2017 is going to be an interesting year. In 2015 and 2016, I had new books coming out but this year, I do not (I know! Sad!). However, I do have a new middle grade series beginning in early 2018 which I’m very excited about and a couple surprises in store for 2017 too (sorry, you’ll just have to wait and see :P). So this year my focus will be on looking head and laying the ground work for the great things on the horizon in 2018.
Which essentially means writing lots and lots of words. Words in books (at least 3!), but also words in letters to my state representatives, house and senate committees, etc. about issues that are important to me. 2018 is also a year for midterm elections and a pivotal opportunity to gain ground for the rights the incoming administration threatens. I know a lot of people say that writers should keep politics out of their books and online presence — personally, I think that perhaps they don’t quite understand the nature of writing. Writing is a conduit for freedom of expression. It is a thing we are able to do freely in this country due to the protections of the First Amendment. Writing is an inherently political act, and like it or not, we (at the very least) subconsciously imbue our works with our own moral, ethical, and political undertones. Ignoring that, denying that, feels dishonest to me.
I think recognizing this is particularly important when writing for children. Teens and tweens are much smarter than they are often given credit for being, and they’re aware of what’s going on in the world. Avoiding those issues is doing them a disservice and denying them the chance to process their fears in a safe space: within the pages of a book. Themes of being bullied, parents getting a divorce, family members battling a disease are seen in all types of fiction from contemporary to fantasy to post-apocalyptic. Tackling any of the many potential issues from the incoming administration is no different — it’s about to become a real part of our lives. Looking the other way will not change that. So, I’ll be doing my part in the ways that I can. Writing stories and writing letters and doing what I can to help create positive change.
Anyway, it’s tradition for me to post my fiction writing goals on my blog each year to keep myself accountable. Last year, I managed to complete all the “Must Dos” and all but one of the “Want To Dos” which is not too shabby. Maybe this will be the year I’ll finally cross everything off this list!
- Finish editing Shadow Weaver
- Finish drafting secret MG project
- Draft the sequel to Shadow Weaver
- Prepare to launch Shadow Weaver
WANT TO DO:
- Finish drafting YA sci-fi retelling of Helen of Troy
- Revise YA cyborg novel
- Revise YA fantasy novella
- Begin all-out rewrite of my very first novel (this has been on many years’ “might do” list – obviously the “might” turned into “not-quite-yet”).