Veronica Roth's Resolution: Fight for a Better World

Posted by Hayley on December 28, 2016


Is there power in a new year? As 2016 comes to a close, Goodreads asked Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent trilogy and the highly anticipated YA book Carve the Mark, to share her thoughts on resolutions and change. New Year's Day may be just another day, but to Roth it's also a chance to "fight for a better world, a better story, a better self."


I didn't always believe in New Year's resolutions. If you want to make a change, I thought, why not just make it now? New Year's is just someone drawing a line between two days and saying, "Here." And we don't even all have the same calendar.

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But lately I've come around to the idea. There is power in significant days, the days we honor something or the days we celebrate something—the power that we give them. And on New Year's Day we drag ourselves out of bed and decide: This is how this year is going to be.

For me this upcoming year, 2017, is going to be something new. Not because it's inevitable but because I say so. And to make it a little easier on myself, I thought I'd share with you the way I've been thinking about it, in case it helps you, too. I call it the daily SIT, STAND, STRETCH. (I like alliteration.)

SIT means every day be sure to take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally. You can't do much else if you don't do this, so do it first. For you maybe it's eating your vegetables or taking a bubble bath (not at the same time, probably). For me it's taking my anxiety medication, exercising, and getting in some slug time on the couch. Once a day be kind to yourself on purpose, and let yourself feel good about it.

STAND means Doing the Thing. You know—the thing you've got to do. Getting your homework done, writing 1,000 words, taking out the garbage. Sometimes it's all I can do to just walk the dog and feed myself. Other days I knock out a few chapters and still have energy left for my trash fire of an inbox. That's all right. Just because you're wobbly doesn't mean you're not doing it.

STRETCH means challenging yourself. Making yourself a little bit uncomfortable. A few weeks ago, for me, this meant calling my local representatives about an issue I felt was important. I hung up in a panic on my first attempt. But on my second attempt I did the thing, I became a little more of the person I want to become. The meaning of stretching changes every day, but what matters is the habit of it—the habit of speaking up, reaching out, and being OK with feeling a little uncomfortable. That's how you grow.

This applies to my writing, too. Some scenes are easy, some are necessary, and some seem downright impossible. If I don't have the easy scenes, I won't have the strength for the impossible ones. And if I don't have the impossible ones, I'll never become a better writer. I need a good balance—in my work and in my life, too.

This way, one little step at a time, I can do what needs to be done, and I can fight for a better world, a better story, a better self, without becoming overwhelmed.

2017 will be different. Not because it's inevitable. Because we say so.


Veronica Roth's Carve the Mark hits bookshelves on January 17. Add it to your Want to Read shelf here.

How will you make 2017 different? Share your resolutions in the comments.

Comments Showing 1-50 of 62 (62 new)


message 1: by Aurora (new)

Aurora Anything i can do to not see this particular author on my pc?


message 2: by Karin (new)

Karin Thanks veronika roth for sharing. In 2017 i will say no to plastic and try further to be more ecological. The world is changing - so will I.
All the best for 2017


message 3: by Caroline (new)

Caroline We should all be kinder to ourselves.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Aurora wrote: "Anything i can do to not see this particular author on my pc?"

Not on Goodreads, no. Content like this isn't filtered out unless you use Ad software, but then you'd miss the other blog post stuff and announcements.


message 5: by Liz (new)

Liz Ekstrom Aurora wrote: "Anything i can do to not see this particular author on my pc?"

True readers do not believe in censorship.

Also, be kind. She is a human being and is likely reading these comments.


message 6: by Passenger (new)

Passenger B. What Liz said. ^


message 7: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward Sit stand stretch is a good one. Thanks !


message 8: by Crystal (new)

Crystal I agree I've never been much on New Year's resolutions, why on this day do I have to say I'm going to resolve to do something that normally never comes to fruition to begin with. I do really like the sit, stand, stretch philosophy though! What great inspiration for a new year, or just today!


message 9: by Sean (new)

Sean so brave


message 10: by Donna (new)

Donna Liz wrote: "Aurora wrote: "Anything i can do to not see this particular author on my pc?"

True readers do not believe in censorship.

Also, be kind. She is a human being and is likely reading these comments."


Thank you Liz for those words of wisdom.........


message 11: by Luana (last edited Dec 28, 2016 08:04PM) (new)

Luana Moreno these are really good resolutions! I plan to move to another country to study, I guess this is a big stretch! I should totally pay more attention to the SIT part.


message 12: by Duane (new)

Duane Bat-dung!

If the silly humans don't stop whining about 2016 I am going to make sure 2017 is even WORSE, just to teach them a lesson -
just as I am starting another Ice Age BECAUSE of their self-assured prattling that there is "Global Warming".

(Of ALL the arrogance, trying to pretend they know what *I* have planned, or that THEY are in control of it .)

- God


message 13: by Hallie (new)

Hallie God,

I never believed in you, but if you do exist (cough cough), and have tricks up your sleeve, then we humans would like to see you try.


message 14: by GJS (new)

GJS Fireheart Im not gonna lie(maybe lying by omission).


message 15: by Simone (new)

Simone Aurora wrote: "Anything i can do to not see this particular author on my pc?"

