Saturday, December 31, 2016

And just like that, it's the end of 2016. "Wow," is about all I have to sum it up. Seems like a lot of people are complaining about how awful this year has been. I understand -- bad things have happened. This year has seemed to be a lot harder for me than other years.

But this year has had good moments. A year with many opportunities and growth and memories that I will never forget. Here's a little (well... actually it's quite long. :P) wrap-up of my 2016. I can't wait for next year. <3

[also, here's my 2015 wrap-up post if you're interested]

Writing this year was an absolute blur. Actually, everything this year was a blur. SO CRAZY INSANE. But also very good. There are many mixed feelings. xD

There were exciting writing happenings this year. I wrote a flash fiction and shared it on the blog. This is something that always terrifies me, but it went over well? And I'm proud of it? So... if you somehow missed it and want to go read some of my writing, there you are. :P

I also talked about my novel Song of the Desert (where I shared snippets, mwahah), and my novel Where Shadows Lie. I'm not quite comfortable openly talking about my writing yet... BUT I'M GETTING THERE. Little baby steps is how I roll.

I made all of my first drafts into books...?? This was super cool (...and time consuming), and now I'm forever doing it as a reward for finishing every novel I write from now on. :P

I sent my baby, Song of the Desert, to beta readers, which was simultaneously the most terrifying thing but best thing that I could've done. HAVING BETA READERS IS SO IMPORTANT. I will never stop shouting that because you need other eyes to look over your work. Unfortunately we aren't perfect writers. (though we can dream...)

A giant thank you to those who read it again. I just... you were so helpful. Still flailing over the fact that you spent time to help me and my book and... I'm so thankful. <3 *pizza*

. I'm terrified. I'm not sure what to do with myself and I may just hide forever until she's finished. (If she finishes. :P)

So much editing was done this year. TOO MUCH EDITING. All sorts of editing. Line editing and rewriting and major plot edits and beta edits and allll the possible editing things. It was quite horrible, but I guess it's for the best in the long run. But. Ugh. Editing. *bangs head on desk*

Many writing posts were written this year on the blog. I'm having a very hard time not linking you to all of them, so here are some that I'm proud of. (I don't know if anyone actually clicks on the links to previous blog posts, but I'M DOING THE THING ANYWAYS.) 



(in 2015 I wrote 240,000. In 2014, when I first started writing, I wrote 123,000. That's 585,000 total words. o.O that's... that's a lot of time spent on writing. xD)
Wow. So. Blogging kind of exploded in the best sort of way. I'm... not even sure where to start with the blogging. I've met blogging buddies in person this year, I had lovely conversations in the comment section of this blog. I got a NEW BLOG DESIGN?!? I will never ever stop freaking out about it because it is my favorite thing ever. :P

I just really love blogging and all of you.
*cheesiness ensues but it's TRUE*

Some stats, because I am a dork about stats. I hit 100,000 pageviews. 200 GFC followers. And I'm 9 readers away from 400 followers! That's exciting and a number I thought I'd never hit. xD

Blogger updated, and I'm not happy with the update. :/ It's not that different, but it's annoying if you're part of several blogs. Plus my overview page is gone, and I loved having a general place for stats, comments, and pageviews. Oh well.

I wrote 61 posts this year! My most popular post was Being Real // burning youth. I'm proud of that post, and still ridiculously excited about this project. I'm planning to start posting consistently on this blog starting the new year, and it'll be a fabulous journey. <3

My second most viewed post was The Summer Bucket List, which I find kind of amusing because it wasn't an overly creative post. :P

A huge thank you to everyone who follows. Every Saturday my day is made waking up to comments, and I have such a fun time flailing and screeching with everyone. xD SOMEDAY I WILL MEET ALL OF YOU IN PERSON AND IT WILL BE A GLORIOUS, WONDERFUL THING. <3                       
Reading started off wonderfully this year. I was reading 20 books a month. I was on track for 200. And then it slowly plummeted like a balloon losing helium until it finally just crashed on the ground. :P But in all, I read 124 books this year. (Technically I read more than that with beta reading... but. eh. :P) That's 44 more than last year, and I'll take it. xD)

I recently did a post on my favorite books (this year) and the only book I have to add to that is Scythe by Neal Shusterman. *sighs* It's the best and one of my new favorites... ever. READ THE THING.

