2015 IN A POST + 2016 RESOLUTIONS

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WOW. What. A. Year. There’s really no way else I can put it. At the end of last year, I thought I’d take a gap year—because I had no idea what the hell I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I still don’t (aside from always, always wanting to make being a published author into a full-time career), but I’m not as panicked about it as I was then. So, I did. And I’m very glad I took this year (somewhat) off; it gave me the chance to take a step back, think, relax. During the year, though, I did have those moments where I thought, “What on earth am I doing with my life? Am I doing enough?” Then I thought about it, and hey, this year has been really, really productive when I put it all down on paper.

I signed a contract with Sourcebooks for my debut novel.

For me, this was The Thing of 2015—something that when I think about it, still doesn’t feel quite real. I’ve dreamed of having a novel I’ve written on shelves since I was eleven or so, and now it’s actually happening!? Crazy.

I revised said novel again and again until it was the best I could possibly make it.

FRAYED was a challenging novel for me to revise, largely due to the fact that despite my love for psychological mystery/thrillers, contemporaries are HARD for me to write. Fantasy and science fiction will forever be my one true love. In saying that, FRAYED went through many changes that made it a stronger, better novel. (For which I am very, VERY excited for people to read.)

I travelled over-freaking-seas to the UK for almost a month.

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Glencoe.

I saw things I’d been dreaming of seeing for so long. We travelled from England to Scotland to Wales—then back to London again before we left. Scotland was, hands down, my favourite, FAVOURITE place. Such gorgeous mountains and mist and the medieval-styled towns (and cities—Edinburgh was gorgeous) that were so novel-inspiring. (Especially Glencoe.)

I applied for university in 2016.

This was a scary, scary thing for me. I still don’t know if I’ll get accepted, but I’ve sent in my applications, chosen my units for the first semester . . . and if all goes well, I’ll start February of next year. I literally have NO idea where university will take me—but I’m looking forward to finding out.

I made an effort to do things for me.

My last year of school was stressful. I studied hard, did well, and in the end, I felt like I really did deserve some time for myself—without having to worry about handing in assignments and studying for exams, exams, and more exams. I read a lot, played some video games (which I’d been meaning to for ages), and let myself focus on me a little more.

On the blog…

Blogging-wise, I felt like I FAILED MISERABLY. Compared to last year I barely blogged, so next year I plan on making a pointed effort to draft, edit, and schedule posts beforehand to keep on top of everything. Also, THANK YOU SO, SO much to everyone who’s commented, liked, and followed my blog this year. In particular, these epic people who’ve been my most active commenters in 2015.

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Unsurprisingly, my most popular post this year was when I announced FRAYED was being published; thank you, thank you thank you for your support.

2016 RESOLUTIONS

 

  1. DSC_0851BE A LITTLE BRAVER.

Talk to more people. Write more daringly. Do more things that scare me. Next year won’t be easy, that’s for sure, but the best things in life usually aren’t.

If you’d told me this time last year if a) I would have signed a publishing contract b) revised a novel c) applied for university and d) travelled overseas, I don’t think I would have believed you. So, yes, it might be difficult—but it’s not impossible. Anything, I think, is possible, if you don’t give up.

So next year, I want to keep up that attitude.

  1. DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF.

­This is a biiiig one for me. I put a lot of pressure on myself; I’m constantly pushing myself to be better, be more. That in itself isn’t a bad thing—but it is when it leads to self-hate and that feeling of never being good enough. So, yes, I’ll continue to push myself—both in my writing and my life in general—but I won’t hate myself if I don’t achieve the goals I feel like I should be achieving.

  1. DON’T LET THAT SELF-DOUBT RULE YOU.

EVERY writer has self-doubt. Which, in a way, is a good thing. It means you care about your work. But then there are those times where self-doubt becomes so crippling you find yourself unable to write. You’ll start thinking, “What if I’m a terrible writer? Can I even really do this?” And soon enough you’ll start believing that—which is absolutely not true. FRAYED is coming out next year, and I’m absolutely filled with self-doubt and fear (I have a more in-depth post about this coming early next year), so whenever I feel the self-doubt beginning to rule me, I tell myself this:

  • Take. A. Deep. Breath.
  • You’ve done the best you can. FRAYED is the best you can make it.
  • Whatever happens from now on out is completely out of my control. I literally have no idea how well—or not well—FRAYED will be received, and how much it’ll sell. That’s not up to me.

That’s what I’m aiming for in 2016. What are your goals for next year?

 

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46 thoughts on “2015 IN A POST + 2016 RESOLUTIONS

  1. Yayy gap years!! I did one after graduating high school and it was the best thing I ever did. Also, congrats on your publishing contract, wow! :) For me, my goals should be the same as yours… stop being so hard on myself and just let myself go and write. Happy New Year!

