2019 has been a year of change for me. Not only did I graduate uni and receive my first Real Job offer, but I reached some very significant milestones when it comes to my writing. Come and check out what I accomplished this year, and whether I achieved my ten key goals!! →
When I published my very first blog post for 2019, I wrote that this year was going to be a year of change for me. Little did I know exactly HOW MUCH things were going to change over the course of the next 12 months! 2019 really has been a year of milestones, some expected and some unexpected, including:
The death of my dog. Back in February, I said goodbye to my best friend. Leo was my first dog, who became a part of my family when I was only ten years old. I will forever be grateful for the 14.5 years we had together, and all the good times that we shared. 💔
Dealing with family stuff. 2019 was a bit of a tough year for my family for a number of reasons, such as my Nanna (who has Alzheimer’s) going into a nursing home. I suppose these challenges have really made me appreciate how important it is to stick together and watch out for each other when times get tough!
Getting my first Real Job. My job search started not long after I finished my final exams, and there was one job in particular that I really wanted. The application process literally took MONTHS, but at the end of it I was offered the position! Now I’m looking forward to starting full-time work in early 2020.
Social media milestones. In 2019, I also celebrated a number of milestones on my social media accounts. During the month of March, I marked one year on Instagram and reached 1000 followers on Twitter. In May, I finally joined Pinterest, and in August I celebrated my second blogiversary here on WordPress!
Due to the high degree of uncertainty with which I went into 2019, I set ten “tentative” targets back at the start of the year. These generally fitted into three categories: (1) blogging, (2) writing, and (3) reading; and were what I used as a rough guide to track my progress throughout 2019. So now, on the last day of the year, the time has come to see how I went!
Create a new theme for my website
SUMMARY: I am always on the lookout for ways to refresh and improve this website/blog, and early this year I successfully implemented a brand new theme. So far I’m really enjoying the brown/beige colours and love the birds and feathers in the header image, and have no plans to change it up at this stage. I’d therefore say I’ve definitely achieved this goal!
Publish 3-4 blog posts per month
SUMMARY: I was so VERY close to achieving this goal, but unfortunately didn’t quite get there. In 2019, I published three blog posts every month except for June, where I published two, and July, where I only published one. But most importantly I’m really pleased with the content I did put out, and by taking a little step back from blogging it left more time for writing!
Share more of others’ blog posts
SUMMARY: When I set my goals at the start of the year, I really wanted to share more posts from others in the blogging community, as I’ve learned so much from them. Unfortunately, I totally FAILED at this goal; I don’t think I shared any posts! It’s likely I’ll work this one into my targets for 2020 by adding a segment to my monthly updates. What do you think?
Beta reading for Holding Up the Sky
SUMMARY: In February this year, I put out a call for beta readers for my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky. While I was initially quite terrified, I ultimately had a lot of fun during this process and obtained some invaluable feedback, which I used to make my final edits. A big thank you to my readers Lorraine Ambers, D. Allyson Howlett and Adi Denner!
Submit Holding Up the Sky
SUMMARY: I achieved this goal just in the nick of time! Once the beta reading process for Holding Up the Sky was complete, I spent the next four months making edits and writing the final draft. I then researched agents and publishers extensively and prepared my submission materials. My first submission was made this December! Wish me luck!
Write the second draft of Blood of Old
SUMMARY: I did it! There were moments this year when I thought I wouldn’t finish the second draft of Blood of Old, book 1 in my fantasy series Graceborn. But after taking on a personal #30kin30days challenge in September, then NaNoWriMo in November, I finally completed the draft, which is a whopping 195,000 words long!! I’m so happy I got there!
Beta reading of Blood of Old
SUMMARY: Once I finished the second draft of Blood of Old, I realised that I didn’t feel comfortable making any further changes or edits without obtaining feedback from others. So I launched straight into beta reading! I put out a call for beta readers in mid-December and was overwhelmed by how many people were interested. This process is now ongoing!
Write the first draft of First the Song
SUMMARY: First the Song is the title of book 2 in my fantasy series Graceborn, which I announced in early December this year. I realised fairly early on in 2019 that my goal to write the first draft of this novel was WAY too ambitious! While I’ve now finished structuring all the scenes, I haven’t even started outlining it yet! Writing this draft will now be a goal for 2020.
Read 75 books
SUMMARY: In 2018, I read 77 books, so I set my 2019 reading target at a reasonable 75. And guess what? This year, I yet again read a total of 77 books! You can check out everything I read on my Year In Books page on Goodreads. Overall, I really enjoyed the books I read this year, which averaged 4.3 stars, and my top ten reads for 2019 are announced here!
Read more self-published books
SUMMARY: Sometimes you have to do a bit of digging to determine if a book is “self-published”. In 2018, I read ~12 self-published books, and in 2019, I read ~22 self-published books, so I think it’s pretty clear I succeeded at reading more of them! Moving into 2020, I think I’d like to read more books by writers I’ve connected with online, but we’ll see how it goes!!