Am I the only one who’s in shock that Christmas is NEXT WEEK? And thennn we’ll be zooming straight to the end of 2018. THE END OF 2018??? HOW.
Since the year has apparently decided to just go and be nearly over without our permission, that means it’s time for a big ol’ 2018 recap! I’m doing this a little early because I’ve decided after today I’m going on a little hiatus until after New Year’s so I can properly enjoy Christmas and New Year’s. After writing a 129k book in 36 days and keeping up with the blog while I was at it I’m, well, tired. Just a smidge. XD But I’m also excited about CHRISTMAS. So yeah, I think it’ll be nice to have a break for just a few weeks. Thus this’ll be my last post for 2018. *LE GASP* I seriously can’t believe this year is almost over.
I have to say, 2018 was a wonderful year. So many blessings came my way in both 2017 and 2018, and I’m utterly grateful to God because the previous years were pretty hard ones. Obviously, this was not a perfect year by any stretch of the imagination. I mean, DUH. There is no such thing as a “perfect” year. Two really hard things that happened was my beloved dog, Navi, had to be put down and one of my dearest friends moved many states away (making that the 3rd friend I’ve had that had to move *sniff, sniff*). But this is also the year I broke fully out of a writer’s rut I had fallen into and got to go to REALM MAKERS, which was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced.
Realm Makers was definitely The Big Highlight of 2018. But there were a million other little blessings and joys to be found each day that added up to a beautiful year. I really felt myself changing and growing for the better this year. I am most certainly not who I wish to be (I don’t think we ever reach that point though), but I’m really thanking God for all He brought me through and taught me this year. What exactly all these things are…it’s hard to put into words. I’d really like to sit down and try sometime though. Between Realm Makers and a few other circumstances and just spending a lot of time pondering life in general this year, there’s so much running through my head and shaping me. Perhaps next year I’ll have it all untangled enough to share in some blog posts with you. But for now I’ll say, 2018 was a year of growth in the best way possible, and I’m excited to dive into 2019 and see what’s in store.
But before I get ahead of myself, let’s look back at 2018! At the beginning of the year I posted my goals for 2018. I thought it’d be fun to revisit them now and see how far I got.
A LOOK BACK
AT 2018’S GOALS
EDIT BURNING THORNS
It’s gone through so many edits, and will have another one soon (thanks to all the FANTASTIC suggestions I’m getting from my beta-readers. Love you guuuys! <3). But I really feel like this last revision got it so much closer to what it needs to be.
This one was a big SUCCESS!!! One of the things I’m most pleased with for the year. I did a big ol’ revision of BT and am so very happy with how the story is shaping up.
This was my main focus for the whole first half of 2018 and, though many headaches came with it, the overall process was actually a joy. I’m learning I actually like editing, and seeing this story shape up is delightful. It’s my most edited story I’ve EVER had, and it’s proving to me that editing does not have to be this big, scary thing to avoid (like I used to *cough, cough*). There’s such a satisfaction with it!
Doing this set of revisions for BT was my #1 goal for 2018, and I’m beyond happy I managed it.
ATTEND REALM MAKERS
And just… *clutches heart* I’m still reeling from the utter amazingness of it all. Meeting some of you in person, talking with real life actual authors and having them sign my copies of their books, getting so much knowledge on the writing life from the professionals, pitching my book to literary agents for the first time EVER (o___o), and just being completely and totally encouraged in this crazy life of writing I’ve chosen was invaluable. Though it happened way back in July, I’m still filled up with all I gained there. It was an experience like no other and I can’t thank God enough for making a way for me to go. I felt His hand in all of it, and whenever I think of it, it just makes me want to cry happy tears over how much He cares about my writing journey. He really does care about every single aspect of our lives, guys. We have a good God!
THIS HAPPENED TOOOOO!!!
This was definitely, definitely the highlight of 2018!
With so many of my amazing peeps at RM. <3
It also took up an exuberant amount of my time as I prepped for it, did immense amounts of research, made business cards and one-sheets and learned everything I could about writers conferences and the people I’d be pitching my book to and just yeah wow. I spent a good two months alone just prepping for the conference. But it was all worth it!
Okay, I need to stop blabbering since I already did a big Realm Makers recap post after the event! You guys don’t need to hear about it all again. XD
RESEARCH LITERARY AGENTS
Achieved: Yes? No? Sorta?
Erm…eheh. I didn’t do this one as much as I should have. Though, like I said, I researched the two agents I pitched to at Realm Makers, and learned a lot more about agents and what I’m looking for via that. I also purchased a publishing market guide and though I haven’t looked through it much, just having it is definitely a start to finding agents to query to! So I guess you can say I kind of half did this one but…need to get more serious about it.
