{WRAPPING UP THE YEAR} farewell to 2017

Christmas music is playing in my ears right now as I scroll through my blog, looking at the archives, reading old comments, and realizing how far I’ve come since last year.

 

In other words, hello, I’m back! Merry Christmas! December was a rather insane month, and it seems like forever since I’ve been blogging.

 

Before 2017 vanishes, I want to look back at the year one more time. There was SO MUCH that happened in this year that what’s in this post will probably just skim the surface. But, before I ramble away, here it all is.

 

 

 

I’m blown away by how much I’ve learned and accomplished as a writer in 2017. Progress seemed to come so slowly. Yet when I look back at what I did, it seems like so much

 

JANUARY: I shared my work with someone for the first time: my mom. She read my whole novel (thanks, Mom!), and gave me feedback—the first time I’d ever gotten feedback on any of my fiction.

 

FEBRUARY: I sent my novel out to beta readers for the first time. It was terrifying, in short xD

 

MARCH-APRIL: while waiting for beta reader feedback, I worked on Outcast, the second book in my trilogy. I edited it for 60 hours during my first camp nano.

 

MAY: I worked through beta reader feedback for Found, then rewrote it.

 

JUNE: More editing for Found. Drowning in editing.

 

JULY: more editing, and my 40-hour goal for camp nano. And…I went to Realm Makers! It was EPIC (you can read the post here)

 

AUGUST: I set Found aside and outlined a new novel, When Real Lies.

 

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER: I wrote When Real Lies, finished it, unfortunately hated it, and spent three days outlining something new for nanowrimo.

 

NOVEMBER: NaNoWriMo! I wrote Unnamed Current (though I just switched the title to Prison Zero)

 

DECEMBER: I printed out copies of all the novels I wrote this year, then read them (except for When Real Lies). I started re-outlining Prison Zero for editing.

 

2017 Writing Goals

1) Write better antagonists—check! I wrote a particularly nasty, extremely active villain in Prison Zero.

 

2) Write better mother characters—erm…sort of? There was one in When Real Lies, but…yeah. She was weird 😛

 

3) Master scene length—check! Slayed it, if I might say, though it took me until November to figure out how to balance my scene length and structure them semi-well

 

4) Share my work—check! I shared it with my mom, sent my novel to beta readers, and shared some poetry in September.

 

Total books written from scratch: 4

Final Word Count: 442,471

Best Moment: getting the copies in the mail. The covers are terrible, obviously, and the insides are funky, but just holding them…I was home alone at the time and I kinda screamed and danced around xD I mean, I wrote all that. I still can’t believe it.

 

 

Not enough 😛  I did pretty good until the summer, then life got in the way. According to Goodreads, I read about 32 books. But I didn’t put every book I read on Goodreads, so I’d say around 40-ish.

Favorite books:

  1. Blades of Acktar (YES THE ENTIRE SERIES)
  2. Exiles (YAAAS)
  3. Lay Siege to Heaven (the spiritual depth was amazing)
  4. Scarlet Moon (the theme = epicness…and Ryan. Yes, I like Ryan better than Ethan)
  5. The Blood Race (the most amazing novel ever <3)
  6. Songkeeper (blown away)
  7. All of K.M. Weiland’s writing craft books.

 

 

 

2017 was my first full year blogging, so of course it was epic 😀 I met so many bloggers (and you all are awesome <3), read some incredible posts, and just had an amazing year all around. I feel so blessed that I do have a blog and I’m able to connect with you all.

 

Before I get sappy, here are the stats:

 

Posts: 57

Comments: 1,387

Views: 25,003

Followers: 162

Top Posts: Realm Makers 2017 Highlights, Dreams and Callings–the best is yet to come, and Rebellious Writing–afraid to turn the page

Best Moment: Filming the vlog for my one year blogversary. Seriously, guys. That was a blast.

 

 

 

I don’t even know where to start. Though writing, reading, and blogging definitely fall under the category of ‘life,’ since they’re such a huge part of mine, there is just SO MUCH that happened in 2017. I went hiking in Yosemite and worked for the first time and turned sixteen and got my license and went rock climbing and cut my hair and (finally lol) got a phone that works and started photography and wrote at midnight and went to a formal dance and saw green flashes at sunsets and took a nap for the first time in five years and ran out of breath and almost passed out and got lost and got found and stopped a million times in quiet moments and realized God was the only one who knew where I was going.

