Monday, January 4, 2021

2020: A Year in Review

Well, we officially made it through 2020. After such a chaotic year, I debated whether to do my usual Year in Review; I wasn’t sure I wanted to look back, plus so much of the year feels like a blur. I also saw a lot of social media posts saying how year-end posts would be a mixed bag now more than they ever were and would have a lot of people feeling a variety of emotions since some people managed to accomplish a lot while others' accomplishments were simply making it through the year and living to tell the tale. For me, 2020 fell somewhere in between, but the things I did accomplish were hard-won, which I think should be celebrated.

It was a difficult mental health year - I spent a good chunk of time in anxiety spirals, especially early on in the pandemic - but I also learned new coping mechanisms, and I had great friends to lean on (virtually, of course). Since my 80-year-old mum and I live together, we had to go into lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic in order to keep her safe. As of now, we’ve been in isolation for nine and a half months. The hardest part has been being separated from the rest of our family, especially my little niece and nephew, who we always spent a lot of time with. Thankfully we have each other and we're very close, and we’ve had incredible, generous friends picking up groceries for us weekly. I also found a great deal of pleasure in books and TV, namely the Star Wars movies, The Mandalorian, Schitt Creek, The Baby-Sitters Club, Jane the Virgin, New Girl, and Never Have I Ever.



Things I accomplished in 2020:


I published a full-length contemporary romance, Hung Up on You in January


I wrote and published a holiday romcom novella, A Very Perry Christmas in November

       I figured out how to format paperback books after almost nine years of being an indie author and created A Very Perry Christmas as my first ever paperback

      Four different book clubs chose A Very Perry Christmas as their monthly read, which absolutely blew me away

       For the first time in my entire career, I had dozens of people posting about my book on Instagram 


I wrote a chapter about bookstagram for a collaborative non-fiction book called Indie Writing Wisdom, which released on December 1st and hit the Amazon US bestseller list in new releases


I wrote chunks of three different novels (for my own future reference, the working titles of those books are Christmas Queen, Sexy Beach Read, and Perry #2)


I read 100 books (see my Top 10 Favourite Romances of 2020 here)


I supported various small businesses, mostly Canadian ones, and did my best to promote the ones I loved most (Always September, Fox + Wild, Bibliophile Belle’s Boutique, SJWonderlandz, Lakeside Craft Corner, and Reading in the Country). I was also chosen for two separate terms as a bookstagram representative for Always September, which was a highlight of the year.


I rediscovered my love of cooking, largely with the help of meal prep kits like GoodFood, Chefs Plate, and Hello Fresh (if you’re in Canada and would like a discount on any of these, I’d be happy to send you one!)



While 2020 wasn’t all bad, I’m eager to move on, look ahead, and hope for brighter days. I’ll be talking more about my reading and writing goals later this week, but for now, I’ll say my word for 2021 is ‘Present’, supported by ‘Simplify’, ‘Connect’, and ‘Balance’. All these things go hand in hand, at least in my mind. I spent most of 2020 feeling discombobulated and disconnected, and this year I want to be more mindful of how I spend my time, what I choose to focus on, and creating a healthy, sustainable work-life balance.



What were some of your 2020 highlights? Some of the things that made you smile, brought you joy, or reminded you there’s still good in the world?




Previous Yearly Recaps:
2019: A Year in Review

2 comments:

  1. Yay to publishing your own book! Do you have more in the making? :)

    Hopefully 2021 will be a tad better for all of us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You sound like your 2020 was pretty productive. Looking back at mine, I did well enough. There were things that fell by the wayside, but I did publish some books and I stayed mostly sane. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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~Marie

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