About three months ago, I held my breath and published the post introducing a new, fledgling voice into the Internet. I called it Intrepid to characterize what I think about the first-gen American/immigrant experience – that it was fearless, that it necessarily dealt with the unknown. So appropriately, I hadn’t a clue of what I was doing and expected nothing.
Champagne and sequins and the fact that time is a construct aside, New Year’s Day is a big deal for me. It gives me space to reflect on how I’ve changed in the past year, and how I want to navigate the next one. Looking back, starting Intrepid was one of the biggest, happiest surprises, and I’m still so curious about how it will grow. I’m learning every day about writing thoughtfully on the intersection of representation, immigration, and YA lit.
So, gazing across the vast and promising blank page that is 2017, here are three resolutions for how I’d like Intrepid to grow and hopefully bring more art and understanding into the world.
1.) Bring out teen voices.
I initiated Intrepid hoping to bring more to the conversation as a college student studying adolescent ethnic identity development. While it’s valuable approaching YA lit from a near-teen, academic perspective, it kind of misses the mark of who YA is for, who it is meant to inspire and challenge and uplift.
I’m not sure what this will look like yet, but I want to make space for teen voices on the platform. Maybe I’ll temper out my reviews for teen-authored reviews, or feature more guest posts by high school students.
In any case, if I talk so much about the importance of empowering teens, I should try to be doing the same in any way that I can.
2.) Combine reflection with action.
While I fully believe that writing is a form of resistance, I think that I’d like to challenge myself to explore other vehicles for positive change.
I can’t disclose too many details right now, but in the spring, I will be interning at a local immigrant advocacy organization. I want to be of help while educating myself on the multiplicity of immigrant experience. This is more of a personal resolution than a strictly blog-related one, but this blog has always been about examining the fictional representations while honoring lived experiences of immigration, so I hope to be able to integrate some of my observations in my writing.
3.) Engage more with other fantastic bloggers.
At first, I didn’t think I was cut out for blogging. I don’t have an instinct for promoting my own content. I’m pretty reserved in person, and goodness help me on social media.
But then, mostly via Twitter, I learned about the warm and joyful community of #DiverseBookBloggers. Reading, reviewing, and writing critically from everywhere in the world, diverse book bloggers do such important work. It’s a community that brings joy and and togetherness and ought to be celebrated.
So if you’re a book blogger I’ve admired from afar, I’d like to be more mindful about letting you know about your awesome posts. You’re bringing the positive change, and I want to swallow my timidity and tell you that!
Before I head off, I’ll close with words from a favorite author and bearer of offbeat wisdom, Neil Gaiman:
Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.
Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.
Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.
Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.
Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.
Do you have any goals for next year, for making or celebrating art? How do you want to make the New Year bright? Wherever you are, I’m beaming you all of my cheers and enthusiasm!