Jun 24, 2022 • 46M

321 What Do You Want to Achieve this Year--and are you half-way there?

Episode 321

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

It’s the things-that-aren’t in the episode edition of your weekly #AmWriting email! First off, about 60 seconds in, I mention (this is KJ, it’s nearly always KJ) a podcast I like. But then I flake off to look up the name… and forget to ever mention it again.

It’s the Crappy Friends Podcast with Kristan Higgins and Joss Dey. And it’s FICTION GOLD. Every week, a couple of people write in with stories of awful friends and angsty dilemmas and towns that are too-small-for-the-both-of-us and there is a novel in every question and a whole lot of shadenfreudy entertainment in the answers provided by best friends Kristan and Joss. It’s a fun, I’m just here for the hang situation.

Want more? Sarina just texted me that she forgot to tell y’all her BIGGEST achievement so far this year: she writes first thing. I’m going to take credit for this one. I’m a big fan of eat-the-frog first (I exercise first thing, then write, for the same reasons) although I can’t remember what I said that finally got her to actually do it, but she just gave herself a big, justified pat-on-the-back for this one. “I have felt as though I had lots of free time this month because I didn’t spend half the day in avoidance.” That’s a gift you can give yourself too!

Overall note from the episode? There are lots of reasons to check in on your goals. To cheer. To re-assess and decide—do I even want this? If I do, what do I need to go to get there? To wonder—really? Why? Maybe I don’t need to organize that drawer. Maybe I need to throw its contents away.

To remind ourselves of what we’ve done, and what we still hope to do.

It’s all even more meaningful that we all figured out the universal truth that landed in March 2020: we don’t even really control the goals we think we can control. But if life gives us a chance to make a choice to do a thing… better grab it!

So… how go your goals so far this year? In honor of this episode, we’ve started our first thread discussion. If you’re on our email list, you’ll get an invite shortly after the episode airs. Otherwise, head to amwritingpodcast.com and look for the thread to tell us—is 2022 half-over, or half-to-go? What will you do with the rest of your year, and what have you done so far?

Links from the Pod

Gen the bookworm on Instagram


Sarina: The Mutual Friend by Carter Bays—Sarina shouts out the omniscient narrator, and KJ notes the head-hopping omniscience in The Arc.

Jess: Mr. Nobody, Catherine Steadman

KJ: The Murder of Mr. Wickham, Claudia Gray

BETTER SIGN UP SOON!! It’s the #AmWriting Blueprint for a Book Challenge! 10 episodes, 10 guests, 10 weeks to you being ready to write your best novel, memoir or non-fiction book this fall. There will be homework. There will be deadlines. Complete all 10 weeks, and you could win a critique of that Blueprint from KJ or Jennie Nash—but you’ll already be a winner, because you’ll have a plan that will put you way ahead of the game. Play for free—or reserve an Author Accelerator critique for your finished product to hold your feet to the fire and make sure you do the work and get bonus episodes and write-alongs. Want details? Ready to sign up? CLICK HERE. And quickly. Sign-ups end July 8.

PS: Along those lines, Author Accelerator has opened registration for the 2022 Manuscript Incubator, an intensive, 7 month coaching opportunity that offers one-one-one support and guidance for novelists and memoirists planning to have a submission-ready project by early 2023—and includes the opportunity to have that project reviewed by a group of agents and editors when it’s ready. For more information, head to authoraccelerator.com/manuscript-incubator.