Well. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times already, but… it’s been a year. A crazy whirlwind of a year. It’s a little hard to believe it’ll finally be over in a few days, lol. But as I attempt to maintain hope for 2021, let’s spend some time focusing on what went well in 2020 and some things that could go well in 2021!
2020: An Overview
…How do I even overview this year? It’s been such a roller coaster, lol. I re-published Short Story Collection vol. 1, I graduated from high school and choir, I struggled with socializing (lockdown, anyone?) and yet somehow still managed to make new friends? I spoke up… and then quieted down again. Um… yeah. Lots has happened and yet it feels like nothing has gotten done, so… That feels like kind of an apt description of the whole year. But anyway.
Last year I mentioned starting to learn French and falling in love with ballroom dance, and both of those things have stuck around! I’ve been continuing to practice French through Duolingo and starting in… October, I think, my sisters and I started taking ballroom dance classes! So I’m very, very happy about that.
I didn’t get to do a lot of the things I was hoping to do this year. Because lockdown started in March, I didn’t get to complete my final choir semester and I missed out on my final performance and an in-person “ceremony.” I didn’t get to hug my fellow seniors when we parted ways, which… was a really big bummer. We did a Zoom graduation thing that did manage to make me cry… a lot… and my dad bought me flowers, so it wasn’t a complete disappointment. I still really miss those people and I think I’ll be missing them for a long time to come. But I’ve ended up still getting to hang out with a handful of them in other contexts, so that’s been nice.
I finally got my driver’s license in September! Which has been so. nice. My best friend and I have started meeting up once a week to do schoolwork and hang out together, I’ve started taking my sisters to dance class (as previously mentioned), and I’ve been trying to go to church consistently. Unannounced cancellations have made that hard. :P But I’m making at least a little bit of headway!
I also settled on concrete plans for the next few years! Last year I was looking toward graduation and feeling like I had no idea what I was going to be doing afterward, but thanks to research for a random story idea I managed to stumble across a college that looks like it’s going to be a perfect fit for me, so that’s something I’m working toward, even though I’m planning to put it off another year and a half-ish so I can focus on traveling and writing and the like before I start college. (A little more on that later.)
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with how much I managed to hold up over the course of this year. There were definitely many stretches that I only managed to power through because God was pushing me, and I’m so thankful for that. This has not been an easy year by any stretch of the imagination, but He’s pulled me through.
2020: Goals in Review
Because 2020 was what it was, a lot of my plans got completely derailed, and not all of those were inherent negatives, so I’m mostly going to review the goals that either went well or okay and leave out those that got completely shot down.
Post (at least) once a month on Within the Static
I did this! I put up 19 posts on WTS over the course of this year, and the only month I’ve missed is December, which I plan to remedy. So hooray! I’m pretty happy with that progress. :)
Revise Calligraphy Guild
I don’t remember for sure what my specific end-goal was with this? If I was planning to have it completely revised by the end of the year, I’m not even close. But I have gotten a couple rounds of edits done! In particular, I’ve fixed some worldbuilding errors in the first chapter that were preventing me from posting it here on the blog. I posted that first chapter in August, and you can join my Discord server (or email me, if Discord isn’t an option) for access!
Prepare to pitch Calligraphy Guild
This was back when I was toying with the idea of going trad with Calligraphy Guild, but with RealmMakers falling through and some more thought I’ve decided to continue indie with this book. I’m super excited to go through the full indie publication process with Calligraphy Guild and make it wholly my own! :)
Re-publish Lost Girl
Due to the release of Kara Swanson’s Dust right around the time I’d been planning to do this, I decided it would be best to postpone this re-release until next year. But Lost Girl will be coming to paperback in June!
Re-publish Short Story Collection Vol. 1
This I did! And I’m so much happier with this version.
Revise Hands (a poem)
To be completely honest, I’d completely forgotten this was a goal. I think I did revise it? I also went through a semi-brief songwriting phase around the same time, so that was fun. I don’t remember what the end goal was for this, so I don’t know if I achieved the purpose? But I did revise Hands.
Get my license
I did this! *happy dance* The process took entirely too long! But I’m finally allowed to drive independently!
2021: Concrete Goals
I have lots. Possibly too many; we’ll find out. This isn’t quite all of them, since some are irrelevant and/or personal, but it’s most of the big ones.
Continue posting at least once a month on Within the Static
Write a guest post for The Rebelution
Write a guest post for Story Embers
Post a weekly conversation starter in Discord
(Yep, I know my engagement isn’t great. Working on it!)
Finish (all) Calligraphy Guild edits
(There’s some exciting stuff beyond that, but… that’ll come out later. ;) )
Start outlining The Dark War Trilogy
(That series I was super excited about for a while that then completely disappeared? I want to bring it back!)
Post every week on my author social media
Make progress on background project
(I don’t want to get anyone too excited since it’s barely moving yet, but if it works out it’s going to be very cool.)
Release two worldbuilding courses
(One on the basics of worldbuilding and how to approach it; one on how to develop the many facets of your world with worldview in mind!)
Read 52 books, including one indie book and one nonfiction book each month
(I’ve read 115 books this year, but I’m planning to be a lot more busy next year and don’t want to stretch myself too thin, so I’m returning to my more reasonable goal of one per week.)
Take CLEP tests
(I have seven of these I’m planning to take to get a lot of my general ed out of the way. I’m hopeful they’ll go well!)
Practice French daily
Start learning Hebrew
(Hoping to get a jump start on theology-based schooling, plus I’d just like to know it for my own personal Bible study.)
Cross-country road trip
(I’m very excited about this! My graduation present from my aunt and grandparents is a cross-country road trip that we didn’t get to take in September due to lockdowns, but we’re planning to go this coming year instead. I love traveling, and I know that The Grand Canyon is on the itinerary, so I’m very much looking forward to this!)
2021: General Hopes
I’m hoping to grow a lot through 2021. I feel like I ended up kind of stagnant this year due to everything shutting down, but I have a lot of cool stuff planned for 2021 and I’m hoping to buckle down on writing-related stuff and develop some more independence and discipline. After working on worldbuilding courses, independent study, and CLEP tests in the first quarter, I’m hoping to work in a different state over the summer and then travel in the fall, so there are going to be a lot of new experiences and new people.
I’m planning to carry over my Bible verse of the year from last year: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
I’m not sure how well I held to this verse this year? It definitely kept showing up every time I needed to be reminded of it, but I’m not sure how deeply I took it to heart. I definitely tried, but it’s something I still need to work on (and could probably work on my whole life), so I’m planning to carry it over for this year and keep striving to follow Him better.
I would also just like normal life to go back to… well, normal, but my hope is battling with my knowledge of mankind on that one.
And I think that about covers it! Growth, normalcy, stronger faith…
How about you? What progress did you make in 2020? What are your hopes and plans for 2021?