I bought so many books this year. I am slightly ashamed but I also love books, so. <3 I got about half at a clearance price through one way or another, a fourth for free, and the other fourth I bought on Amazon. I just received a new bookshelf, and I already am running out of space. Whhyyyyyy. :P

Total, I read about 45,000 pages this year, which averages to about 123 pages per day. I'm looking at that number with complete astonishment, because that is a lot of reading. HOW DID I FIND TIME?? DID I SLEEP READ?? Past Katie, please tell me your secrets.

My most read genre is fantasy by a long shot, but I started reading more sci-fi and contemporary this year. I really enjoyed it and hope to continue in 2017. :D

(also, throw allll the recommendations at me! I'm going to need a bunch of reading material if I'm shooting for 100 books again. :D)

I've been staring at this "LIFE" header for awhile now, wondering how to quickly summarize this year. So many amazing things happened. Writing retreats, conferences, meeting internet friends, fun family moments, writing achievements... it was crazy.

It's been a year of growing. A bazillion things smashed on me -- fun things, and also big things like getting a driver's licence and a job and more responsibilities. Not going to lie, but it's felt like a bit too much at times. This year has been stressful and life seemed to love unloading on my head and making everything a bit overwhelming.

2016 was exhausting, and I am so ready for 2017 to come (I think). I'm really hoping I can conquer next year and make it epic. This year was just a practice round for all the things I'm gonna tackle next year. ;)

  • meeting all of my internet frens. <3
  • retreating with nadine during nano!
  • getting a job. (even though this is seen as a sucky thing to some people, I... really enjoy my job? my coworkers are awesome -- we sing hamilton and twenty one pilots together and giggle the whole time. I get money and free drinks and spotify so it's not all that bad.)
  • driver's license! so basically I can pick up pizza and books at the library whenever I want. Mwahaha. (with how I phrased that, it sounds like I'm picking up pizza at the library. That is unfortunately not true, but I wish it was. :P)
  • Captain America: Civil War came out and I've already watched it five times. Maybe six?
  • also twenty one pilots came out with six new songs this year. Uhm. That's pretty epic. <3
  • I discovered a bunch of new artists I've been listening to -- NF, Truslow, Relient K, Gungor, Hamilton...
  • started watching sherlock. (I love it so, so, so much. <3)
  • new bookshelves! (that are almost full! oops! :P)
  • printing out copies of my novel.
  • starting to do the bullet journaling thing.
  • lots of pizza eating.
  • many lovely memories with my writing frens. (wars and flailing and skyping sessions and all the fun times. <3)
  • + lots of other awesome times that I won't list here because this post is already quite long. :P
Last year all of the bloggers were doing surveys, but I haven't seen a single one this year? I was trying to decide whether to do one or not, but I finally decided to do one for several reasons.

1. It gives me ideas for posts. This was very helpful when I did a survey last year. Because sometimes my mind is crammed with story ideas and not blog post ideas. xD

2. I find it very interesting. As I've said before, I just really love stats. I love knowing how people found my blog -- how I can put myself out there and better connect with other bloggers.

3. It gives me ideas on how to improve. I'm not a perfect blogger and I'm still learning details of the craft. It's like writing -- there's always room to improve and get better. So by answering honestly it helps me realize that maybe I make too many typos, or something technical isn't working right, or anything else you may want to say.

Anywho, here's the survey if you want to take it. I also included a couple questions for you to drop your social media links so I can go stalk/friend you on there. Sometimes your names under which you comment don't link to your blog, so this way I can actually stop by. :P

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Thank you all for being so encouraging and wonderful! I hope your 2016 was epic, and that your 2017 will be even better. <3

// katie grace

How was your year? Favorite memories?
(also what are your favorite books because I want to read allll of them)


Saturday, December 3, 2016
NaNoWriMo is over. We survived. Mostly. 

