December 31, 2018. Tomorrow I will write the annual letter to my future self and set forth goals and intentions for the year to come. Today I reflect on the year behind us — the good and the bad, accomplishments and setbacks, the things that fueled my soul and the things that made me cry.

This year I went on two writing retreats and attended my favorite writing conference. Weekend trips are the perfect way to re-energize, take time to focus on my writing, and connect with some of my favorite people. I’m thankful for each opportunity and hope they will continue in 2019.

Several friends welcomed new book babies into the world, some for the first time, and other friends bravely shared their words and ideas. Writing, in its rawest form, is a solitary activity, but we need each other for encouragement and feedback. It is not easy to ask someone to read something you’ve written. I love that I’ve been able to see friends go from sharing pages to holding their book in their hands.

As far as my own writing career, it has been an exciting year of anticipation. My debut verse novel comes out in 32 days; the early part of 2018 was spent in edits, the later part in preparation for launch. I queried a previously written novel and got some helpful agent feedback. Unfortunately I can’t quite figure out how to fix the issues with a story that may have bitten off more than it could chew, and there’s been a fair amount of time spent staring at the screen. In the meantime I started a new project, but lack of time/focus and too many excuses has left it pretty neglected. I kept my commitment to the blog (although posts tapered off a bit late in the year) and created my website.

I attended both my high school and college reunions and spent time contemplating the whole getting older thing. I’m not exactly where I thought I’d be in life, but I’ve learned to embrace divergent paths.

Life has certainly had ups and downs this year. We said goodbye to our beloved cat, Mia, but welcomed new two kitties into the house who bring joy to the family. We enjoyed quality family time this summer, but struggle as our oldest enters into the next phase of his life. There have been personal setbacks and heartbreaks, but also a handful of miracles.

Over the past few days, I’ve watched videos about how to reflect, set intentions, and reach your goals. I think it’s useful for all of us to take time this week and appreciate what we’ve learned/accomplished in the past year. To give ourselves credit. And then maybe, instead of a list of resolutions we’ll never keep, we should make promises. Promises to be better versions of ourselves.  To peel away the layers of other people’s expectations that have built up on our hearts, just peel them away until we get to the core of what makes us each unique.

I’m still figuring that out. But I’m happy with 2018 and look forward to what the new year will bring.

Happy New Year, everyone. See you in 2019.



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