For Writers, How Life Informs Craft, Inspiration, Other

What I Learned About Myself in 2019

As the year comes to an end, I love using this time to reflect on how far the year has taken me.

Here, I wanted to share a few of the things I learned about myself this year. If you’d like to see my reflections and resolutions that I set out with for 2019, you can see one of my previous blog posts under the Lessons Learned category on my blog page.

Also, this New Year marks the end of a decade! If you’re interested, I’ve just released my Decade In Review Workbook on Etsy. It’s all about looking back and planning for the next decade!

1. I’m not an everyday kind of writer

As you can see from my NaNoWriMo chart this year, writing every day is just not something I’m great at. I really need those days in between my writing sessions to contemplate what I want to write next.

While I start off with a good idea of my scene goals and intentions, I still need to “see” the scene play out in my head and make that all connect to the rest of the story.

That process takes time. It is often me trying different scenarios until I feel the one that pushes me to the keyboard and I know is the right one.

NaNoWriMo daily word count
My daily word count from NaNoWriMo is like the world’s most awesome rollercoaster

2. Reading influences my writing A LOT!

When I set out to revise my YA fantasy, I knew I wanted to write my character to be that teenaged, angsty, and snarky voice. So, when I went to start rewriting, it just happened to coincide with my reading of Rick Riordan’s The Apollo Trials.

It was so much fun to read in the voice of his main character (Apollo turned teenaged human) because of the sass and witty voice that he was able to convey.

This helped me make breakthroughs as I found. My own inner sass coming across into my main character’s voice. From that point on, I try to pair my writing with books that feature something that I love in them. For my current WIP, I’m reading books like Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch and Joe Abercrombie’s Before They Are Hanged.

Before they are hanged by joe abercrombie
The action, pace, and gritty characters of this book inspire me to slow down and get details right
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard new cover
The world building and characters really inspire me from this book

3. The writing community is amazing

I started my Instagram and website just over a year ago and I can’t believe how many cool friends I’ve found by joining the online writing community.

Whether it is people on Instagram sharing work and feedback and support, or Twitter word sprints, or even places on Facebook that I can join a group to learn about the business side of writing, I’ve learned so much and met so many people.

Not only that, but I’ve been so blessed to have met and been able to interact with the authors of some great books like The Dark Wood, The Letters She Left Behind, and The Stolen Kingdom.

The stolen kingdom book cover Bethany Atazadeh The letters she left behind by cl Walters coverThe dark wood by Sydney Mann cover

4. I can get a lot done when I want to

Tackling an author platform, working as a full-time teacher, having three kids and a husband to spend time with, editing and beta reading on the side, and writing my own stuff keeps me extremely busy. Plus, let’s not forget binge eating sweets and playing video games!

However, I realized that I could get it all done if I was realistic about my expectations for each facet of my life. Learning to plan goals and organize my thoughts was a huge part of it. The other part is allowing myself grace and knowing that progress is progress, no matter how small it may seem now.

5. The only thing holding me back is ME

On the days I didn’t want to write, or the times I missed posting a blog or social media post, I realized that I could have, but I didn’t want to.

No longer was I able to look objectively at my life and say “Well, it was because of (insert excuses here).” If it really meant that much to me, I MADE time for it.

As I look forward into 2020 and the next decade of my life, this single realization of me being my only barrier is what I’m using to launch myself into greater and newer spaces.

What about you? What did you learn this year? I’d love to hear about it!

3 thoughts on “What I Learned About Myself in 2019”

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