Sometimes New Year’s resolutions feel like a fool’s errand before you even come up with them! There’s so much pressure to quantifiably prove your “progress” over a year and that stress defeats the purpose of resolutions: self reflection and intentional improvement (in whatever ways you see fit)! To combat this, the 3RP team is sharing their personal lit suggestions, tips, and intentions for 2024 on how to keep yourself engaged with other readers and writers of the world—as well as the reader and writer inside yourself.
Align With and Maximize Creative Efforts. 2024 will be Suck-Whatever-Life-Gets Sucked-Out-Back-In Year for me. More reading. More writing. Adding as much to the future of literary projects as possible. Being more proactive with authors and artists. Bringing out only the best in us all. And performing more often in cities abroad with incredibly inspiring people. Something to shoot for. I’m ready! —Peter Carlaftes, Co-director, Three Rooms Press
OG Throwback: Leave No Trace. We all know that tons of data has been collected about each of us. And the more data that is collected, the more your bubble shrinks to a series of recommendations based on your online searches and purchases. So in 2024, fight against Big Brother and all the data mobsters running social media and online bookstores. Treat yourself to a monthly visit to your local independent bookstore and talk to the marvelous booksellers working the floor. You won’t believe how knowledgeable and friendly they are! Staff at independent bookstores know books. Period. Once you get their advice, thumb through a few pages and see if you and the book are making a connection. Then—and this is really old school—pay for your books in CASH. It’s the hot new way to add to your knowledge, without letting it become a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder. No one will know how many or what kind of books you’ve purchased, and your wisdom will grow free and wild. —Kat Georges, Co-director, Three Rooms Press
Relearn Close Reading & Notetaking. Encouraging “close-reading” in 2024 sounds like I’m suggesting self-made homework and assignments for something meant to be leisurely. The annotation style I had in high school is not what I’m recommending for when you start in on your 2024 to-read pile. Separate yourself from the idea that you’re reading for a grade or to memorize certain information and be able to “pass” reading the book. It’s different for everyone, but for me reading is all about the experience and, more specifically, the experience I have with it as the person I am now! I don’t take notes that are the typical “academic” kind (although sometimes they have a time and place in leisure reading) but I do keep a separate notebook where I wrote down full quotes or passages that I loved; a sentence that is demonstrating the writer’s control and skill in a way that I want to take back to my proverbial writer’s workbench and see how it ticks; things about my own writing that cropped up while I was reading, the page number it came up beside, and what sentence caused the idea; and sometimes I write down what I misread and the entire small tangent said (false) sentence had me thinking about. I love being able to look back and not only have my own quick-read version of my favorite books, but a time capsule to what I loved about it on that date, as that version of myself. —Ashlyn Petro, Head Editor, Three Rooms Press
Lean In to Embrace Your Online Literary Persona. In this New Year, taking time away from negative online spaces is important, but what’s better is to cultivate your experience to promote healthy habits. The internet has become a valuable tool for staying connected, allowing people to meet those they wouldn’t meet otherwise. Focus your energy on finding spaces that inspire and uplift creativity, seek out those who are interested in seeing you grow rather than tear you down, and branch out from the comfortable into the unknown. It might seem counterintuitive to enter spaces you don’t know, but finding the perfect community might be right around the corner either through an online book group or using your local community’s Facebook to find out about opportunities in person. And don’t be afraid to use the block button when the haters are clogging up your feed. 😉 —Arden Gray, Social Media Director, Three Rooms Press