Yes, I know I’m a little late to the game, but better late than never, right?
Wow. What a year 2021 was! It was a year of transitions, and yet also healing and rest. Of being uprooted and yet finding my place. It was a year of growth, of learning to push myself outside my comfort zone and be consistent in both my writing and personal life.
In many ways, this year was hard, and yet it was also so good and I’m so thankful for all the ways it grew and stretched me. The Lord knew exactly what I needed this year, and I’ve come out of it a stronger, wiser, more confident person for it.
Let’s start with the highlights!
- Moving to the Garden Route in February
- Turning 18 in March
- Joining a community orchestra
- Taking the SAT in April
- Graduating high school in May
- Flying back to the States for three weeks in May-June
- Getting my driver’s license
- Starting college classes in June
- Enrolling in the Author Conservatory in July
- Meeting so many wonderful people and talented writers in the Author Conservatory
- Going on a senior trip to Cape Town in August
- Enjoying South Africa’s beaches and mountains with my family
- Writing a new novel
- Launching my business in November
- Spending time with friends and making new friends
Let’s take a deeper dive into the writing side of things!
2021 Writing Accomplishments:
- Wrote 60 blog posts (equaling thousands of words)
- Wrote my first guest post on E.G. Bella
- Joined TCKs for Christ as a staff writer
- Submitted 1 article to The Rebelution and 1 to The Wilting Rose Project
- Wrote 44,952 words in my latest novel (in only two and a half months!)
And now for my reading accomplishments!
2021 Reading Accomplishments:
- Read a total of 46 books
- That equaled 10,615 pages
- The longest book I read was 492 pages
- Wrote 40 reviews, 19 of which are on my blog
If you’d like to see more of the books I enjoyed this year, you can follow me along on Goodreads!
Now for some more serious reflection. What did I learn this year?
I’m not sure if I can sum up everything I’ve learned this year in just a few paragraphs, but one of the biggest things I learned is that I can do all things through Christ, including facing my fears and doing scary things.
After the difficult, uncertain year of 2020 where depression stole months of productivity from me and I struggled just to get through daily life, 2021 was a breath of fresh air for me. It was a reminder to hope again, to live again. To dream of the future. And to create goals and a plan to reach those goals.
I did so many hard things this year. My family moved yet again after spending eight years in our last home, the longest we’ve ever been in one place. I got my driver’s license after driving for only three weeks. I started online college courses. I joined the Author Conservatory and learned how to share my work with others and take critique (not easy for this perfectionist and people-pleaser!). I started a new novel after working on my YA medieval fantasy for three years and not writing at all during the second half of 2020. I started my first small business and learned to put myself out there. I learned to show up consistently on this blog even when I didn’t feel like it.
While 2021 was a year of healing for me, that doesn’t mean I still didn’t struggle with my feelings. But what changed was my view toward them. I learned that I don’t have to trust my feelings nor am I enslaved to them. I learned that the only One I can rely on is God. And I learned that even through the pain and darkness and mess, He has a plan for my life. He’s not done with me yet. I learned to cling to those truths, even in the moments I couldn’t feel them.
I learned to enjoy fiction writing again. After coming to a standstill with my writing in 2020, there was a part of me that was afraid I had lost the writer inside of me. I learned to enjoy the process, to not be so hard on myself. I learned discipline. And slowly but surely, I learned to give up my perfectionist tendencies in exchange for a better, fuller life where failure is not the end but merely a stepping stone to growth.
So, what are my goals for 2022? Here are some of the things I hope to accomplish this year!
- Write 1 post a week on my blog
- Read at least 50 books
- Finish the first draft of Of Daggers & Spies
- Start a new novel
- Solidly establish my small business and start earning regularly
- Grow my author Instagram account (I’m hoping to get to 500 followers by the end of 2022)
- Continue college classes
- Learn to use some new graphic design programs
- Maybe start an author newsletter (A big maybe!)
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this look into what 2021 was like for me and what I’m looking forward to in 2022.
But enough about me! I want to know, what did you accomplish in 2021? What did you learn? What are your goals for 2022?