There’s always a huge pressure at following your own resolutions. Of course, you want to succeed that’s why you’re feeling the tension in your shoulder. I decided to make mine more realistic a long time ago. As the book-nerd that I am, I plan to read more books and be kind to myself. I also want to finish at least 12 Korean dramas and movies this year. I’m really terrible at keeping up with TV series and movies, that’s why I’m a reader! I think I could realistically achieve it, especially for the first two, I don’t know about the last part. It would be a challenge, but I will try.
Aren’t you curious on how authors set their New Year’s resolutions? Are they any different than any other person? You will see, because this week, we have 2017 YA debut authors that will share what’s on their list.
Cale Dietrich, Author of The Love Interest
I don’t generally do New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I actually have a few! I think maybe that’s the effect of this year being my debut year. Now that it’s officially 2017 I keep thinking that I only get to be a debut once, so I’m trying to make the most of it. Pretty much all of my resolutions are about trying to make 2017 as awesome as it can be.
I think my biggest resolution for this year is to be louder about things that make me uncomfortable, and to actually confront people if they do something that upsets me. Basically, it’s 2017, so I don’t want to stay silent if something homophobic happens. Not that this happens much (luckily) but I want to be much more vocal about this sort of thing this year.
I also want to read and support as many of my fellow debuts as I can! I’ve already read a bunch and I can’t wait to see those amazing books go out into the world. Speaking of books, I want to actively work at reading and talking about books by marginalised authors, particularly when the books are #ownvoices.
Lastly, I want to eat healthier. Boring, I know, but it’s true. I don’t want to cut out everything good (chocolate is life) but I do want to like, eat more veggies and exercise more. This is the one I think I’m least likely to succeed in, but you know, I’m going to try!
Lilliam Rivera, Author of The Education of Margot Sanchez
New Year’s resolutions can sometimes weigh so heavily at the start of the new year. I’ve decided to stop making long lists of resolutions and pair it down to an important phrase that I can aim for. Because my novel is making it’s debut in February, it’s important for me to not be overwhelmed by everything and just be present. Be present! I want to enjoy every minute meeting young readers. With the way the current political landscape is shaping up to be, 2017 will be a very challenging year for young people, especially young people of color. I want to dedicate the new year in being present, supportive, and to write for those that may feel voiceless.
Laura Silverman, Author of Girl Out of Water
My number one New Year’s resolution is to continue to be more open about what it’s like living with severe chronic pain. This time last year I really didn’t talk about it at all, and I’m slowly becoming more comfortable telling people about my health problems and how deeply they affect my day-to-day life (as in, most days I literally have to spend about 90-95% of my day in my room). Instead of getting frustrated by people constantly not getting it, I want to try and at least give them some perspective to understand what I deal with. It’s hard to talk about something so personal, and sometimes the online responses, even coming from good places, make it worse, but I’ve also received messages of thank you, me too. I want people to know they’re not alone in this, and I want to know I’m not alone in this.
My second resolution is to reach out to my friends more often. It’s easy for them to drift away because I can’t participate much offline, but if I’m sitting around, hurt they haven’t messaged me for awhile, maybe they’re dealing with a pain I’m not aware of, sitting around hurt I haven’t messaged them. Sometimes I literally don’t have the energy to catch up with my friends, but on good days, I want to prioritize reaching out to them.
My third resolution is to keep pursuing a diagnosis. My chronic pain is over five years undiagnosed. After seeing countless doctors and running countless tests and trying countless therapies, it’s tempting to give up pursuit. Doctor’s appointments are exhausting, we never find answers, and then I always just feel like I wasted a good writing day. But I’m only twenty-six – who knows, maybe that next appointment will be the one. Okay, probably not. But maybe. I can’t stop looking.
And lastly: writing goals! I have a lot of them, and I just wrote them all down in a mini calendar. I’m working on my second book and hopefully I’ll be able to hit my goals and stay on track. I’m going to work incredibly hard to do so, but I’m also going to try and promise not to be mad at myself if I literally just can’t hit the goals. My limitations are hard enough – I don’t need to make myself feel guilty about it. So I’m going to do my best to keep up with my writing chart, but I’m also going to try and accept that sometimes my best isn’t what I necessarily had in mind.
Misa Sugiura, Author of It’s Not Like It’s a Secret
It’s Not Like It’s A Secret is actually the result of new year’s resolution to write a novel. More specifically, it was my answer two years ago the question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?” My answer was, “Write a novel.” And so I did.
Ironically, despite the success I had with that answer–or perhaps because of it–the fear has taken over again. A new question, “What if I can’t do it again?” looms over me every time I sit down to work on the next book. Nothing seems good enough. Maybe that’s a good thing–my standards for myself have risen. But fear of not being able to meet those standards has become a big wall between me and progress on my second book. So this year I think it’s back to asking the original question, tailored to my new situation:
What would I write if I weren’t afraid to fail?
Hopefully you’ll read my answer next year. Here’s to a year of living and writing fearlessly.