Another year has come and gone and in all honesty, it feels no different. I won’t be poetic about it. I do think, however, that this can be a good time to set some goals for the year ahead. The word ‘resolutions’ has become too associated with the word ‘broken’, so I prefer ‘goals’ instead. With 2017 goals, you can put your productive hat on and try to work towards something tangible. I won’t be learning a new language or hitting the gym (although, I really need to do both), because I know for a fact that it won’t work out. So instead, I’ll focus on the things that I know I can work towards without completely freaking out:
1. I definitely want to read more diverse fiction. Actually, scratch that. This year I want to read ONLY diverse fiction. My childhood had been filled with the ‘popular books’, and it wasn’t till recently that I took a step back and realised that I could not see myself in those books. Some diverse fiction that I read now, with South Asian culture or Muslim identities, makes me feel sad for what I had missed out on in my younger years. Perhaps my identity would have been stronger if I had read those. Maybe I would have been more confident in myself and who I was if my shelves were filled with these books. I want to be able to read, review, and promote books that celebrate the diversity in literature that little-Madeehah so badly missed out on.
2. I’m on the hunt this year for more Muslim fiction. I want it all, though perhaps I’ll think twice at romance. Especially fiction written by Muslim authors. By supporting the authors, we’re supporting diversity first and foremost where it matters.
3. I want to try and read more fiction that will challenge my views. Expanding my horizons, and all that. I don’t want to stay in a bubble with my reading. Not everything has to be comfortable to read, but that’s okay. We live in a world where neighbours can have completely opposite beliefs, yet still have friendly conversations over the fence. That’s okay. It’s okay to disagree.
On the flip side, I have some targets I want to hit in my writing. I just feel this is the time where I need to get myself together and get a lot more serious about this. If I want to be published, I’ll need to set myself some goals so I can have some motivation to work towards.
- Finish the first draft of two novels (one contemporary, another fantasy). I’ve surprisingly not become bored with these WIPs, so that’s a good sign. I’ve got vague outlines of both of them, so hopefully can bash some words out to reach the end in some way or another. Once I’ve finished them, at least I know I’ve got something to edit, which leads me to…
- Edit a manuscript in the hopes of getting some beta readers and trying to query it in the following year(s). This is all a very new area to me so even if I get to the editing stage by the end of the 2017 I’ll be happy.
- Write at least 5 decent short stories that will be good enough to get out there. This past year has shown me how I actually do like to write short stories. Of course, I definitely need to read more as well, but there’s so much to learn from crafting a short story. You have to economise a lot more on words, and you have to convey your story in a punchier way rather than letting it drag on for the length of 50k+ words.
None of us know if we’ll make it through to tomorrow. I think 2016 has definitely taught us that, and that we need to fiercely grab every opportunity that comes our way. It’ll be interesting to see how 2017 has shaped up when (and if) I reach the end of it, and hopefully I’ll have reached some of my goals and made a good use of my year 🙂
Do you guys have any goals for the new year? I’d love to hear about it!