 

I went on a quest for joy. And God did teach me what joy was (I guest posted on Chelsea’s blog about this!). He taught me it was small and quiet and it came from Him. He taught me to slow down and that nothing aside from Him is worth anything. He taught me that love and quiet have power. He taught me that the world is only heavy when we try to carry it ourselves.

 

I still don’t know why He did some things. But I’m still here, and as Christmas came and went, I was never so certain that He knows what He is doing.

 

The best moment?

 

Every moment that I really stopped and realized: He loves me. He’s with me. He’s smiling at me. He wants me to be joyful.

 

What I learned?

  1. ask for help. It’s okay. Just do it.
  2. the little things matter. A lot.
  3. take time to be quiet. Always.

 

In summary?

2017 rocked. Though there are a ton of messes I didn’t mention above, I don’t really see a reason to talk about them. It’s not what happened, but what it taught me that I should remember. 🙂

 

 

FINALLY….

 

I’m out of words (just take a moment to think how many more you’ll write before 2017 is over!). But before I ramble on or you click away, I want to add two more things.

 

1). A quick survey. You guys are the reason I’m blogging, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I can do better. If you could take five minutes, that would be great!

 

powered by Typeform

 

 

2) I want to say thank you.

 

Seriously. Just thank you. Thank you for following my blog and commenting and reading and encouraging and being lights and blessings in my life. I couldn’t do this without you. I wouldn’t be here without you. I am grateful beyond words for each and every one of you. I wanted to let you know that I’m praying for all of you, that God guides you closer to Him every day.

 

Thank you.

 

I hope you all have an epic New Year’s,

audrey caylin

 

 

What happened in YOUR year, dear friend? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? What was the best moment? Let’s catch up and talk!

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    rileyalinewrites
    December 30, 2017 at 4:53 am

    Ahhhhhh, Audrey, it sounds like you had an epic year! I’m sorry not everything writing related went the way you’d hoped. But learning in the midst of all of it is totally the best (I had my fair share of both as well.) And WOW. Congrats on just everything blogging related! YOUR BLOG IT SERIOUSLY THE BEST. I can’t wait to keep reading it in 2018!

    “All of K.M. Weiland’s writing craft books” yassssss! I’ve only read one but omw, she’s so awesome!

    My biggest highlights were starting my blog, publishing my book, and NaNoWriMo!! And wow, I’ve definitely learned a lot this year- stuff I’m taking with me into 2017. Forgiveness and peace are a couple of things I’ll be working hard at.

    It was so awesome meeting you this year, and reading your blog, and just ahhhh. Thank you for reading mine, and squealing with me after I published my book, and being an inspiration! I hope you have a year that’s just as fantastic as 2017 was!

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Eeep thank you so much, Riley! 😀

      That’s awesome! And huge. I mean, you did A LOT. Congrats on it all!

      Aw, THANK YOU. I feel so blessed that we met and we’re friends. Keep chasing your dreams and I hope your 2018 is all you’ve hope for and more <3

  • Reply
    Rose
    December 30, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Wow, you had a great writing year! I did too. I wrote two novels, the first I’ve ever written. I can’t believe that it’s going to be 2018 already! One of my biggest highlights was starting my blog.
    -Rose

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Thanks, Rose! It’s been very fun 😀

      Omw, CONGRATS ON YOUR NOVEL. That’s awesome. And starting a blog? You’re rocking it! I hope you have an even better 2018!

  • Reply
    Somewhat Reserved
    December 30, 2017 at 6:03 am

    My biggest accomplishment was probably surpassing my GoodReads goal of 55 books!

    My second goal was getting back into writing. And getting inspired by all the writers around me.

    And well done for doing so much writing! It really reminds me that my novel isn’t going to write itself 😉

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:49 am

      WOW. That’s like… a lot books O.O Congrats!

      That’s a wonderful goal 🙂

      Thank you! And yes, go conquer! You’ve got this <3

  • Reply
    Ivie Brooks @Ivie Writes
    December 30, 2017 at 7:11 am

    This post is so amazing. You never cease to be inspiring. Thank you for this beautiful post. Keep up the awesome work. 🙂

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Thank you so much, Ivie <3 And thank you for all your encouraging comments! Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    Catherine Hawthorn (Farm Lassie)
    December 30, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Gahhhh, way way way too much happened this year to put into a comment for me.

    I loved reading about your year, Audrey!! Here’s to an even better 2018!!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:53 am

      I know! I was kinda overwhelmed just trying to do mine. Do you think you’ll do a post? 🙂

      Thanks, Catherine! I hope you have a wonderful new year!

