Accountability Matters: Revisiting My 2021 Resolutions
My intro to the piece I wrote more than year ago about resolutions still applies (sadly), so here you go:
I probably pitch a resolutions piece every year. I like the idea that we used twelve months (or they used us) and now we get a new 12-pack. I believe we can use a "new" year to convince ourselves we have a new opportunity, even if the world is still burning and the pandemic isn't over.
Well, here we are again. You know, because I pitched another resolutions piece. I actually stopped believing in resolutions many years ago. Then, I started believing in them again. Sure, for many people resolutions come down to talking about how they're going to be a better person or save some money or quit smoking or lose some weight, and then they're over the whole thing and back on their bullshit six days later. On the other hand, for some folks—and these are the folks that made me change my mind a couple years ago—resolutions are plans, things they're going to work on. I think it's funny to write a piece like this one and tell the world some of the things you want to accomplish, but it's an entirely different things to come back a year later and own your words. So I'm here to do just that. Here are my resolutions from last year and where I stand on them now.
- I will sell the new novel
I pulled it off! I landed a superb agent and she changed my life. The Devil Takes You Home will be out this August from Mulholland Books. Yeah, mission accomplished.
- I will write the next novel
Well, here's what I said last year: "I'm the slowest writer in the world. It usually takes me two years or more to get a book done. No more. I will get a novel done this year." Haha. Yeah, I didn't finish the next novel. In fact, I ended up spending a lot of writing time editing the novel that will be out in August, as well as writing short stories. The only good thing about that is now I have a deadline for the next one, so my resolution stands for this year...and this time around it's do or die.
- I will develop more workshops and lower the price on every workshop I offer
I did and I did. I think I have some knowledge worth sharing, and I love sharing it. I've worked with some great folks, like The Writers' League of Texas, and other institutions that have allowed me to develop new workshops for them. Also, I made all my personal workshops only $20, because people are broke and we all need a little help. In 2022, I will continue to develop workshops, because there's a lot of new things I've learned and want to share with other writers. Oh, and I'll be making all my workshops $15 for the same reasons mentioned above.
- I will drink from the skulls of my enemies
Here's a little clarifying note from last year: "This is not exactly what it sounds like, but saying it like this makes it sound awesome." Percevived success makes a lot of people dislike you, so I'm happy to report that something awesome happened to me in 2021: I stopped caring a bit. I'm still fighting for diversity and inclusion. I'm still fighting for respect and proper representation. I'm still fighting to get reviews of indie press titles in big venues. But I'm not fighting assholes online. If you don't like me, fuck you and have a nice day. I think I'm getting older and realizing that my time is better spent doing other things. Plus, I have that deadline...
- I will get 25k followers on Twitter
I did it. I teach social media and can tell you why that matters, but I won't do it here. I also don't care about those who think your social media presence is useless. The point is this: I'll keep working hard on developing my platform and using it for good (you know, unlike other authors who use it to say racist things or hate on trans people).
- I will read and review outside of my comfort zone
I did. In fact, I spent April of 2021 trying to write one poetry review for PANK daily. I think I missed a couple days, but I ended up doing at least 25 or 26 poetry book reviews. You know what? Reviewing poetry isn't easy. But I'll do it again this year. I also reviewed graphic novels for Publishers Weekly. If you're a book reviews editor somewhere, get at me. In the meantime, I'll convince LitRector to let me do some reviews again...
- I will do more to pay it forward
I did. I plugged a bunch of books. I read and edited stuff for free. I connected people whenever I could. I blurbed as many books as I could. You know what? It didn't feel like I did nearly enough. I will keep doing all that this year, and I will try to do more of it.
Now to think about some other things I want to accomplish this year besides finishing the next novel...
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