Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reading and Writing Resolutions

This year, rather than the usual vows (“I will go to the gym twice a day! Three times on Saturday!” or “I will NOT buy shoes just because they are pretty” or “I will cut back on caffeine” – yeah, right…), we’ve picked out a few obtainable, reading- and writing-specific goals for the year.  Of course, we’d love to write thousands of beautiful words a day, complete nine brilliant manuscripts, and become bestsellers. Who wouldn’t? But that’s not why we started writing and why we continue to do so.  So without further ado, here are our resolutions for 2014.

Read unlikely books:
We’d both really love to tackle books that are in genres we’ve never explored. People seem to love Steam Punk, but neither one of us has ever read any. Graphic Novels are a yet unexplored wonderland for us. And we’re sure there are also some great cowboy-pirate-Amish themed romances out there. This year we’re vowing to step away from our favorite genres in search of a really great stories and new and exciting perspectives on story telling.  So send us a list of your favorite genre fiction titles.

Pay it forward:
The writing community is so supportive. Through twitter, contests, writing forums, and classes, we’ve met so many people who have helped us shape our queries, pages, and ideas. This year we’d love to help others with their work. With several years of public relations, marketing, and editing experience, we’ve got you covered. Help us help you and send us a query to critique. We’d love to return the good karma.

Diversify YA:
Over recent months, we’ve become more and more passionate about diversity. Why can’t the spunky Jewish girl be the romantic lead, and not the sidelined best friend? Why can’t the love interest be a person of color and have that as just one aspect of his personality? Betsy’s daughter goes to a Montessori school with kids of all ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. We hate to think that a lot of these children may not be able to see themselves represented in fiction. We don’t blame anyone for the lack of diversity, in fact, we’ve seen a lot of agents and publishers requesting diverse stories and main characters. We’d love to help them out this year. Stay tuned for teasers about our almost-finished-work-in-progress. For more information on Diversity in YA, click here.

Step away from the book:
While we’re promising ourselves that we’ll venture out of our comfort zone, this year we also vow to put down books that make us want to throw them across the room, no matter how many awards they have won. Often, we find ourselves struggling to trudge through a book that was assigned to us by book clubs or well-meaning friends. But why waste time with something we already know isn’t our cup of tea, when there are so many other books in the world to be read? Reading taste is subjective and sometimes we just need to face the fact that we’re never going to love Grapes of Wrath, or Watership Down, no matter how brilliant they are. Bunnies? Really?

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