good morning, cyberspace!
Today, as 2021 draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the multitudes of goals I created for myself at the start of the year. January held all the potential a new year can present, and it’s pretty obvious by my intentions for the year that I had… high hopes for how 2021 would progress. XD
Unfortunately, I also have a tendency to forget about these new goals about halfway through the year, but ya know. It’ll be fun to review them and see how many I actually managed to accomplish!
For anyone wanting to read the original post to get a sense of how horribly oblivious Past Kenzie was to the challenges this year would present, here’s a handy dandy hyper link for you to follow through the wormholes of the internet. However, if you’d rather just snatch the highlights and enjoy my PRESENT reactions to such goals as these, keep reading, sailor!
2021 REVIEWS & REFLECTIONS
First up we have our Writing-Related Goals! Apparently I like to section things off into departments, so we’ll be starting with the most exciting one first. XD
complete the first draft of PROJECT GOBLIN ✓
I did this!! I finished the first draft of Project Goblin back in August, and it was… kind of a mess? But it was MY mess, and it was brilliant and amazing all at once, and I’m so so excited to dive into edits next year! *bites nails nervously*
read and revise the second draft of PROJECT SUNSET … ✓☓?
I… don’t know if I completed this or not. I definitely read and re-outlined this entire book, as well as revised the entire first half of it for NaNoWriMo. So like…? DID I ACTUALLY WIN?
Part of me says yes, but my heart says “eh…no”. So we’re going to split it halfway down the middle and give myself half a point. XD YES, I revised and re-plotted the whole outline, but as far as the whole second draft goes… there’s still some work to be done.
And that’s okay! It gives me something to look forward to for January!
outline and draft PUMPKALAGOO ☓
Nope. This one didn’t happen even in the slightest. But, in my defense, I’ve still been brainstorming new ideas for this book throughout the entire year, and I’m fairly confident that I’ll have enough material to get started in 2022. Whether or not this comes to pass is yet to be seen, but I have high hopes for this one, guys… High hopes, indeed…
thorough readthrough and revision of EVERLOST ☓
This one absolutely did not happen. And I also decided about halfway through 2021 that I was no longer going to pursue everlost in the publishing world. But! I’m still in love with the characters. I’m still obsessed with the fairytales surrounding it. And if someday I find a way to bring new life into this story, I’m absolutely going to take it and run.
So everlost may be in the drawer for right now, but someday… someday it may return. We’ll just have to wait and see!
This was a new addition for my 2021 goals post, and while the idea was definitely there, I’m not sure I really excelled on the execution of it. XD
Of course, one might say 2021 was the test run to greater and grander things *hint hint*, so I’m not TOO upset that I basically failed each and every one of these aspirations…
It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything is fine.
post to blog 1 time a week (excepting any hiatuses I might feel convicted to take) ☓
Um… So yeah, this didn’t happen? I’ve published a grand total of 35 blog posts this year, which means that *whips out calculator* there were 17 weeks that passed without my beautiful pixie dust presence. *dramatic hair flip*
Okay, okay, so I only KINDA failed this one, I think! So much happened this year that I’m honestly not very surprised I couldn’t get out a whole 52 blog posts, but you know what? I’m pretty stinkin’ proud that I managed 35! (36 now that I’ve published this one… mwahahahaha!) I’d say that that’s a pretty good number.
we’re just going to completely ignore the fact that last year I managed to put out 41 blog posts. once again. it’s fine. I’m fine. everything is fine.
post to instagram 3x weekly ☓
Not even gonna sugarcoat it. This one was a giant, massive fail. So yeah! Nothing else to say for this except the fact that Instagram was not a high priority for me this year, and I don’t really suspect it’s going to be a high priority for me next year. But again… we shall see. XD
become more involved with the writing/blogging community as a whole ☓
Again… not really sure whether or not I completed this. XD I definitely did some community things this year, such as participating in The Silmaril Awards for the second year running, but I wouldn’t say I became more involved in the blogging and writing community. It’s still something high on my list of things I want to do, but as of right now, I haven’t made the extended effort to actually begin.
