Happy New Year Word Nerds! We’re saying farewell to 2015 and ringing in 2016 in a big way here at DIY MFA. 2015 brought all kinds of awesome, including our first conference and Gabriela turning in the DIY MFA book! 2016 promises to be even more amazing as we gear up for the publication and a year chock full of writing, writing and more writing. Here’s how we’re getting started!
Writing Resolutions from the DIY MFA Team
Emily: I Resolve to Complete the First Drafts for Two Novels
Sara: I Resolve to Start Pitching My WIP
I try not to make New Year’s Resolutions – because I’m terrified I’ll fail at them! However, one of my goals for 2016 is realistic enough that I feel comfortable (though super-scared) with sharing it: I want to start pitching my YA fantasy novel to agents in 2016.
I haven’t pitched the WIP yet mostly because “it’s not ready.” (In other words, I didn’t want to pitch it too soon, when I’d just started the revising process.) However, I already have a “practice pitch” that I brought to the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference, and I shared it with other attendees to get their feedback. I also asked about the conference’s Pitch Slam to learn how it ran and how to prepare myself when I “take the plunge.”
So, in 2016, I’m taking the pitching plunge. I’m already planning to attend Writer’s Digest Conference in August; and this time, I’ll sign up for the Pitch Slam. As the conference dates come closer, I’ll review my pitch, hone it as necessary, and memorize it as best as I can. I’ll also look into other pitching opportunities such as #PitMad on Twitter. All the necessary steps are there – now my challenge is ensuring I craft that a pitch that convinces agents to read my story.
Bess: I resolve to read 25 Published Books
One of the wonderful things about working as an editor is that reading is my job. It’s also one of the hardest things. I’ve got a constant pile of submissions, and do a lot of beta-reading as well. It’s wonderful, and I’m so happy that I get to spend a lot of my office hours curled around a good story. But the unwelcome side effect? When I get home from work, I’m much more likely to turn on Netflix than crack open a new book, especially if I’m pretty sure that book is going to keep me up past 11:00. In 2015 I ended up reading only a handful of finalized works.
Of course, this is a problem. I don’t think writers can write well or editors can edit well if they’re not reading well. At the same time, I don’t want reading to be a chore. That’s why I’ve resolved to read 25 published books in 2016. My younger self would scoff at the number, calling it far too low, but for me right now, it’s an ambitious, but reachable one that I think will help my career, my writing and my sanity!
Gabriela: I Resolve to Not Make Any Resolutions
So, I’ve stopped believing in resolutions and now focus my efforts almost entirely on the day-to-day work. I plan just enough so I know what to do next and don’t waste time trying to figure that out. The rest of my energy is dedicated to the continual process of small, incremental steps interspersed with tiny shifts and course-corrections when things don’t work out the way I thought. If I were to sum up my “resolution” this year it would be this: Wake. Work. Sleep. Repeat.
Wendy: I Resolve to Read As Much As I Write
And Now it’s Your Turn!
What are your writing resolutions this year? Or are you taking a leaf out of Gabriela’s book and focusing on daily plans and shorter-term goals? Let us know in the comments, or on social media, using the hashtag #5OnFri!