The year 2020 has finally come to a close and, like everyone else, MUF Members are looking forward to a new year and new resolutions. After reading some of these, I’m thinking about revising my own list. Maybe you will, too. Feel free to leave us your reading/writing resolutions in the comments section. Happy Reading and Writing in 2021!
Click on the authors’ names to learn more about them and their work. Click on the titles to support independent bookstores by purchasing a book.
Andrea Pyros is the author of Pink Hair and Other Terrible Ideas and My Year of Epic Rock.
Writing Resolution: “A gentle reminder to myself and anyone else who needs to hear this: Don’t stress over the messiness of a first draft! They’re not supposed to be perfect, but a framework to build upon during multiple revises.”
Reading Resolution: “To leave reviews for books I’ve enjoyed reading. Authors really benefit from positive online reviews, so this is a simple way to boost other writers.”
Beth McMullen is the author of the Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls series and the Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter series–next up, Lola Benko and the Midnight Market, summer 2021.
Resolution: “2020 was the year of ‘no’ so I’m determined to make 2021 the year of ‘yes’! First up on the list, I’m giving myself permission to write what I want, not what I think I should be writing or what others would like for me to write. We will see how that goes!”
S.A. Larsen is the award-winning author of Motley Education and other middle grade and young adult books, who loves to chase her characters around a graveyard or antagonize them with the wonders of young love.
Resolution: “I intend to loosen the reins of my creativity by committing to two sessions of free-writing every month. Feel free to join me!”
Melissa Roske is the author of Kat Green Comes Clean and other contemporary middle-grade fiction.
Resolution: “Before the pandemic, I had a (relatively) consistent writing schedule. I’d write in the mornings, take a break for lunch, do more writing, and then head to the gym. Now that the world has changed, I lack the focus and discipline to stick to my previous schedule. Therefore, my resolution for 2021 is to create a new, less restrictive schedule that accommodates my ‘new normal.’ For instance, I can’t go to the gym anymore, but I can take an online fitness class before or after a writing session. And I can be kinder to myself when I have a less-than-productive day. Sometimes, getting out of bed in the morning is enough.”
Rosanne Parry, the author of A Whale of the Wild and more, writes books in her treehouse, sells books at Annie Blooms Bookstore, and reads books everywhere.
Writing Resolution: “I have a year of intensive research coming up. I hope to read another 50 books, websites, archive materials and maps, view documentaries and meet with at least a dozen experts in the field. ”
Reading Resolution: “I hope to take greater advantage of audio books this year. I also want to find and nominate at least 2 new titles for the Indie Next list. ”
Jennifer Swanson is an award-winning author of Beastly Bionics, Rad Robots, Brilliant Biomimicry, and Incredible Inventions Inspired by Nature as well as 40+ STEM books for kids. Science ROCKS!
Resolution: “Be Healthy. Be Happy. Stay Curious.”
Donna Galanti writes middle grade where heart and hope meet adventure! She is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the upcoming Unicorn Island, which begins a new series.
Resolution: “I had 2 new books to write on deadline this year, but that meant I neglected my numerous own projects! In 2021, I intend to finish drafting and revising 3 books in various stages and outline a new idea. My day will continue to include mediation, walks in the woods, and working on one project at a time each day—but also adding yoga to get flexible! Until recently, my critique partner and I met each month for a writing day but have changed that up this month to Zoom “accountable” days. I aim to do a few of these each month with her if I can in 2021. We set goals, a day, and a time, like between 9am and 5pm, and then Zoom every 2 hours to check in and hold each other accountable. It’s a great way to boost productivity when you have to check in with someone!
Natalie Rompella is the author of Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners as well as more than sixty materials for kids, including books on topics such as insects and sled dog racing.
Resolution: “To write something that requires little or no research.”
Aixa Perez-Prado is a writer and illustrator of quirky, own voices stories with heart and humor.
Resolution: “I will approach my writing and drawing with the same confidence and spirit as I did as a child, full of joy, wonder and hope.”
Sean McCollum, the author of 1 For All, is a nomad from the Midwest who’s been fortunate enough to build a career writing nonfiction books, stories, and articles for kids, tweens, and teens.
Resolution: “Read more, write more, and give more young people more reasons to read.” 🙂
Meira Drazin, who loves to read widely, voraciously and across genres, is the author of the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award-winning middle grade novel Honey and Me, forthcoming from Scholastic.
Resolution: “I’m always so jealous when I see people post on social media roundups of what they’ve read in the last calendar year. This year I resolve to be one of those people! I’ll admit that this isn’t the first time I’ve had this resolution: in the past I have tried jotting down in the back of my journal each book as I finish it, only to get as far as January. Or to decide to do it in April and unsuccessfully try to backtrack by scanning the pile of books next to my bed, bath, couch, office, etc. I think this year the key will be to do it in Notes on my phone so that it’s in a central location and generally something I have at hand. How wonderful to be able to see the breadth of what you’ve read over twelve months, and remember what moved you, what irritated you, what made you laugh or cry, what was interesting or even what was boring, what did not deserve the hype and what deserved all its hype and then some.”
Samantha M Clark is the award-winning author of The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast.
Resolution: “I’m really excited to have two new books coming out: Arrow published by Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster on June 22 and American Horse Tales: Hollywood, coming from Penguin Workshop/Penguin Random House on June 29. While I’ll be busy with those as well as other upcoming projects, my 2021 resolution is to find peace wherever I can and make lots of time to read all the wonderful middle-grade books that have come out since COVID-19 started.”
Heather Murphy Capps is an #ownvoices middle grade author who writes contemporary, science, and magical themes.
Resolution: “To tackle two projects: 1) draft a new book I’m noodling on but haven’t yet outlined; 2) revise a book I trunked a while ago but have a real itch to resurrect. Peace out, 2020, bring it on, 2021!”
Michelle Houts, the author of Winterfrost, writes fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages from a restored one-room schoolhouse.
Jonathan Rosen is the beloved and highly controversial author of Spooky MG books such as Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies and From Sunset to Sunrise.
Resolution: “Total Global Conquest and also to write more.”
Mimi Powell is a writer, librarian, and avid video-gamer.
Resolution: “From Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, where she talks about writing as a meditative practice: write for twenty minutes a day, doesn’t matter if it is good or not. Just write.”
Greg R. Fishbone is the founding member of the Mythoversal Project and the author of speculative fiction and mythology in verse.
Resolution: “To release at least one installment of mythology stories per week through 2021.”
Dorian Cirrone is the author of the middle-grade novel, The First Last Day, and other books for kids and teens.
Writing resolution: “To write with abandon, using the Pomodoro Technique of setting a timer for twenty-five minutes at a time and knocking that inner editor off my shoulder while I write. Also, to finish the novel I started a couple of years ago that I’ve been thinking about for more years than I can count.”
Reading resolution: “To read widely and to try new genres.”