Monday, December 26, 2011

A Dozen Best YA Books of 2011 & My New Year's Resolution

This final week of 2011 is devoted to reflecting back on the year I wrote my first novel, revised it 7 full times (cover to cover--currently on ch 21/45 of the 8th full revision), and began writing a new sci-fi dystopian book with series potential.

I have also started and maintained social networking to begin the base of a writer's platform for myself as I strive to make 2012 the year I achieve agent representation, my first published book contract, and hopefully a career as a person fiercely devoted to the craft of writing.

As I have tinkered with this and my New Year's resolution, I came up with a list of a dozen YA books I've read this year that were my top choices. This is not a scientific list.


I have not placed numbers on this list on purpose. These are roughly ranked but not exactly. I liked many of these books equally next to other books in this list. They are seperated by the author who wrote them. They are are marvelous books you should read. I know I am better for having read them.

As for my New Year's resolution, this is what I have come up with:

To be a better writer today than I was yesterday. To write and read something every day until my book arrives!

This means that 2012 will be devoted to the following things to achieve this resolution. Since 2012 is a leap year, I've got 366 days to make this goal a reality. And, in fact, it's what I wanted for Christmas, too! I got 2 writing books to help with this:

Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland

The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

Here's a list of things I intend to do to attain my goals and resolutions as a writer. I am determined to be a lifelong learner, to educate myself daily in the writer's craft and to strive to reach higher with every day:
  • Organize my schedule to ensure that I am reading, writing, and revising on a regular basis.
  • Scheduling at least 2 Writer Workshops to improve my writing. Attend the workshop and pour myself into each part to get the most out of the workshop.
  • Complete a deconstruct of my first novel and use it to learn what a book is missing after having completed 8 cover to cover revisions on my own. Use this knowledge to help me as I write my current WIP.
  • Complete my current WIP with tighter, more purposeful revisions to get it query ready before my summer birthday.
  • Set apart writing time for blogging, twittering, Facebooking for the purpose of growing my audience and writer platform (not to just kill time in front of the computer).
  • Support fellow writers, get to know them better, cheer them on for writing achievements, publications, and with contests and giveaways.
  • Conclude that at the end of 2012, I am recognizably, measurably a better writer than the writer I am right now.
  • Never give up my dream of finding the very best agent to represent me and my books, and never give up on writing the very best book I can write, and finding a publisher who believes in my books more than I do.
  • Meet my readers and offer them a reachable writer who responds to every inquiry. Remain thankful for the privilege of sharing my books with readers.

What would you add to this list or take away from this list if you used it as a starting point for your own goals in 2012? Please post your thoughts in the comments below.

Finish well. Make every day count. As you lay your head on your pillow each night, only do so if you've accomplished something toward your goals. Sleep well, and do it again the next day!

Write on! Rock on! Let's Do This!


  1. On Writing is an easy read with some useful observations. It is slightly biographical as well. I was not familiar with his works cited in the book, so I didn't understand all the chapters. However, it was surprisingly humorous. This book is why I started reading his editorials.

  2. It is a great, easy read! I totally agree, Jenny. Thank you for your comment. Maybe you've got a desire to write as well? C'mon, I double dog dare you to write a book.

    Stephen King is awesome. My favorite books by him are The Talisman, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, and Carrie, his first book. His editorials are awesome.

  3. Outlining your novel looks like a good one. I struggle with that ...
    Thanks for including DESTINED on your list.
    And for your resolutions -- those are all awesome. I wish you tons of success with all of them!

  4. Being a panster, myself, I too struggle with the idea of outlining, as if I was throwing a bunch of splitrail fencing around my WIP. But, I think the best kind of writing has to do with a balancing act between outlining and pantsing/discovery. I got this one because I think K.M. Weiland does a great job with this, and I love her blog. She's helped me improve my writing throughout 2011.

    I'm so glad you let me read it, and I "fell in love" with it. I really do hope you'll get bit with the inspiration to write a new novel in 2012. Best wishes to you and your resolutions, Jessie!