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resolutions


Everyone else I know seems to be posting a list of all the things they've accomplished in 2010. I find it intimidating, depressing, and terrifying just to read these (because they generally made me feel like an enormous slacker who accomplished nothing in 2010 but discovering a love for several new and newly terrible TV shows), so I certainly won't be making one of my own. This time of year, rather than musing on the past, I prefer thinking about the future.

My theory (New Year's is one of the very, very few times in a year where you'll actually find me being optimistic, if you catch me at the right moment): Whatever it is you want to do, be, or have, this could finally be the year.  Especially if you insist on it, loudly enough that the universe has no choice but to go along. As in:

THIS IS THE YEAR. 

Thus, I'm a big fan of resolutions. Last year, among other things, I resolved to buy a book a week. (I've always been a library girl, from a library family, so my shelves are embarrassingly empty -- and now that I buy food and pay my rent only because other people are gracious enough to buy *my* books, I decided to spend a few months returning the favor.) This may have been the best resolution I've ever made in my life, because it was certainly the only one that was massive amounts of fun to carry out. And I'll admit, I haven't read this much in years. Having more books around the house has actually managed to cut down on my television viewing. 

Who knew anything could do that?


I didn't manage every single week, and I'll admit I still have a stack of books I've acquired but have yet to read, which is the kind of thing that generally stresses me out (but for 2011 I'm trying to cultivate a more zen approach to such things, so bring on the ToBeRead stacks), but here, in case you want confirmation, is the list of all the books I've bought and read this year:*

*Not including YA/Children's (because there were too many to write down and I don't remember which I bought and which I scavenged for free), presents (b/c I never bothered to write those down), or research books for Exciting New Novel Partly Set in Exotic Locale (because that would be telling....)

The Children's Book (AS Byatt), Last Night in Twisted River (John Irving), Await Your Reply (Don Chaon), Revolutionary Road (Richard Yates), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz), Let the Great World Spin (Colum McCann), So Much For That (Lionel Shriver), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Milan Kundera), Eat the Document (Dana Spiotta), This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Consider the Lobster (David Foster Wallace), Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky), The Alienist (Caleb Carr), Where I'm Calling From (Raymond Carver), Beach Music (Pat Conroy), Nemesis (Philip Roth), The Slap (Christos Tsiolkas), Great House (Nicole Krauss), The American Painter Emma Dial (Samantha Peale), The Ask (Sam Lipsyte), Super Sad True Love Story (Gary Shteyngart), Bound (Antonya Nelson), The History of Love (Nicole Krauss), The Yiddish Policeman's Union (Michael Chabon), A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (David Foster Wallace), Man Walks Into a Room (Nicole Krauss), Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Anne Tyler), The Shining (Stephen King), The Passage (Justin Cronin), The Dome (Stephen King), Heart Shaped Box (Joe Hill), A Gate at the Stairs (Lorrie Moore), Sunset Park (Paul Auster), The Magicians (Lev Grossman),  Room (Emma Donoghue), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Muriel Spark), Changing My Mind (Zadie Smith) 

(Seems like a good omen to end my year on a book with that title, no?)

(See my last post, if you're interested in my Best Of picks.) 

Barry Lyga had a great post this week about how reading more widely -- and specifically, in his case, more adult books -- has shaped his writing, and I couldn't agree more. I've read more books, and, more importantly, more amazing, awe-inspiringly well written books this year than I have in a really long time (and this includes some of those YA and middle grade books that aren't on this list, but are in that Best Of post).

I read books that reminded me of why I wanted to be a writer -- and books that showed me how to be a better one. 

I've spent most of this year writing a book that terrified me to write, and -- not to jinx things -- I think it's turning out better than anything I've written before. If that proves to be the case, it will be 90% thanks to all these books I was reading on the side. So, thank you, amazing authors, and thank you 2010 resolution. 

Which brings me to 2011.

I like to make three resolutions: One which will make me a better person, one which will make me a better writer, and one which I can actually, concretely do something to accomplish.  Still working on them, though -- I figure I have until tomorrow to set them in stone. 

What about you? Anyone got any exciting resolutions for 2011, or ambitions that you'd like the universe to accommodate? How about we all agree right now:

THIS IS THE YEAR.

So you tell me: The year for what?

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
jbknowles
Dec. 31st, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
I love your three things idea. Totally doing that.

xo
kellyrfineman
Dec. 31st, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
That three things idea is a good one. My list of goals is actually longer than that, but still - three is doable for pretty much anyone!

Love that list of books. I have so many things in my TBR piles that my resolution probably ought to be not to buy any books until I read through what I have. But I'd never make such a foolish, unkeepable resolution!
cristinareads
Jan. 3rd, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
I like your three resolutions!
My list:
This is the year I will be more assertive.
This is the year that I will dedicate at least 20% of my reading to non-fiction books related to my field.
This is the year I learn how to cook.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 6th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
optimism
It's stacey- I love your optimism on this post! It was awesome. Keep it up! :)
lindsaycummingsblog.blogspot.com
Jan. 8th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
your books inspired me to write science fiction!
i'm 19 years old and my first novel is done and ready for querying!
Keep writing for all the scifi geeks like me out there, Robin. =]
robinwasserman
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
Wow. I think this is my new all-time favorite blog comment -- congratulations on finishing your first novel!!! And good luck with the querying. I hope 2011 is the year you sell your first book!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 10th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
The Procrastinator - Post a comment
Familiar style.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 18th, 2011 02:00 am (UTC)
provides access
I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …
(Anonymous)
Jan. 26th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Sexcommunity heisse alte Blind Date heisse alte
Hallo hier im Sexcommunity.



Der Sexcommunity gibt ihnen eine Alternative heisse alte und jedemenge andere Sachen,unter anderem Flirt und Sextalk
Hier im Sexcommunity erwarten dich heisse alte Sexgeschichten
Eventuel suchst du erotische Rollenspiele , mit Sicherheit bist du hier genau richtig.Gut,auf was wartest du?
erotische Rollenspiele nackte mädchen ,sofort anmelden .
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(Anonymous)
Feb. 12th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
Previous comment made in German
Was in der Welt? Wirklich? einen Beitrag über die sexcommunity auf diesem Blog? Warum haben Sie ruinieren meinen Tag mit diesen Kommentar? Ich denke, dass Sie Ihren Kommentar sinnlos war ... Die meisten von uns kommen, um dieses Blog für Robin's Beiträge, nicht Werbung in den Kommentaren Bereich ihres Blogs ...
(Anonymous)
Feb. 16th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 21st, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
What a nice post. I really love reading these types or articles. I can?t wait to see what others have to say.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
I'm the author of several novels for teens, including HACKING HARVARD, the CHASING YESTERDAY trilogy, and the SEVEN DEADLY SINS series.

My newest book, SKINNED, comes out in September 2008.

Also, I like cupcakes.

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