#litgoals: SAL’s Resolutions for the New Year

By Alison Stagner, Events & Development Coordinator, Sonder Editor

My New Year’s resolutions, literary and otherwise, always have something in common: I never stick to them. I suspect this has something to do with the ridiculous idea that our calendar year begins in January, the month I am least likely to be out of my pajamas, instead of the first day of spring, when there is actually light in the world to read and write by. My real beef here must be with Julius Caesar, who thought his little metaphor of Janus, god of doors, “opening” our path to the new year was clever enough to justify beginning it all now. . .

Lately, however, I’ve been curious about everyone in the SAL family who possesses the energy and optimism to tackle their reading and writing habits on January 1st. I asked about this mysterious practice around the office and was surprised: rather than the preposterous, time-sucking, guilt-inducing-when-they-don’t-happen goals, most had the small, totally possible, mindful sort of resolutions I might be able to replicate myself. (Except for those who are writing entire books in 2017. Kudos.)

So, here’s to 2017 down the pipeline, and here’s to another year of #litgoals!


Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director

My New Year’s resolutions are:

1) To challenge myself to read more diverse voices, in nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and beyond.

2) To continue my subscriptions to the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the Seattle Times because supporting journalism matters more than ever.

3) And, to write more regularly (and commit to myself that writing for work doesn’t count).

Kelly Froh, WITS Writer-in-Residence

My New Year’s resolution for reading is to surpass the number of books I read last year (23); and whenever I think “I should write that down,” DO IT, because that idea will likely not stick, or make its presence known again.

Peter Mountford, WITS Writer-in-Residence

Gonna try to write an entire rough draft of my next novel during 2017. Still don’t have the first clue what it’s going to be about, though.

Cody Pherigo, WITS Writer-in-Residence

For 2017, my resolutions, which begin on the Pagan new year of December 21st when the sunlight begins to return, are to 1) expand the repertoire of books and styles that I read, e.g. biographies, essays, translations, plays, and 2) write every single day, no matter what.

Christina Gould, Patron Services Manager

Looking back at my 2015 resolutions, I see that my follow-through has been somewhat spotty. My resolutions for 2016? Finish 2015’s!

Alison Stagner, Events & Development Coordinator, Sonder Editor

I don’t want to be a spoilsport, so here are three changes I’ve made at some point that have had an impact on how I read and write:

1) Always carry a book wherever I go—an actual, physical book. Now, when I get stuck in lines or on the bus, Twitter is basically inaccessible because my hands are full.

2) Write significant, hand-written letters to folks. Letter-writing is a weird and challenging genre that I’m convinced activates a different part of your brain than a poem or story. (Sorry, everyone in my Rolodex).

3) Buy a really cool bedside lamp. Magically increases your ability to read before bed by 100%.

Rebecca Hoogs, SAL Associate Director

By the end of next year I will have a draft of a new manuscript of poems that I’m happy with. Is happy too strong a word? Ok, a draft that I feel I can submit to contests.

Alicia Craven, WITS Program Director

My goal is to update and keep current the Book Journal a friend gave to me 12 years ago. I used to fastidiously track: books read, books borrowed, and books to check out in three separate sections, and I want to start this up again. It creates an interesting diary of one’s life!

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