Lisa Jacobs’ “New Year for a New You” Review: Day 1

As 2017 winds down, I’m in full “Year in Review” mode. So it’s perfect timing for me to participate in Lisa Jacobs’ New Year for a New You annual review!

Here are my answers to today’s questions:

What was time very well spent this year?

Some of the time I consider very well spent this year was with my BFF, Jenna. We were able to visit twice this year while she was in town for some work-related conferences, and it was great to reconnect with her. We’ve been friends since grade school, so she’s somebody that knows me very well, and we were able to catch up, talk about some of the challenges we’re each working on, and give each other some friendly advice (okay, I’m pretty sure she gave me more advice since she’s the psychologist, but still!). It was also interesting to see that in some ways, we are still very much the same, while in other ways we have definitely become very different people from our grade school – or even high school – years.

What was money very well spent this year?

I hate to spend money, because I am a notoriously frugal person, BUT some of the money I consider well spent in 2017 includes:

There are some other personal items, too, like notebooks and pens, but you probably already guessed that, right?

What are your favorite memories of 2017?

Some of my favorite memories of 2017 were:

    • Seeing three of my books traditionally published
    • Attending SCBWI monthly chapter meetings
    • Attending a mystery writers’ conference put on by Partners in Crime in April
    • Completing the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge for the 6th year in a row
    • Participating in a 5K Walk/Write event, and
    • Visiting with friends and family

What did you accomplish or complete this year?

I accomplished some big goals this year, which was awesome! I published three titles that were written for a traditional publisher (Careers in Gaming, Careers in Digital Media, Careers If You Like Music), launched the DISARM anthology as a way to contribute to the gun sense lobby, finished the A to Z Challenge, participated in Preptober (in anticipation of NaNoWriMo) for the first time, and created two new issues of Black Heart Magazine: the Summer’s End issue and the recently-released Holiday Hell issue.

I’m also on a 30+ day streak on my 10,000 steps per day exercise goal, and plan to keep going as far as I can into 2018 and beyond!

Did you make any progress on long-term goals?

Yes! Having a traditionally published book (as opposed to simply having a story in a traditionally published anthology) was a big bucket list item that I got to cross off this year. Next up: pitching an idea for a series to agents.

What felt successful about the year, as a whole?

Getting things done and crossed off of my To Do List made this year feel successful, especially since some of the things I got to cross off that list were entire books I’d written. Learning how to narrow my focus and work on just one project at a time is still a challenge for me, but being able to do this has definitely brought me more success than jumping around from one project to another, never quite finishing anything.

Did you overcome any obstacles or mental blocks this year?

Yes. I had a few mental blocks that were holding me back with my writing and publishing career, as well as a lot of existential angst after the 2016 election, and 2017 was all about working through those blocks and learning how to overcome those feelings of inadequacy and guilt about not being able to do more.

What did you learn about yourself after all that happened in 2017?

I’ve learned that despite my dedication to indie publishing, being traditionally published meant more to me than I previously thought it would. I feel like I have gained a lot of credibility as an author, having broken that barrier, and I hope to leverage that credibility moving forward.

Who nurtured or supported you most this year?

As always, my amazing husband Brit supported and nurtured me the most this year. He gave me pep talks when I needed them, took care of the cats when I was on a deadline, and even helped me with some of my research. He also helped me to decompress after long days, and cheered me up when I was feeling down. He also cooked a lot of delicious meals, for which I am always grateful!

My parents were also an ongoing support team, cheering me on and helping us with bills when times were tough. (Being a freelancer is always about a cycle of feast or famine, unfortunately, and one of my goals for 2018 is to be able to save more money during the “feast” times.)

I would also like to give shout-outs to two friends that were super supportive this year: Jenna was another great cheerleader for me, particularly when we got to talking about exercising on a daily basis. Both she and my friend Linda are enthusiastic Pokemon Go players, so it was fun to stay connected with them through the game. Linda also came up with a great way to encourage me and many of her other friends to keep writing on a regular basis by starting a “Friday Write-In” group on Facebook where we can all post what we’re working on and encourage each other.

And, of course, to everybody who commented on my blogs and social media, who kept things positive and fun, who joined in on my writing challenges, and who bought my books this year: THANK YOU!

Who did you enjoy nurturing and supporting?

This year I tried connecting more with my local writing community, to offer my experience and expertise, and enjoyed contributing to the SDWEG as the Newsletter Editor for about half the year. I ultimately stepped down from that position due to other commitments, but it was great having a chance to meet fellow writers, offer them some advice, and listen to their stories.

I also did my best to support and nurture my husband, who wants to start his own creative business. I know I can’t do it for him, so I tried to keep encouraging him in his artistic and educational pursuits and be a good cheerleader as much as possible. I really hope that 2018 is the year he finally grabs for that goal; I know he can do it, and I am eager to see him succeed!

What about you?

What kinds of things did you accomplish in 2017? Be sure to check out Lisa’s post for more info on the New Year for a New You annual review, and share some of your highlights in the comments below!

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