Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
It's 2016! I can't and can believe it both. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and a special New Years, and a Happy Holidays! I'm still winding down from the holidays myself, and am trying to remember that I'm no longer on vacation...which is easier said than done.
At the beginning of the year I like to try and write both about what I hope to accomplish in the new year, and what I have learned/accomplished in the year previous. It's always a bit difficult of a post for me, but I hope you enjoy reading it, and if you'd like, I hope you will share some of the things that made 2015 a special or overcoming year for you.
2015 In Retrospect ~
At the beginning of 2015, I wrote a blog post talking about how, as I writer, I wanted to learn in 2015 how to really be a writer again -- to understand that nothing will be perfect, to connect with my ideas without shame, to forge my own path, to not worry about what the market or the readers will say. And I'm happy to say that that's exactly what I learned last year...and then some.
Starting out in a changing publishing world as a young author (19), I have had my share of ups and downs over the 5+ years I've been in business. When you're young, it's very easy to lose your way, I think, and there is a lot to learn, a lot of mistakes to make; I'm grateful for mistakes, because I learn, but in the thick of failure, it's a rough road. And I know that I lost my way somewhere along the line, probably from 2011 - 2014, and that 2015 was a year of renewal for me; in fact, I like to participate in the My One Word challenge each year, and last year's word for me was "renewal".
In 2015 I really sat down and asked myself where I wanted to go as a writer -- and, more importantly, what I wanted to say with my writing, what type of writing I wanted to do, and why I was writing in the first place. This soul-searching concerning writing really aided me, even though it took the better part of a year, and now I feel stronger for it. Now I realize that all I really want to do is tell good stories that impact people for the better, to get people to see things differently, and relate to one another more easily because of it.
I write to inspire change.
Last year, some good changes happened for me. I went back to writing in notebooks for first drafts (I wrote a post about the magic of said notebooks), I finally have a concrete vision of how I want to wrap up the Snowflake Triplet, and I released more stories than I thought I would with: Descent To Darkness, As Long As Forever, A Beast of Beauty, the North shorts (as e-books), and The Christmas Compass. For the first time in a long time, I really enjoyed writing again, though it still has its ups and downs, just like any other job.
2015 was a rough year for me in ways that previous years haven't been. As I said in last post, I spent most of my time at the doctor's office, my family was broken up and put back together, and I experienced some very hard times financially, and in writing. But the aid of others, and the help of God got me through, and here I am on the other side looking back, and feeling grateful for all of it. Some things I wish were different, but I want to move forward, not back.
That's why my word for this year is "forward".
Writing Goals For 2016 ~
This year, I really want to work on spanning my ideas, staying true to my writing vision, and working on what I want to work on. That may sound odd, but there are plenty of weird and wacky ideas I've been afraid to try because they're, well, weird. I want to let my inspiration lead me, and take care in my writing. I've gotten much better about not worrying over how many books I release a year, or how fast I write, but it still crops up from habit.
Several of my stories have come back from the graveyard, and I'm excited for that. It's like saying hello to old friends. Several new stories have cropped up, too, inspired by other well-loved tales. I've been wanting to work on a magical girl series for a while, inspired by Sailor Moon and other amazing magical girl stories I've loved throughout my life, and I finally have a story to work with, which is so exciting!
In 2016, I want to move forward: with projects, with goals, and with my love for writing. I really just want to immerse myself in my love for stories and people, and be the best author that I can be.
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What are your goals for 2016, and what good things did you learn in 2015?