Resolute in 2016

Despite myself, I've fallen into the belief that today marks the beginning of a grand new life, of a great adventure, a brilliant re-imagining of myself. By Dec. 31, 2016, I'll be a new woman, an accomplished woman, an everything-is-right-in-the-world woman. 22940364744_f22f58c216_o

There's this part of me that believes that and this part of me that doesn't. But today, on the first day of the new year, I'm letting the part of me that believes take over. I'm writing resolutions and swearing to follow them through and hoping that in 365 days, I will be everything I am not today.

Most of my resolutions are writing-based, because as great as 2015 was for my journalistic career (getting into grad school, having my first full-time internship, becoming a freelancer at The Mix and blogging for I Am Second), I still have so many unfulfilled writing dreams.

I mean, I want to be a [published] novelist! I want to be a [published] poet! I want to be a [prolific] essayist! And I want an internship in New York City for this summer.

With that in mind, here is a snippet of my 2016 writing resolutions — I'm posting publicly to be held accountable publicly. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a prolific, writing-filled, exciting 2016!

  1. Write one poem every day. So far, I'm batting 100 on this one. That's right, it might only be partway through Jan. 1, but I've already logged one poem for 2016. It can only get better from here!
  2. Write one short essay every week In my Personal Essay class last semester, we did these 20-minute writing exercises that resulted in three fairly well-developed pieces I'm trying to publish. My goal is to do that every week this year: sit down with an idea and a timer set for 20 minutes, and just write. By the end, I should have 52 short essays I can try to publish!
  3. Write one long essay per month Again in said class, we worked on longer, reported essays. They were written in the first person and I got to add my personal flair to them, but they involved research and a whole lot of thought. I want to write one of these essays per month. ***This will most likely be the toughest resolution to stick to, so I'm counting on you to help me! I want to get started within the first three days of every month, so badger me about it!
  4. Finish two novels and do NaNoWriMo This sounds like a handful, but remember, I'm already 100 pages into one of the novels I'm planning on writing — The Langone Five — so I just have to finish it during the semester, write another one during the summer, and then do NaNo in November. Piece of cake, am I right? *laughs wildly, then cries*
  5. GET AN AGENT This is the big one. This is the one that's partially out of my control. THIS IS THE ONE I DESPERATELY, DESPERATELY WANT TO SEE COME TO FRUITION. I've been dreaming of getting a literary agent since July 2014, and I've been querying and writing and revising and querying and waiting and praying and hoping and — you get the picture. I really need an agent to pursue my dream of being a published novelist. 

So there you have it. Five writing goals for 2016. Oh, and meanwhile, I'll finish grad school, work part-time, intern and be involved at church. It's gonna be a crazy year, guys, but it's gonna be great. I'm so excited to see what comes of it!

Here's hoping 2016 is full of nothing but good things and dreams come true. I'm letting myself go wild and fully believe that today can be the beginning of a new phase — the start of something new, if you will.


New November, New Novel

It's November 1st! The day I've been waiting for practically since Nov. 30, 2013. The day I get to start a new novel. 10448609_10152868063464884_7971566235551361068_o

Okay, it's not like I never got to start a novel between Novembers. I did work on two over the summer, in addition to editing the one I wrote last November. BUT this is the month that I get permission to begin, and finish, a novel. I can stay up writing all night without any shame, because hey, it's NaNo.

For those of you who don't know, NaNo is short for NaNoWriMo, which itself is short for National Novel Writing Month. Really it should say International, because it is worldwide, but we'll leave it at that. Basically it's a month when all the writers and aspiring writers commit to writing at least 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. It's possibly the coolest thing ever.

In addition to giving me permission to write the novel, NaNo gives inspiration and motivation. There are pep talks from author's--today's pep talk from Chuck Wendig was actually so beautiful--as well as virtual write-ins and a local group for every region, which provides a large group of people in your area who are doing the same thing you are.

The best thing, though, is All-Night Write. You gather with all the people in your area and write from 9 p.m. til 9 a.m. It's a ton of fun.

But enough about NaNo itself. This year I'm taking advantage of this month to work on a new novel entitled, "Being Kaitlyn." In essence it's about a twin who thinks everyone loves her twin better than her and so she tries to become her twin. Depending on how I write it, it could get really trippy, really fast...I'm excited to see where it goes.

Since I'm not much of a planner, I can honestly say that I have no idea where this is going or what my characters are going to do. I just found out that one of them is an avid Tumblr user, and another character told me he's in love with my protagonist.

I started writing last night at midnight, and so far I've got over 1,700 words...which means I've met my goal for the day and am, actually, ahead of the game! Holla.

As you're reading this, though, I'm locked in a room taking the GRE, hoping and praying that I do well enough to get into grad school. The only problem with taking the GRE on the same day you start a new novel? Distraction. I swear I'm going to spend the whole time thinking about Kaitlyn, Kristina and Drew, wondering what's going to happen next and where they're going to go.

I'm psyched about this story. Because of that, I'll make you a deal: if enough people comment, either here on Facebook, and ask for it, I will post an excerpt in my next blog post.