Writerly Resolutions 2021

Let’s face it: 2020 hasn’t been a very fun year. But we here at Spooky Middle Grade believe better times are coming, and we’re ready to open 2021 with a new slate of goals and pledges. We recently asked ourselves what Writerly Resolutions for the New Year we’d like to tackle, and while accumulating our list, we also received resolutions from a couple of New York Times-bestselling authors of adventurous (and sometimes spooky) tales for kids.

Let’s kick off the fun with . . .

J.C. Cervantes

J.C. Cervantes, NYT-bestselling author of The Storm Runner series:

“This coming year I plan to finish 1 and ¾ books which may contain monsters, aliens, and ghosts.”

Victoria Piontek_Author Photo

Victoria Piontek, Author of The Spirit of Cattail County:

“My new year’s resolution is all about self-care and balance. I have a propensity for binge writing, so things can get off-kilter when I’m working on a project. This year, I want to make sure I take regular breaks for proper meals (no more coffee only breakfasts) and to squeeze in a run or yoga.”

SamanthaMClark_author photo LG

Samantha M. Clark, Author of Arrow (June 2021) and The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast

“I’ve got two new middle-grade novels coming out in 2021, which will keep me very busy. So my main resolution for next year is to maintain good balance between work and life. Plus, I’d like to make the time to read lots of wonderful new spooky books.”

Jonathan Auxier

Jonathan Auxier, NYT-bestselling author of The Fabled Stables and Sweep:

“My resolution is to learn to draft in longhand so that I never have to touch my computer again.”

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Kim Ventrella, Author of The Secret Life of Sam and Hello, Future Me:

“This upcoming year is all about balance. No more frantic binge-writing sessions followed by periods of hibernation. I’m using the Forest app to build consistent periods of focus into every day, for both writing, reading and other activities. I’m already finding this process much better for my mental health. It’s stunning how much you can accomplishment in a simple 25-minute focus session. And this more balanced, incremental approach is helping me avoid the main downfall of my old process, i.e. those long stretches of recovery when I wasn’t writing. Like most writers, I’m generally a happier person when I’m working. This way, I experience the joy of writing all the time, just not in such huge, intense doses.”

Cynthia Reeg 8/19/2016 www.timparkerphoto.com

Cynthia Reeg, Author of the Monster or Die series:

“My resolution is to continue improving my literary craft, encouraging my writer friends, and inspiring kids to connect with books.”

Brad McLelland, Co-author of the Legends of the Lost Causes trilogy:

“I’m not the best resolution-maker (and I’m really bad at keeping them), but in 2021 I’m committed to writing the middle-grade novel I’ve had in my heart and head for more than fifteen years. It’s a project I’ve struggled with for a long time because I haven’t been able to find the right “doorway” into its unique and haunting world. But now I think I have that doorway (as well as a ton of notes, and a pretty thorough outline), and I feel ready to tackle it. I’m also going to take more long walks through the woods and tell my stepdaughter more ridiculous Dad jokes.”    

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Lisa Schmid, Author of Ollie Oxley and The Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold:

“I am typically not a New Years’ resolution kind of a gal, but after the crazy year we’ve just experienced, I am ready to throw down. My 2021 resolution is to complete my second middle-grade novel by the end of the summer. And now that I have put that out to the universe, I better make it happen. Bring it on 2021!”

S.A. Larsen, Author of Motley Education and Marked Beauty:

“I plan to work on two short story writing sessions a month to hone my craft and technique skills, and to let ideas flow. You know, exercise that writing muscle.”💪

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Janet Fox, Author of The Artifact Hunters:

My Writerly Resolutions for 2021:

Finish this Covid novel — no, it’s not about Covid, but I never would’ve written it without all that extra time last spring — by the end of January. Start something new . . . but I don’t know what. That will require brainstorming or perhaps just daydreaming. Exercise every day, because that helps me write. Get that vaccine so I can keep on writing.

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Lorien Lawrence, Author of The Stitchers:

“My resolution for 2021 is to try and appreciate small successes. Sometimes it’s hard not to compare my career to others, but this coming year I just want to try and enjoy my own journey.”

One thought on “Writerly Resolutions 2021

  1. I was just thinking about this so I might as well broadcast my resolution. Today I worked on a WIP that was So Much Fun to write. I resolve to maintain that feeling, even when the writing is challenging. I love to write and it feeds my soul. If it’s not So Much Fun, I will stop and switch gears instead of plodding (ha ha) forward. 🙏

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