Uggh, I just spent the entire morning writing the most generic, random, distasteful and flavorless post about how I plan to be more productive in 2013. How I’m going to write down my daily, weekly and monthly goals, buy a calendar for every room and detail my productivity from minute to minute and… you know what?
SCA-REW that! Honestly. I had a really, awesomely, majorly productive 2012 and, honestly, it FLEW by. I feel like I just posted all those Halloween freebies I wrote this summer and here I am getting ready to focus on Valentine’s Day already and… what the heck!!!
Don’t get me wrong; I love being a YA author and writing about zombies and lightning strikes and “bbbrrraaaaiiinnnsss” and YA writing tips and cute zombie poetry and all the rest, but dang! I’m turning into some kind of zombie writing machine and I’m just afraid if I’m not having any fun, neither will my readers.
SO, on this day of reflection and gratitude, while others make their resolutions to write more, achieve more, do more, I’m committing to being so much less productive -- but WAY more creative -- in 2013. And here’s how:
1.) I’m going to read more. So, I bought this awesome book on the history of monster movies for myself as a pre-Halloween treat and I am barely a quarter of the way through it. We’re talking I bought this sucker three months ago and I’ve barely scratched the surface. That is wrong, and I plan to rectify that about ten seconds after I post this blog! Seriously, reading has always been a joy for me and I’ve been so focused on writing that I’ve barely taken the time to read anything other than my own books! (And even *I* don’t like my own books that much!!)
2.) I’m going to write less. (And enjoy it more!) Don’t get me wrong; I love writing, but last year I wrote four full-length, 60,000-plus-word novels, plus a dozen short stories (or more), two or three dozen poems, just as many “deleted scenes,” countless blog posts and guest posts and random tweets and Facebook shares and emails and… I barely remember any of them!!! This year I pledge to write a LOT less but savor every word I do write so that I learn from it, enjoy it and, hopefully, pass that enjoyment along to my readers.
3.) I’m going to follow fewer rules. I spent not just last year but the last few years slavishly following every rule of writing YA supernatural fiction I could find, and I’m feeling a little restrained. I don’t particularly enjoy that feeling, so this year I’m going to follow fewer rules and have more plain FUN when I write. (Take that, love triangles!!!!)
4.) I’m going to ignore the haters. Every day of 2012 started with a soul-crushing, confidence-sucking stroll through Goodreads where I would read the dumbest, laziest, just mean-spirited 1- and 2-star reviews of nearly every zombie -- and vampire and werewolf and demon -- book I’ve ever written. Forget that. This year I’m writing for myself and my only goal is to make me smile. Repeatedly, widely and often.
5.) I’m going to Slow. It. Down. Seriously. I just can’t keep up this pace for myself and, frankly, what’s the rush? Where am I going that I can’t get there a few months, even a few years, later than I planned? It’s not like I’m earning my living from zombie books (yet), so… this year I’m going to slow down, enjoy the view, interact with more readers, writers, reviewers, teachers, librarians and actual young adults and try to gain some perspective on what I do, how I do it and how to do it better.
Yours in YA,