Goals and resolutions from other authors and creatives

After I wrote up my own resolutions in a previous post, my partner (in the domestic sense) suggested that maybe I should reach out and see what sort of resolutions other authors and creative people had. I panned on it at first, thinking that the response would be tepid at best. To my surprise and delight, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who agreed to take part. Thanks to each of you below who took time out of your busy lives to humor me.

Some of these folks I follow on Twitter, some I’m friends with offline. There are quite a number of authors in the mix, for obvious reasons, but there are people who also add teacher or game designer, editor or publisher to their daily duties. Each of them have (I think) some interesting perspective on their coming year and what they would like to achieve.

Jonathan Maberry

 

This year is all about going to the next level. I have a massive writing challenge already in front of me in that I am contractually obligation to write three complete novels (an action thriller, a horror novel, and a teen mystery-thriller) over the next ten months. That’s close to three hundred thousand words, final draft. So I have to up my game to deliver those books on time and at my top level of artistic skill. And, damn it, I will. I’m also pitching some projects to Hollywood this year. I have one film in development, but I want to get much more involved in new film and/or TV projects. (Oh yeah, and to lose weight, exercise more, yada yada…).

Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestseller, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winner and Marvel Comics writer. Find him on twitter @JonathanMaberry

Damien W. Grintalis

 

 As I’ve grown as a writer, my writing speed has taken a downturn. This year, I hope to increase my daily word count while not sacrificing quality. I also resolve to try and stop beating myself up about perceived failures and instead focus on improving.

Damien W. Grintalis is the author of numerous short stories and her first novel, Ink was published in December 2012. Find her online at her website or on Twitter @dwgrintalis.

Victor LaValle

 

 My resolution is to write a “true” horror novel this year. Some shit that’ll give Satan bad dreams.

 

Victor LaValle is the author of the recently published Devil in Silver and several other novelsFollow his twitter account here.

Dan Browne

 

After several years of writing short stories and essays, the time is nigh to get started on a book-length project. But what? And can I wait till I’m all caught up on Homeland?

Much to his accountant’s chagrin, Daniel Browne is not the author of The Da Vinci Code. His fiction has appeared most recently in 40 Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, The Pinch, and Drunken Boat, and he has contributed nonfiction to The Oxford American, The Believer, PopMatters, The Forward, and Mojo Magazine, among others. He grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lisa and toothy mutt Mabel. Visit him on tumblr.

Larime Taylor

 

I’m horrible at these. I guess mine would be to get my comic a publisher and start clawing my way out of poverty.

 

Larime Taylor is a disabled mouth artist and graphic novelist, his latest work is Dark Zoey. Follow him at his website.

Camille Alexa

Hi! I don’t make New Year resolutions, but writerly speaking I think (quoting your blog) “finish the damn book” is a good perennial standby.

Camille Alexa is author of Push of the Sky, a collection of short works. She has publishing credits in numerous magazines and anthologies, find out more at her website and follow her on twitter @camillealexa

Vanessa Davis

Vanessa DavisWell my mom once told me to “Do it, and screw it!” in reference to second-guessing yourself. Just do it and worry about it later.

Vanessa Davis is an illustrator and cartoonist with numerous credits including The New York Times and Tablet Magazine. Her latest collection is Make Me a Woman. Find her at her Spaniel Rage or @squintables.

Michael Falk

 

I want to finish another game and release another album in 2013, and my plan to accomplish those things is to simply start working. Let me explain: It sounds like such a simple thing, but when you’re working on a large-scale creative project — especially when you’re only working on it in your free time in the evening after spending 8+ hours at your day job — it’s often difficult to get motivated to tackle the next big chunk of work. It’s like staring up a mountain and having no idea how to start climbing. It’s daunting, and that makes it easy to get distracted with leisure activities and just tell yourself you work on it tomorrow. The key moment in this scenario is to just start working. You don’t have to climb the mountain, you just have to do a little work. Instead of turning on the TV or picking up a book or checking Facebook or Twitter, tell yourself you’re going to do 20 minutes of work on your project; just some tiny slice of the project. The beauty is that it’s easier to get motivated for that type of work, and almost invariably 20 minutes becomes 1 hour, and 1 hour becomes 3 hours, and the next thing you know, you’ve gotten a hell of a lot of work done.