  2. DAMN, Jeann beat me *vows to comment twice on every one of your posts next year*

    I’m glad your gap year went well – sometimes you just need that extra time to figure out what the hell you want to do. AND OMG congrats again on Frayed, it’s pretty incredible <3 <3

  3. Thanks so much for the perspective on gap years! I just applied to business programs at universities, and I was debating on whether or not I should take a gap year, to explore my interests. It seemed like a cool option, but my parents wouldn’t let me. However, I am gonna embrace myself for future challenges and make the best of whatever comes out of my decision.

  4. Being more brave is certainly really important. personally, i prefer goals that deal with ourselves as people instead of just the blog. i feel like so many of these “blogger traits” have helped me so much in real life. being brave is whatever you want it to be and you’re getting published?! in my opinion, that’s plenty brave. i am so glad i met you. you know, i met you on wattpad in 2012, though i didn’t know who you were. you critiqued two chapters of my AWFUL novel and you were so wise and helpful. it’s so crazy that this is where we are now (:

  5. After high school I took a gap year, too! Actually, this is the second gap year… and I’m still sorting out what exactly it is I want to do with my life (I have a pretty strong idea now, it just took me a while to find it). Congrats, again, on getting a publishing contract, that is effing amazing. I can’t wait to read Frayed! :D Happy New Year and cheers to 2016!!!

  6. It sounds like you had an absolutely amazing 2015 Kara, so I hope 2016 is just as good to you! <3 I'm so happy for you and your novel, and I cannot wait to read it. And I absolutely loved the photos you took on your trip – they're gorgeous! And good luck with uni – I'm sure any uni that you applied to would be more than happy to have someone as intelligent and kind as you. <33

  7. Oh wow, I can’t believe I’m one of your top commenters. That’s awesome. It really sounds like you had a spectacular year. From traveling to making time for yourself to SIGNING A BOOK DEAL, I think you’ve accomplished a ton. I’m really going to focus on making time for myself this year so I can reduce my stress. One of my resolutions is to do one fun and relaxing thing every week so that I’m not working working working all the time.

  8. OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZINGGGGGG. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE DEAL AND YOUR TRIP TO UK SOUNDS AMAZING. Sounds like it was an amazinggg year for you and here’s to hoping this year is just as fabulous! <3

  9. Congrats on your novel again, because hey you’re getting FREAKING PUBLISHED. THAT’S HUUGE (can I squeal). Don’t let the doubt get to you, okay? So many of us are excited for Frayed <3 I think my resolution is to make new friends, to branch out, learn how to "talk" to people without wanting to run out of the room and crawling into a hole.

  10. Eep girl I am still so happy for you that you’re getting published! I will snag a copy for sure! Also, good luck with uni applications! Here’s to an awesome 2016! <33

  11. Sounds like you had a good year! Especially with finding out that you’re getting published! Congrats, again. Good luck with your resolutions and plans for this year! Happy 2016! :)

  12. Congrats on signing the contract! It’s so crazy cool that you’re going to get published (and so very inspiring to teens like me who also want to get published). I think 2015 was also the year I kind of failed in terms of blogging because I was really motivated at first but then I didn’t have time and I had to neglect my blog. This year I’m going to try and balance my habit of spontaneously posting with scheduling posts beforehand when I’m positive I won’t have time to be blog. But honestly I love your blog so much and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year! :)

    • Thanks, Rachana! Ahhh, SOO glad to hear you love my blog. It’s really hard to keep up a schedule, but this year, I’m going to do my best — but also NOT to stress about it if by the end of the year I don’t so as well as I would have liked. Thanks again!!

  13. I wished that I took a gap year sometimes, just so I could figure out what I wanted to do as well. I went a different path, taking an Arts degree to test out all the different courses being offer, and then discovering my love for the media. I don’t regret it, and everyone sooner or later figures out what they want to pursue, and you definitely will too Kara! I hope 2016 treats you well, and you achieve everything that you want to achieve. <3

  14. Congratulations on having your book published! I am going to buy it as soon as it comes out :) And this post really inspired me to think about my own goals for the new year…definitely to be a little braver too, and post on a schedule. Love your blog, congrats again!!

    Katie / http://www.storiesandsnapshots.com

  15. You’ll do great with your resolutions. I know it! And UK! So cool. I want to go one day. ONE DAY I WILL TRAVEL THE WORLD. (And conquer it.) Muwahaha. Good luck with your goals!

  16. Regardless of how Frayed is received, (I’m sure it is going to be AWESOME) it is a really proud moment for you Kara, you’ll be a published author and YOU HAVE MADE IT. These are such fantastic resolutions, it sounds like 2015 was a really fantastic year for you! AND I WINNNN *confetti*

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