Maybe don't click on articles with her name in the title.


message 16: by Gary St (new)

Gary St Clare Thanks veronika for sharing the post.


message 17: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Sinclair This is a great motivation of an article. Thanks to GoodReads, I've smashed my last two years of reading New Years Resolutions - Aimed for 20 in 2015 and hit 41, and this year I aimed for 54 and should be over 60 by the time midnight hits on New Year. Next year, I'm aiming for 70, and I'm trying to expand my range of books as well, aiming for one third of them to be non-fiction, and another third to be books released in 2016/17, and the last third will be whatever I feel like reading.


message 18: by Antonio (new)

Antonio Gallo When you are considered a "dynosaur", you don't make resolutions, any longer. As a matter of fact I'm busy moving all my books onto GoodReads shelves. I believe they are about five thousand books, disseminated in three different places. Quite an adventure. This means not reading but re-reading what I think I read, re-thinking what I thought, discovering what I thought I had lost ...


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message 20: by Cambria (new)

Cambria McGrath Great advice!


message 21: by Karam (new)

Karam Jabri Nice Book. thanks for share the link. Four Percent Group Review


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message 24: by Trish (new)

Trish Aurora wrote: "Anything i can do to not see this particular author on my pc?"

Maybe you should being kinder in 2017?


message 25: by Trish (new)

Trish I really love "Sit, Stand, Stretch" - thank you!


message 26: by Kateryna (new)

Kateryna Tervinska Very helpful and motivational!


message 27: by Peridot_Lyoness (new)

Peridot_Lyoness Well said, Veronica! I am inspired and I will challenge myself to do those three things daily: sit, stand, and stretch.


message 28: by Auli (new)

Auli Robbi On 2017 i will graduate in this year.. wish me lucky.
And i hope this new year i'll be better for doing anything. And thanks for your article i've been inspired. This is challenge for me sit, stand, and stretch


message 29: by Tim (new)

Tim Oliveri Not wanting to see silly ads about even sillier resolutions is not censorship, it's common sense. Sit stand stretch, sounds like simplistic commands for a dog. Not much thinking behind those words. Stand is to do the thing? So take time for yourself, do the things you have to do and try to be ambitious. As the kids say "duh"! What sage advice is next, get a good night's sleep and brush your teeth?

Dumb ad and don't worry she's not reading this


message 30: by Tim (new)

Tim Oliveri Trish wrote: "Aurora wrote: "Anything i can do to not see this particular author on my pc?"

Maybe you should being kinder in 2017?"

M
Maybe you should be more tolerant of other people's opinion. I agree with Aurora about this nonsense ad by the in it for the money only author.

Auli wrote: "On 2017 i will graduate in this year.. wish me lucky.
And i hope this new year i'll be better for doing anything. And thanks for your article i've been inspired. This is challenge for me sit, stand..."



message 31: by Tim (new)

Tim Oliveri Liz wrote: "Aurora wrote: "Anything i can do to not see this particular author on my pc?"

True readers do not believe in censorship.

Also, be kind. She is a human being and is likely reading these comments."


She's not reading these comments. This is a trivial ad with nonsense self help simplicity. Aurora is right to want yo avoid Siam like this.


message 32: by Richard (new)

Richard Veronica Roth's suggestion was Self-Board usable and quite wonderful. the Bible is sometimes pithily useful. Its solution for negative people being "Suffer Fools Gladly" !


message 33: by Renata (new)

Renata Jakielaszek Let 2017 be a beautiful chapter in your life book


message 34: by Susie (new)

Susie I am going to make Sit, Stand, Stretch signs right now! They'll be everywhere to remind me to do just that! Thanks. You're pretty together for one so young, ya know? ☺


message 35: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Wow! I never expected such toxic comments toward a person who was asked to share their personal opinion. Are people not entitled to express their own ideas anymore without risking ridicule? Hope nobody asks you to share your views, Ms Aurora, whoever you think you are!! Resolve to show a little kindness, and keep your opinions to yourself unless you're asked!


message 36: by Michael (new)

Michael I love that some people made assumptions about the author because she cares enough about issues to call her representative. That speaks volumes about America today. People get chastised because they can't merely fall in line with the biggest mouths and smallest hands.


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message 38: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Wonderful advice! I hope 2017 is a productive and happy year for you, Veronica! :)
My goal for 2017 is to write my second book and obtain a publishing deal for my Y.A fantasy series! I hope to one day reach your level of success with an internationally bestselling book series and movie adaption. All the best! -B x


message 39: by Christina (new)

Christina I for one think this is great positive advice. I think starting with the little things and moving on to the more challenging is a great approach (personally) and it's something I would definitely advise to my teens at the library I work for.

I also appreciate Veronica for putting positive vibes out there. It's something we all could use, no matter the year.


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Ronnijorgensen Its a good idea and point to change the world. Its start from ourselves. Thanks


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