06 June

#BlinkBlog Author Round-Up: Summer Goals

As summer sets in, we asked some of our Blink authors to share their goals as well as what they are looking forward to the most this time of year. Read their answers below!

Did you set any reading or writing goals for the summer?

Annie Sullivan: My writing goals stay pretty consistent year round. I try to write a minimum of between 500-1,000 words a day depending on what else I have going on. Summer is no different.  As for reading, I don’t typically set goals because I spend more time writing now than ever, and that has to be my priority. But I do love being part of my library’s summer reading program and helping my niece and nephews reach their goals by reading to them!

Christina June: My goal has been the same all year–reclaim the joy of writing.  I’m experimenting with new ideas and excited to keep it up when school gets out and I have more time to devote.

Courtney Moulton: My biggest goal this summer is to finish a new book set in an entirely new world for me. I’m so excited about it!

Heather Hepler: I decided to focus on nonfiction for reading this summer. Mostly books about how to do something – brew kombucha, raise bees, make bread, and bench my body weight. (Ha! That last one is proving really difficult.) My writing goals include finishing the manuscript I’m working on and working on a screenplay.

Kimberly Gabriel: Yes! I live by goals and deadlines. This summer, I hope to finish drafting my current WIP—something I’m very excited about. I also hope by balancing audiobooks and ARCs, I’m able to finish five books, including THE MEMORY THIEF by Lauren Mansy.

Lauren Mansy: Summertime is my favorite time of the year for both reading and writing! For me, there’s nothing better than taking long walks to brainstorm new ideas and reading out on my deck as the sun goes down 🙂 It’s been a very long winter here in the Midwest, so I’m thrilled that summer has finally arrived!

Maureen McQuerry: I have two writing goals. Finish edits on a new manuscript The Poem at the Center of the Universe that includes a little magical realism, the Three Fates and cryptozoology, and complete a draft of a near future manuscript that’s set in Seattle and involves two teens connected in a thought experiment.

How would you encourage Blink readers to set reading goals and stick to them?

Annie Sullivan: First, figure out what you have time for. Don’t commit to reading a book a week if you realistically know that between all your other commitments you only have a few hours free a week. Look at your schedule and see what you can fit in where. Then, find a system that works for you. Is that a buddy read with a friend? Is that a book club? Having that accountability will increase your chances of sticking to your goal. Does your library have a summer reading program? Sign up! Winning prizes for reading can be very motivating. Most of all, don’t treat reading like a chore—otherwise it will feel like one. Just enjoy what you’re reading, and if you don’t meet your goal, don’t beat yourself up. Reading is all about finding stories you love!

Christina June: Find an accountability buddy and check in regularly.  Camp NaNoWriMo in July is a good way to do this.

Courtney Moulton: I find starting a book to be really easy, but I get busy and forget to finish reading. Since it’s summer, I’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, so my advice is to grab that book and find a tree with some nice shade and read!

Heather Hepler: Making a list at the start of the summer helps me. That way when I finish one, I have one waiting. That also allows me to put books at the library on hold. (Even if the wait time ends up being months instead of weeks!) I also listen to audio books in the summer. That way I can be outside and moving around.

Kimberly Gabriel: This is a judgement free zone, right? Because I have a color-coded spreadsheet that tracks my reading, and I love it so much. I’m not sure I’d recommend it (unless you love tracking your progress as much as I do), but I would recommend Audiobooks! I bought a subscription to Audible, and I love listening to my favorite books while folding laundry.

Lauren Mansy: I’ve recently started a reading journal, which has been fun! I’ll jot down a few notes about the story, and I’ve loved “reliving” those books as I write about them. I’d encourage anyone to give it a try!

Maureen McQuerry: I absolutely love book clubs or reading partners.This spring I spoke at three book groups about Between Before and After. One was a mother /daughter book group and one group meets for dinner and book discussions monthly.

My book club introduces me to books I might never pick up on my own and then when we’re done we discuss our favorite parts or places we have questions. Our most recent read was The Library Book, a great non-fiction story about the L.A. library fire and the place of libraries in our country that reads like a mystery. I rarely choose non-fiction, but I’m so glad I read this. I first read Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You, in my book group. Start a  teen book club or join one at your local library!

What are you looking most forward to this summer?

Annie Sullivan: This summer, my parents, my sister and her family (including 4 kids under the age of 7), and myself are all going to Disney World together. I haven’t been since I was around 5, and I don’t remember the visit at all. So as an author who writes fairytale retellings and cosplays as Belle, this is a dream come true! I can’t wait. I’ve even booked some meet and greets with the princesses for my niece…and for me.

Christina June: I’m road-tripping to Canada with my family, so that should be fun.  I’m also teaching a workshop at the Richmond Young Writer’s program and heading back to the the Pittsburgh area for a signing in July.

Courtney Moulton: I’m looking forward to sunshine, warm weather, and trips up north to the lake!

Heather Hepler: I love traveling any time of the year, but summers offer me the time to go for a bit longer. I also love going to farmers’ markets and growing my own fruits and vegetables.

Kimberly Gabriel: I’m looking forward to attending my first conference as an author this summer and preparing to launch EVERY STOLEN BREATH in the fall. I’m also looking forward to hanging out with my three kids. As a teacher, I treasure my summers and spending quality time with my favorite people.  

Lauren Mansy: I have a few trips planned for this summer to both the East and West Coast, and I couldn’t be more excited about them. Between family reunions and family weddings, it’s going to be a family-filled kind of summer, and I’m so looking forward to it!

Maureen McQuerry: Oh, this is a big summer for us. We’re moving! We’ve lived in our house for twenty-one years and have loved being here. It was the house all the high school kids hung out in. The school drama parties were here, youth groups met here, our kids and all their friends got dressed for prom here and had glorious dinners on our back porch. Our grown kids came to say good-bye to the house and we shared our favorite memories from each room. Bittersweet. And the thing is we don’t know exactly where we’re going next! Will we stay in eastern Washington or move west to be near our  three year old grandson (and his parents too). And surprise! Another grandbaby is on the way and arriving for Christmas. Stand by to discover our final decision.