2016 was a hard year for so many people, so I feel like no matter what I say here I will sound ungrateful. Part of me feels bad that it was a great year for me personally. But a bigger part says STFU, embrace your success and be thankful. And I am. I did so many things I never would have imagined and am so proud of the books I released. (If I don’t sound like it, it’s because I’m going through a lot and feel kind of flat right now.)
I just looked back at my goals for 2016 and started laughing. I did very well and some and deplorably on others.
- Enjoy the whirlwind of releasing four books in under seven months – I don’t know if “enjoy” is the right word for all that craziness, but I did survive it. And I did have fun, but it was a heck of a lot more work than I thought it would be. While I have proven it can be done, I don’t recommend that schedule to anyone. I’m glad it’s over and am so proud of what I accomplished! I’m even more proud that the books are out in the world and in the hands of readers.
- Write at least one new book (two is my stretch goal) – Not so much. You can totally tell I didn’t know how much work I had cut out for me when I wrote this goal. I didn’t write anything new this year. I did edit a lot and I have started on the research that will form the basis of a book to be published next year, but that’s it.
- Continue to market my books and learn about self-publishing – This one I actually did really good at. Talk about a crash course! I read what feels like a million books (and have about a million more to go) and tons of blog posts. but I learned the most through doing. Indie publishing is all about trial and error. This will be an ongoing goal, as it is a never-ending learning process, especially as the industry keeps changing.
- Exercise on a regular basis and eat healthy – I was so bad at this. I am ashamed to admit how bad. I haven’t exercised in about a month now, and not much before that. Some it is time, most of it is laziness, and a lot is that I can’t find any kind of exercise right now that interests me. I used to dance, I really want to get into yoga but so far I’ve been bored, and I’m too out of shape for the boot camp I used to love. I’m not really a taking classes kind of person, but right now DVDs/YouTube isn’t working for me either. That HAS to change. Suggestions?
- Nourish my spirit – This kind of fell by the wayside too. I did work with a life coach this year, which was an amazing experience on many levels, so I think that counts. But I need to make daily prayer/meditation a regular practice again, as well as taking time off to refill my creative well.
- Take time to have fun – I had a ball at the conferences and book signings I went to this year! While I can’t say I really did much outside of the writing community for fun, I wouldn’t trade the great experiences this year for anything (although I could have done without American Airlines losing my luggage and not reimbursing my expenses. I’m still sore over that, can you tell?)
For those who don’t know, this year has come to a close on a sad note for my family. My cousin, who was only six months younger than me, passed away suddenly on Christmas Eve. She and I were very close when we were young, so this was a great shock. I’ll talk more about how this affected me (grief, obviously) in my January 1 post, but I wanted everyone who had a rough year to know I understand how you feel, at least to an extent (and that’s without getting into politics).
Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to kicking 2016 to the curb and welcoming in 2017. I’ve learned so much this year, but it is time to move on.
I wish you all a wonderful remainder of the holiday season and a Happy New Year!