The Writing Part:
What book am I most proud of this year:
Roan. A thousand percent Roan. I knew going into this that there were going to be readers who would hate the format of this book. Normally, that would be enough to make me rethink it, write it in a way that might appeal to more people. But I refused to do that with this one. Because it HAD to be told with the time jumps. Because we HAD to see Roan and Mack in the past. This is one of my favorite PLOTS I have ever written. I absolutely adored it. I loved experiencing their story.
What book was the hardest to write this year:
4 Months. I can’t even give you a reason. It was just a rough one.
The male character I wrote this year that I like the most:
Oh, this is hard. Either Thayer or Kingston. Thayer because I loved how rough-around-the-edges he was. And Kingston because I am a sucker for a GOOD MAN. And there is no denying that King is a good man.
The female character I wrote this year that I like the most:
Hmmm. Mack? I really liked her character arc.
If you had extra time, what book would I have written this year?
Aside from the dozen or so standalone books I have in mind, I would have loved to have written Ruling the Green (Jet’s book) this year.
Are there any disappointments with my books this year?
Revenge not taking off was a disappointment for me, I won’t lie. I was also really hard on myself for not writing my usual twelve books this year (I only wrote ten).
The Life Part:
Thing I am most grateful for: My family. My fans. Being able to provide for my family because of my fans. My upward growth. My health despite not taking very good care of myself because of things mentioned later in this post.
Favorite moment: Without getting to woo-woo on you guys, I had this really interesting moment while meditating last week. And it just… I don’t know… my soul felt lifted up. I have no better way of putting it. It was such a relief after such a low year mood-wise.
Low moments: This has been a rough year for me. I seemed to be stuck in a six month spell of back luck. Just constantly. One thing after another every other day of the week. And it spiraled my anxiety and depression out of control. I still feel like I am clawing my way out of that.
New friends: I think of all my new readers as my new friends. You all are amazing. Outside of that, I am a hermit. Making friends as an adult is hard!
New experiences: I did mention that I was a hermit, right? Not much to report here.
What did I learn about myself: I can’t do it all. It KILLS me to say that. I pride myself in having my shit together. I can work, provide for my loved ones, take care of my pets, take care of my family, build my business, connect with my readers, take care of my house, take care of my personal relationships. The truth is, I CAN do all that, but by doing all that by myself, I 100% neglect myself. I neglected myself a lot this year. And I will be dealing with the consequences of that for a while. Very close to a complete and utter burnout at the latter part of this year, I finally decided to ask for and accept help. I got a proofreader. I worked with a marketing team. I asked my ARC and Street Teams to please help me as we move forward in the future. I asked my family to help me run errands and take care of the house. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable to do ANY of that, let alone ALL of it, but I am convinced that it is going to help prevent burnout in the future.
What do I want to leave in 2019: Self-doubt and Imposter Syndrome. Easier said than done, but I am going to try! Eating most of my meals standing up. I still haven’t shaken that bad habit.
What do I want to bring into 2020: My newfound meditation practice. Compartmentalizing my time so that getting my words written doesn’t take me from 10am to midnight every day. Taking time to be a human being. Maybe even -gasp- taking a day off every week! That might be too crazy. But it would be nice.
What goal do I want to accomplish in 2020: My goal is to grow my business enough to allow me to move back to my hometown.
What risk do I want to take in 2020: I want to write a couple standalone books I have in mind that scare me because they are so different from what my readers expect from me.
What quote best describes your hopes for the new year: “My goal for the next year is to fall back in love with myself, the world, and life again.” Amen.