Dear she lit readers 📖,

This is the New Years Resolution post that should’ve published a month ago, but I’ve been diving deep into fulfilling my lifelong goal: to be a published author!✨

By that, I mean query hundreds of literary agents, sign with one, wait for a publishing deal, sign that deal, wait for the book to be released to the masses, and finally party on book tour until you promote your book for the rest of your life. (I’ve already saved outfits I want to wear on my tour, which is manifestation overload).

I’ve been writing novels since 2010, so I’ve done the querying process (and failed) for years. My pandemic novel feels like it could be the one. Yes, I’ve had this feeling before, but I’ll dedicate myself to the process for the umpteenth time to break through the literary industry.

At the end of 2020, the stress of book blogging caught up with me. The more I finished up my current manuscript, the less time I had to update she lit and read books. I almost didn’t make it to my annual Goodreads goal of 60 books. Reading 50+ books a year was a passion that transferred to blogging, but now that passion is evaporating. I’m always reading, but the speed will decrease.

There is also pressure as a book blogger to read the newest, best-reviewed books. That problem has led to about a hundred books in my possession that I never read because they took a backseat to a newer book. Also a thrifty book buyer, I own many classics that I increasingly become embarrassed I haven’t made time to read. So this year I will read more books on my bookshelves that other readers are still interested in reading as well.

Throwback titles on my bookshelf I plan to read this year:

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Caucasia by Danzy Senna

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

¡Yo! by Julia Alvarez

Shiny new titles I’m excited to read eventually:

Life After Death: A Novel by Sister Souljah

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

The Other Black Girl: A Novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Along with the number of books, as a Black female book blogger who prefers books by female authors of color, there is pressure to give great reviews. A three-star review is considered bad by some standards, but many of the newer, best-reviewed books featuring Black female characters written by Black female authors I read last year came up to three stars. Most books in general are on the three-star level, but there is guilt not to give the most positive review when you like the author and the intention. I’m tired of the letdown, which again could be lessened if I read fewer books.

I plan to post to she lit whenever is convenient to my day job life and future author life. Older posts are still resonating with you.

Blog posts with the most recent pageviews:

‘The Vanishing Half’ Highlights Racial Passing Along with Previous Well-Known Novels – The best-seller by Brit Bennett is still making waves in the literary industry and being named a book club choice.

How Lisa Turtle Was ‘Slighted’ As a Black Teen Girl TV Character – One of my all-time favorite sitcoms, Saved by the Bell, was rebooted on NBC’s streaming service Peacock and unfortunately lost star Dustin Diamond last week. Lisa Turtle is the inspiration for my main character in my manuscript.

Black Fantasy YA Authors Discuss How They Are Revolutionizing the Genre – I’m still not a fan of fantasy young adult novels, but if you’re a querying author, you’ve noticed literary agents are always looking for works in this subgenre. I do love seeing more Black female authors dominating the field.

Throwback Tuesday: Maya Wilkes’ Book Launch on ‘Girlfriends’ – Thank you Netflix for bringing back 2000s Black sitcom Girlfriends because this blog post stays popular due to the pandemic binge. The character Maya Wilkes brags so hard about being an “authoress” – a level I’m striving to be on.

I look forward to delivering more bookish content in the future. If you’re also taking steps toward authorship in 2021, comment below!

❤️ Kibby