It's a new year, and I have a lot of new goals and dreams that I want to accomplish this year. Aside from my debut novel getting published this year (!!), I've also been hard at work on the Diverse/Lady Book Project and this blog, along with reading more widely and diversely. All of this leads me to a quote that has been motivating me for the last several weeks.
"You don't have to explain your dreams. They belong to you." -Paulo Coelho
I came across this in the awesome calendar I have been using to plot out my writing schedule from Meraki Printing. It's everything that I've been feeling so far this year. A lot of people around me who aren't bookish or in publishing don't understand why I feel the need to read more diversely (which is really just code for the fact that I won't be reading books by white men anytime soon). They think it's a silly project, a waste of my time, something that isn't necessary, etc. etc. And I've just been sitting there with a bemused look on my face. I have many questions for these people, who are some of my closest friends and family. But it all comes down to the same single question that is bouncing around in my head:
It's my goal, my dream. Why does it matter to you?
It's not that I don't want people on board with what I'm doing--I do! More than anything, I want people to read along with me, to be in conversation with me. I'm still learning. I know I still sometimes use problematic language without meaning to, and I am still lacking in some areas of diversity in books that I'm reading. These are things I'm working on. But that's what I'm trying to acknowledge--I'm working toward changing my own ways about these things. Because I want to. Because I care. Because I want to support amazing underrepresented voices in publishing and in life. I WANT THIS. So why does it matter to you that I'm probably not going to read that book by another white guy this year? That book will be around in the future, and that white guy will be just fine. But I want to take this year (and hopefully the years to come) to boost and support the people who aren't your typical white guy.
It's my goal. It's my dream. It belongs to me. I don't have to explain it to you.
What's inspiring you this month?