Last year, I wrote an incredibly positive article called, Dear Writers, 2017 Can Be Your Year! It summed up my 2016 accomplishments and how I got there by taking advantage of every opportunity I could and working hard, and how you can, too. (Oh, how I side-eye myself so hard now.)
I failed most of my goals. There, I said it.
Following the format of last year, I had three main goals.
1. I wanted an internship with a literary agency.
2. I wanted to work for a library.
3. I wanted a literary agent.
To be honest, I got SO, SO close to most of these goals. So close that I feel like crying just thinking about it. But it ultimately didn’t work out.
Why? Well, there are numerous reasons why.
Firstly, adjusting to my new job (while keeping my old job) allows me very little free time. Then I got sick. Like really, really sick. To be honest, I’m still super sick, but I’m currently undergoing a lot of health assessments to figure out what is happening to me. It’s scary not knowing. It’s worse feeling like something unknown has such a negative impact on my life…and there’s nothing I can do about it except get more tests done so I can be healthy again. (Not to mention medical tests cost a lot of money.) My savings for conferences has gone toward medical expenses.
Basically, it didn’t matter that I took advantage of every opportunity I could…because most of the opportunities I received I couldn’t take advantage of due to health, finances, and other issues.
Basically, this year failed. I failed. I failed so hard.
I’m trying to be kind to myself though.
I mean, I didn’t completely “fail” in 2017. Clean Teen Publishing released Bad Bloods: July Thunder (#3) and July Lightning (#4). My first audiobook released! I revised one of my books three times. (I’m determined to make this book work.) And I began writing my first historical. I attended my first writing retreat, joined SCBWI (and an in-person writers group), and began a new job as a publicist for a YA/MG publisher. As an editor, I worked with some amazing authors, and I was featured in YASH and signed books at BFest in Barnes & Noble. On top of that, I was invited to speak at Wizard World Comic Con again! (Oh, how I wish I could’ve attended.) Denver Comic Con also featured my monster panel, even though I couldn’t attend last minute, but fellow Clean Teen authors enjoyed it, and that makes me happy.
So why do I feel so awful?
It hurt so much watching opportunities pass me by. It still hurts. But I’m grateful that those offering opportunities thought of me in the first place. I’m hoping I’ll have more opportunities in the future when I am healthy—and have more time—again. I’m not giving up. Just because I failed my goals this year doesn’t mean I can’t succeed in those goals next year. In fact, I’m holding onto my 2017 goals as I move into 2018. I’ll probably add new goals, too!
Who knows what 2018 will bring? Maybe I’ll repeat a successful 2016. Maybe I’ll repeat my terrible 2017. Or—and here’s a crazy thought—maybe 2018 will be 2018, with all its failures and accomplishments and surprises.
Not every year is going to be successful and wonderful and feel amazing, but you can always try your best. And that’s what I’m planning for 2018.
Here’s to working as hard as I am able to and keeping my chin up.
I hope you keep trying, too!