The year is winding down, which means everyone is gearing up to share their New Year’s resolutions.
I’ve already made a list of goals I want to accomplish (see my 29 Things to Do Before Age 29 on The Times website), but I also have a few reading- and writing-related goals I want to accomplish in 2015.
So here they are — six literary goals for 2015.
- Join two reading- or writing-related organizations. I have had my eye on a few organizations, both local and national, and want to join at least two of them. One is the Starved Rock Reading Council, a chapter of the Illinois Reading Council, which promotes literacy among all education levels. Then there is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a national network of children’s book authors and artists. Another is the Friends of the Library, a group that raises money and donates time to the Streator Public Library. A fellow writer in Streator also has mentioned creating a writer’s group. Readers and writers should seize the opportunity to network with peers who share their literary interests and professional aspirations.
- Offer creative writing lessons to elementary school children. As solitary as writers and readers can be, most of us can’t resist “talking shop.” Leading a few creative writing lessons and activities — especially among young, wildly imaginative minds — is appealing. My goal is to pack up my writing experiences and visit a few local classrooms.
- Read less. When I first read the headline to Jeremy Anderberg’s Book Riot blog (“In 2015, I hereby resolve to read … less?“), I was a bit scandalized … and also knew there had to be a catch. So I clicked the link to read the blog. It turns out Anderberg has good reason to read a bit less. “It mostly comes down to me wanting to accomplish more with my free time than just reading,” Anderberg writes. “… I firmly believe that reading should compel us to growth. And at some point, a point which will be different for each person, it no longer does that. It reaches oversaturation. … If we just read read read forever, what’s the point? Shouldn’t our reading compel us to action in some way?”
- Be more purposeful in book selection. Hand-in-hand with reading less, I want to be more purposeful in what I read. Certainly, there will be books I grab off the shelf for sheer entertainment. But I need to stop reading for quantity (goodbye, Goodreads challenge) and read for quality. Likewise, I want to take time to savor and absorb what I read, not rush through one text so I can tally it off and then grab the next one to read as fast as I can.
- Write longhand and be more committed to journaling. A lot of great fiction pours forth at the keyboard, but writing longhand in journals always has been my way of letting my brain reset and find inspiration. In the past decade, my journaling has trickled down to a drip. This year will be the year I open the floodgates on journaling.
- Start my day with writing. On Jan. 2, I change from a day shift at our local newspaper to a night shift to work as the night editor. (This is a positive thing — I’ve never been much of a morning person.) This means my mornings are wide open now. Even though the plan is to sleep in a bit, I plan to start my day with writing when my mind is fresh and stress levels are low. (Rather than the alternative of ending my day with writing after hours spent at the office.)
- What are your literary aspirations for 2015? Strike up a conversation in the comments below!