That is, as of right now, something I really, REALLY want to improve on. Because, as I’ve mentioned a million times, I want so badly to give back to this community that has given me everything. I have a true and deep passion for encouraging other writers, and while I’m still learning so much every day, I know that eventually there will come a time and a place where I will be able to share all the random bits of information I’ve learned over the years as a sort of writer coach. And I can’t wait for that day to come.
And here we come at last to our final goal section! I’m not nervous at all… Aha…
read 21 books …✓
Every year, I try to read the same amount of books as the last two digits of the year. Last year, it was 20 books. This year, it’s 21. I’m currently at 20 books read, which means I need to read 1 more book before I can check this one off… However, even though one book is a LOT for this slow reader to read in a matter of days, I am wholly, unashamedly DETERMINED to make it happen. I have a plan, friends. It’s gonna work.
And I am nothing if not a highly competitive creature. I will be marking this one off with a check mark. I WILL, PEASANTS!!!
read mostly from the books that are currently on my shelves ✓
I’m actually pretty certain I accomplished this one! Of the 18 books I’ve read (so far!), 5 of them were shelf rereads, 3 were books I hadn’t read yet but owned, 4 were gifts, 4 were loaned to me, and 3 were books I bought this year because I have literally no self-control.
I also just bought like 5 more books to add to my collection but SH. IT’S FINE.
The last one was a beta read, and I’m not sure which category that would fall under… But it was amazing and once it’s published, I highly recommend reading it. XD
I definitely think I need to undergo some sort of book-buying ban next year, though. My TBR is buckling underneath the weight of my incompetence.
READ. MORE. INDIE. ☓
Unfortunately, I only read one Indie book this year. And YES, I am mad about it.
But! That one book happened to be Echo of The Fae by Jenelle Schmidt, and y’ALL. YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. It’s so whimsical and soft and absolutely STUNNING, and I highly, highly recommend it…
I really want to venture into the world of Indie books more next year, though. And this time I want to, you know, actually do it.
All righty! So those were my goals for 2021, and–taking a quick peek back up through the stats…–it looks as though I have a 3.5 out of 10 success rate…
Um… That’s really not very good, is it. XD BUT! This just means that there’s room for improvement, and room for improvement means there’s room to grow, and room to grow means I have not yet peaked! And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing!
So now that we’ve taken a look at the goals of 2021, I’d really like to take a moment to highlight some of my favorite things that happened this past year.
2021, while full of of all Life’s ups and downs, really held some incredible milestones for me. So much has happened, so much has changed. And while I could have gone without some of its intense stresses, I’m so unbelievably thankful for everything that has happened. Had you told me one year ago that I would be standing where I’m standing now, I never would have believed you. I would have thought you were mental. But time is an interesting entity, and God is incredibly good, and I will never forget or regret the hard lessons, invaluable truths, and incredible opportunities that He has given me.
HIGHLIGHTS & REFLECTIONS OF 2021
meeting my writing friends for the first time (again and again and again)
I was surprised in multiple ways this past year, but one of the most incredible (and shocking) of these was when Phoebe and Kate showed up out of the blue to the coffee shop where I work. What started out as just a regular day in March turned into something so much more impossible when I was working–trying my hardest to maintain a pretty decent mid-morning rush, might I add–and heard the words “We’re here for Kenzie”.
…In retrospect I realize that perhaps this may be a slightly terrifying sort of thing to say to someone you’ve never met, but I digress. XD
I remember glancing up to see two figures standing in the middle of the shop, masks on their faces and mischief in their eyes. My first thought was “I have no clue who these people are”. And then, in the span of a single second, I realized I’d known them for years.
It was Phoebe, the girl I’d trampled toddlers with at Frankenmuth. And right beside her…
My first writer friend. One of my first true friends, really. The girl I’d been texting since I was 16, spilling my dreams about the future, turning conversations of story into a life-long friendship through mile-long emails. Kate. The girl I’d been promising to meet someday for the past four years.
And there she was. Standing right in front of me.
Yes, I cried.
That day was magical. The week after at Phoebe’s birthday party was even more so.
