Happy almost New Year! Considering tomorrow is already New Year’s Eve, I wanted to take some time to look back on the year and think about what good things came out of 2021, despite the many obstacles this year brought with it. When I first began to write this post, I thought I couldn’t have possibly accomplished anything meaningful in what seemed to be such a short period of time. After some thinking, however, I realized how much I learned over the course of the year.
The Prisons of Magic
I finished final edits on The Prisons of Magic on September 8th. While this wasn’t the first book I wrote, it was the first one I finished, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Pieces of myself are ingrained in the characters, conflicts, and world of this book, and the countless hours I spent thinking about, writing, and editing my novel have changed my perspective on the world I live in.
Developing my characters taught me more about the people in my life as I added aspects of my friends and family members. Worldbuilding forced me to think about the flaws in our world, and I tried to highlight some political differences our society faces through my book. As my characters overcame the obstacles I put them through, I learned problem solving skills and developed my creativity.
And of course, the actual art of writing, revising, and editing my book improved my storytelling and articulation skills, lessons that can be applied to essay writing, public speaking, and much more.
And though I may be done writing The Prisons of Magic, I have continued learning from my book through the publishing process. Though I have been writing for over four years now, it wasn’t until I neared the finish line of this novel that I thought about looking into how this industry works and the many people that work together to get my favorite books in bookstores.
Only this year did I learn about literary agents, the various types of editors, and the different publishing agencies. When writing my query letters (which I also learned about this year), I was forced to think about my novel from a more professional sense. My search for comparable titles quickly showed me how many pieces of my novel I can find in other books, movies, and TV shows. Analyzing the writing style of other authors outside of school requirements taught me so much about this craft and my own voice.
Additionally, I started setting up my website in February of this year when I realized it would be a good idea to start building my platform. I published my first blog post in early April, but I didn’t tell anybody about my website until mid-June when I finalized the design and domain name. Since then, I’ve been working to write weekly posts and grow my email list.
As I think about topics for each post, I have come to realize how many different things go into the writing process. Seeing how much I have learned over the years is empowering, but it is equally humbling to see how much I have left to learn. Working on these posts forces me to think about the various thought processes that are behind the subconscious decisions I make while writing, but researching for posts reveals to me many aspects of writing I never thought about.
On top of that, every new subscriber puts a smile on my face, so I want to thank everyone reading this for giving me the motivation to keep writing. Thank you.
I started my high school last year by logging into a Zoom meeting. At the beginning of the school year, I knew less than ten of my classmates at my magnet school and I could only socialize with my classmates over social media and in breakout rooms. I didn’t set foot in my new school until May of this year to take my yearbook photo, but even then, I was in and out within two minutes.
Nonetheless, I don’t think I realized how much I missed in-person school until my first week back in September. Hands-on extracurriculars and lunch with friends—things that were practically impossible last year—make school far more enjoyable. Of course, the commute time brought its own obstacles, leaving me less time to focus on other things. I’m sure most of you can relate to these experiences.
Overcoming these challenges taught me about the importance of friendship, time management skills, and so much more.
Overall, every minute of this year was worth it. I learned more about myself and the world around me, and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow next year.
What were your biggest accomplishments this year? What are you looking forward to next year? Let me know in the comments!
Have a wonderful New Year! See you in 2022.