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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? 

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Comments

  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!

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