Though I reflect on my own actions and life often, I don’t do it every year to reflect over a year’s worth of accomplishments. Part of it is because I have a poor sense of time and digging up memories on command is hard. I often can’t recollect simple questions I know very well, like favorite movies or books. I have to go over lists on IMDB or GoodReads. Thank you brain *eye roll*.
So that’s also a part why I don’t do this that often. Thing is, I’ve been saying we need to celebrate the little steps more because it’s hard to feel good about ourselves and know our worth when all we focus on are our mistakes. So I will try and dig up what I can, go through my lists and folders, even if I miss some things.
What I accomplished in 2019 (non-writing related)
One of my aspirations for the upcoming year is to eat healthier, but I also want to keep up my overall wellbeing. That also means getting my self-esteem and confidence to healthy levels. So, I could use this boost. And to be honest, I kind of want to boast a bit because I’ve been working hard this past year and looking at how far I’ve come, how much I’ve suffered before and how much I’ve grown, I think I deserve this.
Well damn, can’t believe I said that.
What did I do last year that I’m proud of…? What have I accomplished…?
2019 has been a year I felt myself mature more than I’ve ever felt. It’s weird, always having felt kind of like a child, feeling like a fake adult, feeling like I’d never be ready, but that lessened. Some of those feelings even went away. I can’t explain a lot on this topic, yet, but I’m just hoping I’ll be able to go into detail during the upcoming year.
Last year I started on a new job which seems to fit me well. I’ve got the right amount of hours, it’s flexible, gives me the opportunity to learn and challenge myself while not overwhelming me too much, and I feel appreciated.
Since jobs have been a struggle for me since the beginning this is huge for me. I’ve been diagnosed with ASD and ADD only a couple of years ago and have had depression for the larger part of my life (though it’s in remission for some time now, if that’s the right word).
It took me years of self-discovery, unlearning harmful stuff, and making difficult life choices, but I’m seeing the results. I’m feeling the results and it feels good.
Another big thing was that we traveled through the northern island of New Zealand or Aotearoa. It was so beautiful and peaceful, but it was also a little scary until we got there. I was scared about how things would go and if I’d get sensory overload over there. I didn’t want to meltdown and ruin the holiday by getting sick. But things went great and we made some precious memories there together.
What I accomplished in 2019 (writing-related)
Of course, I’m also proud of what I achieved as a writer. There’s still lots that I have to work for and plenty is still out of reach, but I don’t want to ignore all the things I managed to do. You don’t scale stairs in one leap, you take them one step at a time (or maybe two if you’re in a hurry and able xD). I had many aspirations for last year written down in my bucket list. I’ve submitted 8 stories this year, mostly at the beginning of the year because I lost all confidence in my work and felt I had nothing worthwhile to offer. I’ve also read more than I ever had as you can read in my Year Of Books post.
I’ve come a long way in terms of my creative process as well. I will be writing about my process in a new blog series this year so you’ll be able to follow in more detail, but this has really helped me in my drafting.
I used to edit and draft at the same time a lot. Still do sometimes, but try not to. It really hampers my process and I’ve figured out that it’s probably because I don’t prepare well enough before I start writing. As a plotter, I need to actually outline better and plan out the story from start to finish so I don’t find out partway I forgot something. So many things keep changing as I draft that I keep rewriting and it’s just not as efficient as I want. Not that I think I’ll be able to make it without rewrites ever, but there’s a difference between rewriting whole ARCs and rewriting a couple of scenes.
My 2019 WIPs
Most of that I learned through working on a few projects, some bigger than the other, but in average bigger than what I wrote in 2018. You can find my writing process updates here.
There’s my Cursed Enemies to Lovers WIP which now needs a new title, even a working title more than ever. It’s no longer an enemies to lovers. It’s also no longer a short story (hasn’t been for a long while now) but a full novel. The book’s about lifting curses, freeing people from capitalist and racist oppression, rebellion, elementals and environmentalism, blood magic, loss of family, and all of that wrapped up and woven together with what I’m hoping will be rich and interesting world-building. Its genre has changed from paranormal romance to a dark fantasy with a romantic subplot.
That’s my latest active WIP, which I started as I’m taking a break from Meet Me Halfway because it’s with CPs. This is my ace romance book set in the same world as my other WIPs and the same country as Cursed Enemies to Lovers starts in. The story’s vastly different though, as it’s an exploration of (a)sexuality, intimacy, and relationships from an ace perspective. It’s the first book in a trilogy which’ll go from f/f to f/f/m in the second, and I started as an expansion of what will be the third book (In Good Company) once it’s expanded.
I did however start out with another big novel project which I’ve been working on for a long time now, or well, on and off. I’m talking about Salandrine. This high fantasy book is one following a Black Autistic princess in a story filled with political intrigue, an environmental mystery, a f/f romantic subplot with a trans woman and lots of magic. Last time I worked on this I was working on the last ARC of the book.
Set in the same country as Salandrine is Found By A Wandering Heart, which started out as Legend of Savanna. It is a short story about friendship and a quest. I’m mentioning it since it’s the only thing I managed to finish last year apart from In Good Company.
Lastly, I had two WIPs which I’m not sure yet what to do with. I started drafting before figuring out what I wanted from the story and so it was poorly prepared and outlined. I’m talking about my vampire story BloodLust and one on dream magic called Dare To Dream.
I keep track of my writing in an EXCEL sheet I made. It’s got several statistics as well, so, though it feels a bit like boasting, since I feel good about these numbers, I want to write some of those down here.
Total words written: 305.690!
Total words drafted for stories alone*: 234.705!
*: written for a draft or manuscript, including discarded chapters but excluding writing done for worldbuilding only and blogging.
Average words per writing session: 1.406
Average words per week: 6.496
Average words per month: 25.474Most productive month: June, with 47.500 words written, almost only for drafting stories!
Biggest project: Meet Me Halfway, with 123.000 words written divided over 4 drafts!
Smallest project passed a first draft*: Found By a Wandering Heart, with 10.000 words written. Its actual length is 6600 words.
*: meaning I’ve written it from start to finish at least once.
Other books I’ve worked on are Salandrine (10.500 words written in 2019 out of the 88.000 total words written), In Good Company (18.500 words written, and which will be the third book in my ace romance trilogy once I’ve expanded it), and Cursed Enemies to Lovers WIP (38.500 words written). Of the last year, I wrote 219 out of the 365 days. My longest writing stream was 10 days, and my highest daily wordcount 8.001.
So last year I blogged quite a bit and I plan to continue that. You can find an overview of my blog series and posts here. I’ve got multiple series going on at the moment, like my Blogged-Aut series about my experiences as being Autistic and my self-care series.
First-times of 2019
Last year I managed a couple of things for the first time. I wrote my first novelette (In Good Company), finished a revised draft for a novel for the first time (Meet Me Halfway) and have broken my own wordcount records!
I’m really happy with these milestones! Let’s hope 2020 has many more!