Art Works Blog

The Write Stuff for 2012!

Photo by Sivi Steys via Flickr

Anais Nin  famously declared, "I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning, and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me." Lucky for us, the Washington, DC-area writers we asked to share their New Years resolutions with us had no such reservations. So in anticipation of a year full of inspiration, (creative) perspiration, and  art works, here are their writerly---and not-so-writerly---resolutions...

Dan Brady (Poetry Editor, Barrelhouse)

My New Year's resolution is to finally pull together my manuscript and send it out to publishers.

Caroline Langston (essayist, occasional NPR commentator, and contributor to Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion’s Good Letters blog)

My resolution for 2012 is to better listen to and learn from my husband and children, and to “cross-train” as an artist by working on tasks and activities I always thought I’d fail at, such as bike riding and sewing. I’d also like to continue pulling my blog posts into a book about longing, loss, class, and hope---from Mississippi to Massachusetts to Prince George’s County and beyond.

Alan King (poet, journalist, and author writing about art and domestic issues)

My New Year's resolution is to write more and stay focused. And that's going to be tough with me helping my fiancee plan a wedding, having my debut collection of poems drop, and grad school.

But I'm believing it's possible, especially after seeing my growth this past semester while having Joy Harjo as my mentor. During our last phone conversation, Joy said I hit a growth spurt with my writing. My resolution for the New Year is to continue that development and growth.

I also want to be open and ready to receive any blessings---financial, opportunities, publicity, etc. Twenty eleven's been good to me, but I hope 2012 is even better.

Sandra Beasley (author of Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life and I Was the Jukebox: Poems)

I will freelance at least one nonfiction piece per month while working toward finishing my third poetry collection, Count the Waves. Having driven 30,000 miles in 2011, I'll build on all I learned about taking care of my body and heart while traveling for readings. I will finally go ice skating at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden Rink---even if for me "skating" resembles "falling repeatedly."


Art Taylor (fiction writer and critic)


Both my wife, Tara Laskowski, and I are writers, and we're each hoping to continue the transition from our success with short stories toward the completion of longer, novel-length projects. An additional challenge? We welcomed our first child---Dashiell!---just before Christmas, so we're also resolving to provide each other opportunities to work, trading off parenting responsibilities here and there to carve out some quiet time for each of us to write at all. (Wish us luck. We'll see how it goes!)


Molly Gaudry (founder and creative director, The Lit Pub)


There's no mistake that 2011 was a great year for me, but I'm shooting for an even better 2012. My first resolution is to make progress on a manuscript called Beauty: An Adoption. I don't want to put too much pressure on it (just writing the word "pressure" makes me feel pressured), so I'll resolve here to write just one page a week. At that rate, by the end of the year I'll have made more progress than I did in 2011. I'll also want to help promote and tour as much as possible when Frequencies comes out. This book includes a small collection of my own poems as well as collections from Bob Hicok and Phillip B. Williams. I feel sentimental about this collection, and I know that years from now I'll want to look back and remember that I made a real effort to help get it out there. Additionally, I'm looking forward to what the new year brings for all of us at The Lit Pub, and I hope that by the end of 2012 we'll have taken advantage of every opportunity to create a bigger presence for ourselves whether online or otherwise. Happy 2012 to all!

Meaghan Mountford (blogger and food writer)

Given the craziness of most people’s lives and how thin we must spread ourselves to meet the demands of our responsibilities, I’m guessing my resolution is not very novel for a writer: To better balance my family, friend, work, and writing lives. And more specifically, to focus more on where I started, writing for children, writing fiction, writing creatively. I don’t regret the writing detour I’ve taken in the past few years---writing about food and edible crafting---and I’m thrilled to have my book on shelves. I’ll continue with that work, but I want to remember and to return to what I have forgotten as a result. That’s the beauty of being a writer, though. We can move in so many different directions, compelled by interest and opportunity, by unpaid bills, or by first loves and new loves.

Sarah Browning (Director, Split-This-Rock Poetry Festival)

With a crazy-busy life organizing an NEA-supported poetry festival, I find it hard to focus on my own creative life, be it writing, revising, or sending work out for publication. My goal for the coming year is to carve out some such time each week, even if just 20-30 minutes in a cafe writing. Here's to it!

Christine Celise (poet, diversity in technology, and healing arts advocate)

To improve my writing by reading the work of some of my favorite talents is my New Years resolution. Consuming the words of Lucille Clifton, Audrey Lorde, Langston Hughes, and Aracelis Girmay sums up the 2012 lesson plan.

Amina Sarraf (Communications Specialist, ICF International, and blogger)

This year I decided to set quarterly goals, rather than annual ones.  I'm a new mom and am prepared for this year to be an adventure.  And having to roll with the punches, which is a challenge for someone who loves planning as much as I do.  So I'm doing small, bite-size goals rather than big, honking ones.

My writerly resolutions for this quarter are to do a mailing.  After all, no editors are going to come knock on my door and ask to read my work.  So it'll be spreadsheet/mail merge/ spend a lot on postage time.  I also am planning to blog more frequently, three times weekly.

For this quarter, I also set less writerly goals, such as making a donation to a food pantry; going on a monthly date with my husband; working out 20 times a month, and taking parenting education classes.  These goals will be posted on my blog tomorrow morning.



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