  • Reply
    haileyhudson
    December 30, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Happy 2018 Audrey! <3 So impressed with all the writing you got done. I ordered the Blood Race this week and I'm dying for it to get here!

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Happy New Year, Hailey! And thank you!

      Aaaahh, that’s so awesome. I think you’re going to love it!

  • Reply
    cherryvillegirl
    December 30, 2017 at 8:08 am

    4 books written from scratch is impressive! Good work. It’s always tough to put aside works, but sometimes it’s for the best. You never know when something from it might inspire something else! Just keep your eyes open.

    Here’s to a great 2018 for you! I hope all goes well!

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 1, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Thank you! It was tough, but I think I’ve learned a lot from it.

      Happy New Year! I hope you have an amazing year!

  • Reply
    S.F. Dekreel
    January 2, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Hi, Audrey! I’m so glad that your 2017 was productive! Especially your writing!
    Ooooh, what DID happen last year?! Ummmmm…… Well probably the best thing that I have learned this year is that God loves me. Well, everyone knows that — it’s your basic kindergarten lesson. But It’s only recently that I have realized that unlike the worldly things (namely idols), God actually loves me back when I love Him, and even when I don’t love him. On top of that, He is real, He is True and He is always there!
    A lot happened other than that…. I don’t have a Facebook, Instagram, or ANY social media account, and for awhile I have been interested to a degree in getting one. But that interest has declined sharply since I joined the forums of Kingdom Pen a couple months ago. I have never found something so wholesome, and awesome, as Kingdom Pen, and I am SO thankful that I have found it. The community is AMAZING. They have encouraged my creativity in every way, especially my writing (no-brainer X) )
    One of the best moments I can remember is when I first joined KP. As I posted for the first time, I expected maybe a few impersonal greetings, and not a whole lot. Instead, I was practically attacked by over a dozen Kapeefers at once, and they were so happy to see me. I was so excited, and I fit in right away.
    So yeah, that is what happened in 2017… 🙂

    • Reply
      S.F. Dekreel
      January 2, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      WOW. That was a long comment…. 8-|

      • Reply
        Audrey Caylin
        January 5, 2018 at 11:10 am

        No worries xD I LOVE long comments 😀

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 5, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Thanks, Dekreel! 😀

      Yay! That’s so amazing <3 And I know, right? It's like, we hear it all the time that "God loves us," but when we start to really, REALLY understand it on a deeper level...it's incredible.

      KP IS THE BEST. I have (guiltily) not been on the forum as much as I'd like, but the community there is the AMAZING. It really is the bestistest place on the Internet 😀

  • Reply
    jemjoneswriter
    January 3, 2018 at 4:41 am

    Sounds like you had a great writing year – and some special times in your non-writing life as well!

    I have achieved… *scratches head* – um, scarily, I can’t think of anything. Wow. So in the coming year, I think I’ll try to take your advice – slow down, take moments of quiet with God, and appreciate the little things. <3

    I look forward to seeing another year of blogging from you! 🙂
    Jem Jones

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 5, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Yes, definitely!

      Nothing wrong with a slow year of rest 😛 And God does give us every day to make the most of <3

      Thanks, Jem!

  • Reply
    Marrok
    January 3, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Happy New Year! It’s great being able to see where God has taken you and your writing during 2017, You made some pretty huge leaps during 2017. And now that 2018 had begun I can’t wait to see how far you will go here on your blog, and in your writing. I’m rooting for you!!

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 5, 2018 at 11:12 am

      Thanks so much, Marrok! That’s really encouraging 😀

  • Reply
    Katie Grace
    January 4, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Um.
    Uuuum.
    UUMMMM.

    You… wrote… 400,000 words…? OVER 400,000 words?!?! I… um… waht. *collapses* You’re amazing, Audrey. I cannot even with your superhuman writing skills. o.o

    And hey – I let my mom read my book in January too! I completely forgot to put that in my wrap-up post since it felt like so long ago. (and I probably wanted to block it from my memory. It went well… but still terrifying. xD)

    Congratulations on all your success! I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings for you. 😀

    katie grace
    a writer’s faith

    • Reply
      Audrey Caylin
      January 5, 2018 at 11:14 am

      AAAHHH THANK YOU <3 It was a blast -- hard, exhausting, but a blast xD

      I know *hides behind hands* I still cringe when I think about when my mom read mine... definitely didn't go bad, but was kinda cringy at times xD

      Thanks, Katie! 😀

    Let's chat!

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