2023 has come full circle, and as I reflect on the journey that began with anticipation, I can't help but marvel at the milestones and transformations that have unfolded. It's been a year of personal growth, professional triumphs, and unexpected adventures.
Embracing 2023: A Year-Long Celebration
At the start of the year, I couldn't wait to dive into 2023. It held a special significance for me, marking two decades since the publication of my first novel. Little did I know, back in 2003, the challenges and life-changing adventures that were ahead.
In January, I began this 2023 celebration and shared my story, recounting the anxieties I felt as a student in school who dreaded attention only to find the unexpected spotlight challenge that accompanied my dream of becoming an author. This year, however, became a pinnacle moment—an achievement I had been pushing towards for twenty years.
A Journey Beyond Comfort Zones
From my early aspirations to become an author to the struggles, failures, and inner battles, this year symbolizes the culmination of perseverance. Despite the numerous times I contemplated giving up, an internal force propelled me forward. In 2023, I not only celebrated the 20-year milestone but also discovered a newfound love for the entire authorial experience through my current projects.
So here I am, celebrating not just the achievements but the entire journey—the highs, the lows, and the profound changes within me. Despite my aversion to attention, I've found a refreshing perspective in 2023, appreciating the person I've become through the challenges and growth.
The Creative Journey Continues
My creative journey took an intriguing turn in 2023. I had the life-changing opportunity to work as a ghostwriter for Mechelle Leifson Wride's book, Afloat: Drug Addiction Through a Mother's Eyes x4. Additionally, I revisited my first novel, Sanders' Starfish, as it underwent the audio-recording process with narrator James Davidson and recording engineer Josh Law. Meanwhile, the challenges in finishing For the Eternal, the last book in The Existence Series, have been met with patience. I am greatly grateful for the support and encouragement of friends, family, and fans as this is the most important novel I have worked on to date, and I know its critical role in concluding the series.
Navigating New Beginnings
As the year unfolded, I sensed it held special moments, but I had no idea of the unexpected joys and opportunities that lay ahead.
About mid-year, I transitioned from featuring authors monthly toward something I had dabbled in on and off for years. Thanks to the Small Business Development Center of Utah and the Wildcat Microfund, I received funding to go after a dream of supporting writers and authors in sharing their own stories of substances. I am now the proud owner of Patella Publishing Services which has been softly launching since August but will have its official launch in 2024.
To close out this special year, I ended it with a fun finale celebration. I invited a special group of authors to participate in a Christmas pop-up bookstore. At a variety of levels, it was such a success! My favorite part was the connections made among authors and readers. There truly were some priceless moments!
A Personal Bloom
In front of my 2023 Bloom planner, there is this question, "How will you bloom this year?"
My answer: Through celebrating the ongoing process of becoming and using my experience to motivate, inspire, and celebrate with others on their unique creative journey.
As this year comes to a close, I can say I am grateful I took this focus for 2023. It truly was a beautiful year.
The Journey Continues
Currently, I am in the Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time zone, giving me three extra hours to celebrate 2023 before welcoming in the new year. As I bid farewell to a year that exceeded expectations, I can't help but think back to the challenging times of 2020-2022. Times got so tough that I left my freelancing life to return to more stable full-time employment. I felt like a failure. It seemed it was time to give up on my dreams. But I told myself to give it one more year. And for this "one last year" I would instead focus on celebrating what I had done, instead of focusing on my failures. I am happy to share that this shift in mindset paved the way for deep returns. In Sept, I returned to freelancing. I am experiencing new adventures and learning so much! I am juggling a life of much fulfillment, wearing many hats, but finding great joy!
What a year it has been—a full journey. I truly am exhausted but grateful. Perseverance, a deep faith, and a different mindset of gratitude and celebrating growth have transformed my author journey. Now, as I eagerly anticipate 2024, I look forward to what new adventures and accomplishments it will bring. I already have my word for the year as well as an answer to "How will I bloom in 2024."
So here's to the end of 2023, a year of growth, challenges, and countless milestones. May the coming year be just as remarkable, if not more so. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey. Cheers to a beautiful year and the exciting chapters yet to unfold for each of us!
Happy New Year!