Skip to main content

2019 Reflections & Resolutions for the New Year

As the year comes to a close, I think it's important to reflect not only on our goals for the upcoming year, but to look back on our achievements in the last. While not everyone may believe in the idea of the new year's "resolutions," I've personally found them to be a great tracking tool. Not only do they inspire me to try new things and seek out new potential growth opportunities, but they help me look back on the areas in which I've improved. These areas I might not have even realized, if it weren't for the annual ritual of reflection and planning.

At the beginning of 2019 I set out to connect the dots; my word of the year being "connect." My intention was to assess every new aspiration I had started in my previous year of "fulfillment" and find a way to sustain these new passions of mine by creating a schedule that would establish a sense of order between the seemingly random ventures I had begun. My word of the year also doubled as a goal to put myself out there in the writing community and make new friends.

This year held a lot of firsts for me. Looking back now, I have to admit that I'm a little daunted by all of the new experiences and people I was able to connect with:
  1. I attended my first writing conference. This was a goal years in the making and I finally worked up the courage. If you're interested to hear more about it, check out my recap video or my tips on how to prep for your first conference
  2. I joined a local writer's group. This one kind of went hand-in-hand with the conference, to tell you the truth. Once I made the decision to attend my first conference, I decided a great way to ease into the prospect of walking into a giant writing event solo was to first try walking into a smaller writing event. Several months of attending an hour-long meet up with a roomful of local writers helped build my confidence to attend a multi-day conference with dozens of authors and industry experts from across the country, including literary agents. Which brings me to...
  3. I pitched literary agents for the first time. This was perhaps the most heart-pounding moment of 2019, but the experience was so incredibly invaluable. If you're interesting in hearing how the pitches went, you can catch the story in that same recap video
  4. I found my first critique partner. If you don't already have one, I can't recommend a CP highly enough. Not only was the experience of sharing my work with a stranger a growing opportunity in and of itself, but my critique partner was able to catch things in  my writing that had become invisible to me after several drafts. If you're on the hunt for a CP and haven't had any luck, try the hashtag #cpmatch on Twitter, hosted by Megan Lally. She has more information on her website
  5. I participated in National Novel Writing Month. For years I've been anxious to see if writing a novel in just 30 days was something I was even capable of doing and the experience did not disappoint. If you're curious to see how it all played out, I have a YouTube series and playlist dedicated my NaNoWriMo journey. 
  6. I co-hosted a live write-in. Participating in a live writing session with a couple of awesome authors on YouTube was yet another new experience for me. While the concept of being live on camera has always slightly terrified me, I decided that it was a great way to round out my year of firsts. And bonus, it was fun! 
It's safe to say that 2019 advanced my writing career tremendously, I believe, thanks to setting a few simple but profound intentions at the start of the year. While I've yet to come up with my "word of the year," I wanted to share a few of my writing and personal resolutions for 2020:
  • Attend a writer's retreat
  • Host a live stream
  • Start a project I've had on the back burner for awhile (more on this soon!)
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo novel
  • Query agents
  • Start a newsletter
  • Dust off my French (listening comprehension and speaking)
  • Run a 5K
  • Read all of the unread books that I own
  • Learn to play piano from sheet music 
What are your goals for the new year? Do you believe in resolutions or reflecting on your achievements in the past year? 

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy:


  1. Excellent list of noteworthy suggestions for resolutions! I'm adding several to my plans...and I especially like the one about making new writer friends. New writer friends are the best!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

(February AuthorToolBoxBlogHop) 100 Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Let us all rejoice for reaching the third week of February! I say rejoice because it's almost over and because February is the month I've come to refer to as the "blah" month. At least where I live, it's the month where the temperatures reach their most frigid and all that beautiful snow you were hoping for at Christmas time now finds its way to earth. Only now you don't get a White Christmas, you get slick roads without a merry excuse to stay home.

What I find most interesting at this time of year is how motivations begin to decline. Goals that a lot of us set at the end of last year begin to lose their luster. For me, February weather has an especially powerful effect on my creativity. This time of year, I just don't have the same kind of creative mojo and motivational energy that I feel in the warmer months.

When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. When the weather gets crummy we hole ourselves up for protection and as a result we can get a lit…

#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop New Favorite Writing Resources - Setting, Word Choice, Revision (oh my!)

Happy June, Writers!

This month has been huge for me in the way of craft. In the midst of my revision, I decided to take some dedicated time to focus on a few of my weaker areas in terms of craft. These were areas I had identified during my read-through or areas in which I simply lacked confidence.

I decided for this month's blog hop to share my list of resources that have been helping me these past couple of months with the hope that they will prove useful to some other writers out there.

#1 Setting

The Rural Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglish (click for Amazon page)

The Urban Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglish (click for Amazon page)
What's so great about them: Written in incredible detail, these two books showcase a vast majority of possible setting locations throughout your novel. It pinpoints the exact sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures, sources of potential conflict, and more.
Let's say that one of your scenes takes pl…

Preptober for NaNoWriMo 2019: Planning Essentials

This is a companion post that I created to share the resources I discussed in my NaNoWriMo Prep Checklist video on my YouTube channel. If you haven't seen the video, I have it embedded below. 

Preptober is finally upon us! Well, maybe not officially, but I couldn't bring myself to wait another day to share all of my planning and resources in preparation for NaNoWriMo 2019.

If you're unaware, NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, is the one month a year where writers all the over world challenge themselves to complete a finished rough draft of a new novel within 30 days. October, also referred to as Preptober, is the month of preparations before the event, where writers decide their story idea and flesh it out. It's also a great time to get your personal scheduled squared away so you can plan for maximum efficiency throughout November.

This is my first year to participate, outside of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I am beyond excited to let a new spark of an idea come to life…