Hello all! In lieu of my usual monthly goal recap, or pestering people for interviews over the holidays, I wanted to take this 5th Friday of December to do a year in review. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas last week, if you celebrate, and a Happy New Years tonight! Strangely enough, I don’t actually remember last New Years. It’s like I set up my bullet journal for 2020, making jokes with my friends about how if last century was the roaring twenties, this century would have the screaming twenties, then I blinked and here we are. Oops. But there’s proof that the past year did, in fact, exist, so let’s see if I met any of the resolutions that I don’t remember setting for myself.
2021 Resolution Review
Finish editing Storge: I half finished this and hit the 50K mark, but paused because my priorities changed. I’m still very proud of what I’ve done with this story so far, and I think the changes I’m making are for the better, however long and tedious they are to implement.
Starting beta readers for Storge: This did not happen, as the 2nd (and 3rd) draft wasn’t complete, however I did start the beta reading process for a different WIP, which I’ll talk about in a bit.
Finish Outline for Laoche Chronicles: Yet again, I did not completely finish this goal, ambitious as it was, but I overhauled my magic system, developed new backstories for several main characters, and fleshed out my world’s politics. This is an ambitious story that’s constantly evolving as I improve my craft, but I realized I would have to focus on some smaller-scale projects first to solidify my skill-set before tackling this titan.
Read 24 books: I read 34 books this year, counting beta reading Siarven’s Dreams Shadow twice which isn’t included in Goodreads (yet). You can read our interview here if you haven’t yet. Get my act together with this Author Platform business: Last year at this time, I had next to no organized workflow for maintaining this website, and still needed to find my footing as a blogger, as well as an author and student. Since then, I’ve posted almost every Friday this year, maintained a biweekly posting schedule on my Instagram, launched a mailing list, reached my 1st year anniversary of starting this site, and hit a bunch of follower goals. I’m incredibly proud of my progress and beyond grateful for all of your immense support.
Filled a whole sketchbook: I’m so proud of how far my art has come. Though it still doesn’t come close to the moving pictures in my head, I’m pleased to see the progress towards making my ideas a reality and conveying them to other people.
Outlined, Drafted, Edited (x2) my Middle Grade Fantasy novel, Runaways, recruited beta readers, and sent off the draft, in under 6 months.
Wrote, edited, and published two Stormlight Archive fan-fictions: Four Hours for Bridge Four is an lyric anthology of short stories during the Way of Kings timeline. Three Brothers is a one-shot “deleted scene” from Rhythm of War.
Did a TON of research on publishing and website updates: Undoubtedly, the publishing landscape will change significantly between when I did this research, and when I do start publishing, but it was a valuable learning experience and left me better equipped to approach this site and my future plans. You can find my findings compiled here and here.
Came up with a nifty new pen name: This shall stay a secret for now, as I don’t have the time/energy/money to dedicate to building up an all-new author’s persona and platform, but I will be keeping it in my back pocket for future use.
Participated in Jean’s OC Authtober: For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram: My friend Jean, who I met in the Newsies fanfic space, organized a month long challenge with prompts to help us participants better develop our OCs. She is an incredible writer and a wonderfully kind human being, and I was so happy to learn from her process and fine tune Hannah’s voice as I worked on Runaways. My entries to the challenge are all still available to see on my page and I made a highlight so you can still find them!
Participated in the Inklings Challenge: For those of you who don’t follow the Christian Writeblr community: this was another month long challenge inspired by the real-life writing group called the Inklings, which included literary greats such as Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Chesterton. Participants were sorted into three teams and given prompts for science fiction and fantasy stories based on which author they modeled and some common Christian themes and theology.
I was on Team Lewis, and the prompts for Portal Fantasy and Stewardship fit really well for a short story I wanted to write for the Runaways universe! Around the same time at the beginning of the month, I also put up a poll asking what you wanted to see for my annual Halloween Special – and you chose an in-universe spooky short story, which worked out perfectly! These two ideas combined to create The Replacement, which you can read here! The rest of the Inklings stories can be found on the blog, and I’m slowly working through the backlog of stories. It’s been wonderful to see the creativity, thoughtfulness, and care each and every writer put into their work, and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in learning more about Christian culture and creativity, or if you just want to read some really cool stories!
I think the last section goes to show that we can’t always predict what will capture our attention in the scope of a whole year. Priorities can easily change as you realize what you had planned wasn’t working for you, or real world obligations get in the way. This is why I enjoy doing the monthly goals, because it lets me refocus and record my other accomplishments. Keeping this in mind, I know the next year and a half-ish is going to be insanely busy for me. I have an internship and move to a new far-away city this upcoming summer, and three semesters left until I finish my chemical engineering degree and graduate, which means I have to find a Real Job and be a Real Adult. That’s CRAZY. I know my writing may have to take back-burner, so I’m trying to set incremental resolutions for each of my projects, in the hopes that any forward progress will be working towards at least one of them.
- Complete beta reading and personal copy-edits for Runaways, then shop for a professional editor and cover artist so I can prepare it for publication.
- Read 50 Books – including my writing nonfiction backlog, and some beta reading assignments
- Finish my Storge analysis and read-through, complete 2nd draft.
- Maintain, and improve my author’s platform by maintaining/modifying this site, sending out four quarterly newsletters to my mailing list, and growing my Instagram presence with reels and better photos.
Wish me luck, my friends! This being said, I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void, and so if I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both of those, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! Also feel free to tell me some of your accomplishments and what you’re excited to be working on in the future. I hope you all have a wonderful start to your new year and a happy 2022!