WORK ON A QUERY LETTER
Achieved: Ish? But not really…
This is kind of another one I sooort of did but not really? I put together a proposal for someone I was pitching to at RM, which required a one page query-type letter. So I did a boat-load of researching on query letters, and threw one together buuut I don’t think it’s very good. I need to work on that more. But, again, I did some research and feel a bit more prepared anyway. It’s just a matter of sitting down and doing it.
Achieved: For the most part?
*LE GASP* Not perfectly, but I stuck with a routine waaaay more than I have in a long, long while, so I’ll take it. I could always do more though…
I actually almost sort of kept up with this one!
Mmmm… I didn’t read as much as I would have liked. Life kept getting in the way. Blah. Though I do feel like I made more of an effort to use free time to read this year than I have in a while. I tried!
Alsoooo, I’ve (almost) achieved something that I should have done yeeeears ago: I’VE READ THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS. Yeah, for the first time. o.o (Technically I’m still reading the finale, so no spoilers!) This has been a huge highlight of the year. Why have I never read these fantastic books before??? I’m in love.
If anyone’s wondering, Hermione, Fred and George, Luna, and Neville are my favorites (I also really like Remus and…well okay all of them!), I’m absolutely a Hufflepuff (yes, I took the official test on Pottermore, but I already knew I was before taking the test XD), and I thiiiink my favorite book is The Prisoner of Azkaban but UGH. I don’t know! They’re all so good! Also I haven’t watched the movies yet. I want to read the books first, and then do a big movie marathon and I’M EXCITED.
(Yeah, I’ve become a total Potterhead and I don’t foresee myself every clawing out. So hello! Looks like I’ve joined the rest of society. XD)
PARTICIPATE IN NANOWRIMO
Achieved: OH YEAH!
Bwahahaha! I think we all know the answer to this since I haven’t stopped talking about it for like two months! But yes, my 9th NaNo was a success!
Achieved: *hides in shame*
*cricket, cricket* Errrr… Between editing BT, prepping for Realm Makers, and NaNoWriMo, I had a lot of stuff to do on the computer this year. Sooo yeah, I don’t think I unplugged all that much.
ALTHOUGH. I do feel like I did a little better forcing myself to turn the computer off at night and go read or something. Not always (and certainly not during NaNo lolz), but I did try. I feel like I’m on the edge of creating good habits, even if I haven’t quite reached them yet. XD
ORGANIZE MY TIME
Achieved: A little!
Not perfect in any form or fashion, but I got into the habit of making to-do lists every single day which helped me stay on track, and I set out certain tasks for each day (such as Thursdays I write my blog posts for next Monday, Tuesdays I stock up on book pictures for Instagram for the week, etc., etc.). These things helped a lot.
I feel like I did do better this year keeping up with things and staying organized.
My organization skills could still use a mountain-sized load of work buuuut I did try! That counts for something, right?
Achieved: Yes, actually!
That was my word for 2018: Intentional. Because, no matter how good my intentions may be, I’m the wooorst about never following through. This year I wanted to change that. I wanted to work on being more organized, work on reaching my goals of being published, work on doing hard things instead of taking the comfortable route. Did I do that this year? I think I did.
I really put effort into editing Burning Thorns, I saved up to go to Realm Makers, I got up the nerve to pitch my novel, I tried my best to stick to my 2018 goals. And, honestly, this is the first time I can remember where I kept to my goals. Because usually they all fizzle out by March. Eheh.
There was so, so much more I could have done. I failed many, many, maaany times. But I did try to stay intentional, to keep stretching out of my comfort zone, and I feel all the better for it.
There’s still so much I want to do and accomplish and keep reaching for, but I feel like I’m getting closer to my dreams. That I’m actually doing something about them instead of just talking about them. My greatest hope for next year is that I’ll keep stretching and stretching. This year good habits were made, and I learned a lot. Hopefully I can apply it all and go even further in 2019.
And that was 2018. I feel like there’s so, so much more I could say about it, but to sum it up, it was a full year and a good year. Habits were formed, new experiences were had, things were accomplished, and blessings abounded even in the hard times. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for 2019.
Until then, I hope you all have the most amazing Christmas and a very, very happy new year! See you all in 2019! Aaahhhhh!!!!!
TALK WITH ME!
I want to know ALL THE THINGS. How was your 2018? What were some highlights? Did you discover any good books? What was your favorite thing about this year? And what are you most excited about come the new year? Tell me everything!
Thank you all so, so, sooo much for constantly being an encouragement to me. YOU GUYS are one of my greatest blessings and made this year an utter delight. I’m so grateful for all of you, and do hope the coming year will be a beautiful one for you each. <3
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!