually work much slower than that. Since then, my goal has been to meet a 20,000 word count each month, which I’ve actually been able to achieve. By the end of February, I should have at least a full draft, and if I’m REALLY productive (which is possible, given that my boyfriend will be away that month traveling) then said draft will be polished enough to be read by trusted friends.

Lastly, I want to stay inspired by meeting other writers, readers, and overall dope people. One of the most fun things about writing is the fellow weirdos you meet through it.

Hoping this year is a productive & joyous one for you, readers!

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Stephanie Jimenez

Stephanie Jimenez is a former Fulbright recipient and Prep for Prep alumna. She is based in Queens, New York, and her work has appeared in The Guardian, O! the Oprah Magazine, Entropy, and more. Her debut novel, THEY COULD HAVE NAMED HER ANYTHING, will be published in the summer of 2019 (Little A). Follow her @estefsays.