I can’t find the link, but I read a great blog about this a couple months ago. I wish I could give the original author credit. At any rate, I experimented with this style of work fairly often last year, and it was really effective for me. I’m going to try to make that my guiding principle for 2013.

Michael Falk is the creator of the arcade-style game Ms. Particle-Man, available for iOS, Windows, Silverlight and Xbox360. Follow him on twitter @picobots.

Lisa Cericola

 

This is something I’m always trying to work on professionally (and personally), but I’m trying to be more open-minded and open to change in 2013. It’s a cliche, but the only constant in the digital world is change, and my natural impulse is to resist that. Right now, “sharability” is the buzz word around my office, which means shifting our voice and the type of content we’re creating in a big way. There’s a whole lot of junk food on the Internet that’s designed to get people to click but doesn’t have anything worthwhile to say. I always feel duped when I click on an exciting-sounding headline that leads to a non-story, or a headline that’s completely misleading. So the biggest challenge for me is creating content that’s attention-grabbing enough to stand out in the crowd and drive uniques but that still has real substance behind it to make it worth a read, and a re-visit. And that means being more open-minded, strategic and creative.

Lisa Cericola is the senior food editor at iVillage and author of Dinner Party, a food blog about cooking and entertaining at home.

Jason Sizemore

 

I resolve to stop biting off more than I can chew. So many projects, so little time.

 

Jason Sizemore is a writer and the editor and publisher of Apex Magazine. Find out more about him at Apex Magazine.

Lesley Conner

 

My goal for 2013 is to keep learning. Since I started working for Apex, I’ve been faced with new tasks and challenges on an almost daily basis. The same is true for my writing. There’s always something new to learn, new ways to make myself better and challenge myself.

Lesley Conner is the Social Media and Assistant Editor for Apex Publications. Find her at her personal website here.

Janet Harriett

 

My goal for 2013 is just what it says on the coffee mug: global domination. In all seriousness, I’m not one for setting goals a year at a time. Too much can change in 12 months. In January 2012, I had been learning the publishing ropes for about four months, doing odd bits of editing and administrative work for Jason Sizemore. The prospect of working with Apex in any official capacity, much less as senior editor, was not even on my radar. Who knows what opportunities will pop up three months from now that will make me re-evaluate where I’m going?
Last year was a year of a lot of changes and adventures for Apex, our overlord, and the crew of trusty minions. I became Senior Editor, attended or worked seven cons, met a ton of great people, and learned the nitty-gritty of how publishing works. Apex saw a lot of changes, and one of my goals for 2013 is simply to have Apex settle into all of the changes we made last year and keep bringing readers the kinds of books that made me love Apex before I started working here. We have some great stuff lined up for 2013, and I want to get those stories into the brains of more readers this year.

Janet Harriett is Senior Editor for Apex Book Company, find out more about her here.

Gabrielle Faust

 

I don’t really do resolutions. I’m overly motivated already as it is. 😉 I also think that making resolutions automatically sets you up for failure and disappointments. Better to have goals.

Gabrielle Faust is author of the vampire series, Eternal Vigilance. She can be found on twitter @Gabrielle_Faust.

Morgan Crooks

 

I will read at least five books published by new authors this year.

 

Morgan Crooks is a writer and teacher. Find him here on his blog.

Paul Western-Pittard

 

Resolution: Work more. Play lots more. Find the time to find the sun. Search for thunderstorms.

Paul Western-Pittard is an author and screenwriter and can be found at his personal website.