We have a matter of days before the end of 2017, and I wanted to at least get one more blog post in before then. So I thought it would be fun to look back and reflect a little on the year. By far, it has been a way better year than 2016. I can safely say that 2016 was probably the worst year of my life, for a myriad of reasons that I’d rather not go into right now. But when you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere else to go but up.
My decision to make this site more about me as a creative rather than just a writer was one of the best decisions I really ever made. I spent a year frustrated and angry with myself because my motivation and my inspiration were at an all-time low. So when I came back to the online world around the middle of 2017, I promised myself little to no stress. I didn’t want to experience the burn-out again.
I think I’ve been able to do that quite well. Balance is still a struggle, because with my personality, I want to do all the things, and I want to do them all RIGHT NOW. But that’s not physically or mentally possible for me to do that and stay sane.
I think balance is the key that I’ve always missed. I’ve always been a all-in sort of girl. As soon as I get an idea, I’m 1000% focused on it for two or three weeks. Then suddenly, it fizzles. That’s kind of what happened with writing. I went full force for longer than I ever have on a creative venture. Then suddenly it all crashed.
Refocusing myself has been a long process. It’s been nearly six months since I nuked my old website and started over. I can’t say that it’s been an amazing year. It hasn’t. But it also hasn’t been a bad year either. It’s been a year of rebuilding. Of fixing past mistakes and trying to move on from them. Of getting off my ass and putting the pieces of my life back together.
- I retooled my serial idea, and made it into something more enjoyable for me.
- I started working on my next to-be-published work, a book that took me 5 false starts to write at all. Yes, this is the seekrit book I’ve been talking about on Facebook. I’m almost ready to talk about it. I just wanted to get through the first draft before I did, because I feel like admitting the characters in it would put a lot of undue pressure on me to finish right NOW.
- I got a job with a company I love, making more money than I ever have. I’m still not rich, but I’m not hurting anymore. my job gave me stability and peace of mind (and insurance and a retirement plan) so I could focus my efforts on creative endeavors.
- I set up to launch another part-time business. I’m opening an online stationery shop next year under my real name. You might think I’m nuts to do that because part of my burn-out was overdoing it. But I think this will be beneficial because it’s going to be something different from writing. It’s going to be a different part of me, allow me to switch gears from writing to drawing or painting or whatever when I need to take a break from writing.
Every year, I sit down and think about what I want to accomplish for the next year. From all that, I figure out what the common theme is, and choose a word that best fits that theme. I actually do this around October or November, and I’ve done it for years, some more religiously than others.
This year, I decided on the theme of CHANGE for 2018. This year was about getting back into things, and fixing what broke. Next year, I’m going to take those newly glued pieces and make something out of it. Rebuilding didn’t seem like the right word though, because that’s what I was doing this year. CHANGE worked better for me, because it’s about not repeating the same mistakes, and changing my old habits for new ones that will be better for me in the long run.
So here we are at the end of 2017, looking into the near future to 2018. There’s a lot of changes, most for the better, coming, but that’s the whole point. I’m excited, for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling good about my life, about my online life, and so much more.
Here’s the 2018, folks. May yours be as fruitful as you wish it to be. Let’s make 2018 a fantastic year for us all.