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.
- Blades of Acktar (YES THE ENTIRE SERIES)
- Exiles (YAAAS)
- Lay Siege to Heaven (the spiritual depth was amazing)
- Scarlet Moon (the theme = epicness…and Ryan. Yes, I like Ryan better than Ethan)
- The Blood Race (the most amazing novel ever <3)
- Songkeeper (blown away)
- 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:
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?
- ask for help. It’s okay. Just do it.
- the little things matter. A lot.
- take time to be quiet. Always.
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. 🙂
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!
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.
I hope you all have an epic New Year’s,
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!