But then comes the question, "now what?" We've poured our hearts and our energy and our time into this giant month long event, but now... it's over. 

So I've compiled a list -- a very serious list, naturally -- of 50 ways to recover from NaNoWriMo, otherwise titled as, "50 things to do with yourself now that NaNo is over."

1. sleep.
because you need to.
2. hibernate.
you have 332 days until next nano. there's plenty of time.  
3. burn something.
4. sprinkle glitter/confetti/snow over your head.
the only appropriate way to celebrate.
5. scream.
let the frustration bottled up inside of you escape.
6. cry.
sometimes a good cry is just needed.
7. print it out and DESTROY it.
POWEEEERRRR. Your novel probably deserves it.
8. read over your words.
actually, this is a horrible idea. don't do it unless you wish bad things upon yourself.
9. eat pizza.
always a great idea.
10, eat seventy pizzas.
an even greater idea.
11. reacquaint yourself with your family.
"hi, remember me? no? oh. well. I live here."
12. you could read one of my blog posts.
*cough* totallynotselfpromotion *cough*
13. or watch one of my vlogs.
yay for more self promotion. but seriously. here's my latest one.
14. exercise.
...or not.
15. edit.
back to the subject of exercise. it's an improvement.
16. waste all the time on social media.
I mean, you now have time now that NaNo's over...
17. just... eat. eat all the things.
there's no going wrong with food.
18. watch one of your favorite movies.
or some christmas movies, since it's that time of year.
19. celebrate another nano winner.
celebration is so important. go flail with someone.
20. encourage someone who didn't win.
encouragement is also important.
21. listen to twenty one pilots.
22. make a cover for your novel.
because covers are fun and maybe will inspire you for editing?
23. DANCE.
dancing is just the best.
24. catch up on alllll the blogs.
*sobs because I'M SO BEHIND*
25. catch up on life.
anyone else feel like they're behind on... everything?
26. have a movie marathon.
this is what I'm doing with my sister tonight. JOIN US.
27. have a reading marathon.
your goodreads goal will thank you.
28. make your nano novel into a book.
I used createspace for this novel, but here's what I've done in the past.
29. christmas presents.
*casually freaks out over the fact that I have nothing ready*
30. take a walk.
clear that mashed potato brain of yours.
31. make a christmas music playlist.
I would link you to one, but I have not made one yet. Nadine Brandes did a post on YA novels and christmas music, though, which was pretty cool.
32. set up christmas decorations.
make it look festive and pretty! (if you haven't already...)
33. print out your winner's certificate.
then frame it and stare and all of its glory.
34. actually, print out two winner's certificates.
one to frame. one to burn.
35. dance in the rain. (or snow.)
if there's no rain or snow, turn on the hose. mwahaha.
36. reorganize your bookshelf.
to make room for all those books on your christmas wish list...
37. sleep.
yes, I already said this. but yes, it's worth mentioning twice. REST.
38. step outside. remember what the air feels like.
become acquainted with that bright thing in the sky.
39. gaze upon your strong fingers.
I mean, they should be bulging with muscles after all that writing.
40. try knitting.
this is completely random... but why not?
41. make christmas cookies.
and then, you know... send me some.
42. do something remotely non-christmassy.
...go swimming?
43. do something kind.
smile. spread some happiness.
44. sing.
because singing is fun and a great way to celebrate.
45. buy fuzzy socks.
I really love fuzzy socks.
46. listen to the nanowrimo song.
it's the greatest NaNo theme song ever. xD
48. build a snowman.
I just watched frozen so the song has been stuck in my head. :P
49. finish your novel.
50. take a break. be logical.
because your mind could definitely use one.

// katie grace

how are you recovering from nanowrimo?