And then there was the 4th of July.
I met Ruby, Ally, Leona… Girls who had been nothing more than pixels on a screen for years (none of us are axe-murderers, unfortunately). We stayed up until midnight giggling over our awful first drafts and drinking sparkling grape juice. We fell asleep to the sound of fireworks cracking in the distance and woke up to sunlight, gelato, and Firefly. It was magic. It was impossible. And it was real.
I will never forget that summer. Not in a million years.
being nominated for barista of the year for northwest ohio
Some things happen, and you wonder why on earth they happened to you. Once in a lifetime opportunities. Strange happenstances. Random aligning of the stars.
I will never understand why God’s design for me was to be nominated for something such as this, nor will I ever know why He chose me to be the one to step outside my comfort zone over and over again this past year–traveling to Grand Rapids Michigan, participating in a work conference, stepping into new roles at my job, overcoming some of my deepest insecurities and biggest fears week after week after week. But there is no denying His goodness, and though I couldn’t see where He was leading me most days, I’m so thankful that I trusted. That I stepped out onto those rocky waters knowing that I could very well fall. Because I know now that I can get through anything. For once you’ve faced your deepest fears, there’s nothing left to be scared of.
finishing project goblin’s first draft
On a lighter note, I just really, really love writing, guys. And one of my overarching goals for every year is to finish a draft of something. Typically, I’d like to be able to write a first draft every year. It’s my happy space, my getaway from real life, and I just adore the creation of it all. So finally finishing this book that’s been on my mind since 2018 was simply magical. I may not have done EVERYTHING on my writing list, but writing this book was a highlight, and I’m so excited to see where it takes me from here. (also I got my first ever piece of hate mail the very day I finished this draft, and guys. I’m STILL laughing. XD [and my standards are more on the floor than ever, lol])
buying my first ever car!
I almost completely forgot that this happened this year! Back in late January early February–honestly can’t remember when exactly–I bought my first ever car! It’s a blue Chevy Spark, and, as my friend Phoebe pointed out, looks JUST like Flick from A Bug’s Life…
Which is obviously what I named him. XD He also goes by Sparky, especially when he’s acting up and I feel like I’m going to die at 5:00 in the morning.
winning NaNoWriMo while holding down a job
This might seem a leeeetle bit lame, but I legit have never won a NaNoWriMo while ALSO working. And, granted, I was a NaNo rebel this year. But you know what? I still won! I got my 15 chapters edited, and I’m so proud of that. I’m also proud of the story I’m writing with SK, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys someday. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.
chopping off all my hair
Recently I asked my mom to chop my hair off. Without even batting an eye (she’s used to me at this point, guys XD), she sat me down and chopped it off, and I now have hair that doesn’t even touch my shoulders.
And I absolutely ADORE it. I’m never growing my hair long again, guys. Absolutely not. And I’m also getting to the point where I want to try a pixie cut… But we shall have to see if that actually pans out because YEET that’s a commitment… XD
getting hired as in intern for an online publishing company… and then finding out it wasn’t what I needed and switching gears
Everything happens for a reason, and I am so grateful for this opportunity I received over the summer. But I’m even more grateful for the people at the publishing company who understood my heart when I said that I couldn’t commit to what they needed during this stage in my life. They were so kind, left the doors wide open for any future arrival, and are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Someday I hope to return as an intern, but for right now, I think I need to stick with where I’m at currently… And that was a VERY hard decision to make.
I feel like there is so much more that I’m missing or failing to remember. This year was one of exceptional chaos and growth opportunities–some of them negative, not gonna lie. But after the blessings of 2021, I can’t wait to see what 2022 holds. I have so many ideas and exciting plans for this new year, and while I know that it’s essentially impossible to plan a year out and hold true to it, I’m excited to at least try!
talk to me, peasants!
tell me about your adventures of 2021, friends! what were your favorite highlights? favorite books read? favorite stories written? did you stay true to your goals for 2021, or did you full just a wee bit shy like me?
As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE EXCITING THINGS down below! And until next time…
*flings cookies in the air and disappears*