Review of 2016, Plans for 2017

Creative title, I know. I spent a long time on that one…

I know I’m a little early to be writing my end of year/new year’s resolutions post, but I didn’t really have anything else to write except a couple of updates that I’ll mention really quickly before the whole new year’s thingymajig.

Life updates: Christmas was fun! We decided as a family to open our presents on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, so that we could focus on Christ during the actual Christmas day, which was really awesome. We did lots of singing and service. Then on Boxing Day we exchanged gifts; I got the digital drawing tablet that I wanted and a lot of other fun stuff (like llama pajamas that amuse me greatly). So it’s been a good holiday season so far, and I still get a few more days on break!

Writing updates: For Christmas I also got a Brandon Sanderson book (Arcanum Unbounded) and while I was reading it, I just really wanted to write my rewrite of Enhanced. Because that’s the closest I’m getting at the moment to something as awesome as Sanderson’s epic fantasy.

So I may have put Battle Song on the shelf for a little while. I know I shouldn’t, but…I wanted to write Enhanced, and I wasn’t getting anywhere with Battle Song anyway, so…Enhanced it is. I started yesterday and have written about 3.4K more, so I’m at 7Kish. It’s going well; you can see my progress on the right side of the blog.

Okay, I’m done with the updates; that’s all I wanted to say, and now it is time for the old year/new year stuff!

Last year’s post, if you want to read/skim: Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

Review of 2016

It’s been a good year…well, that could just be me looking at it with rose-colored glasses, I suppose. I feel like I changed and improved a lot socially and as a person, but while my writing is improved, I didn’t really do as much as I could’ve/should’ve. (Which was in part because school is hard and busy a lot, but I also procrastinated quite a bit.)

Since I didn’t make any life goals on my blog last year, I’ll just share some of my accomplishments:

1. I joined marching band (color guard) during this summer/fall! It was a big accomplishment for me because I was trying something new, not to mention something I didn’t always feel good at, since I’m not as good with physical activities as I am with mental ones. But I progressed a lot and made new friends and gained a lot more self-confidence, so it was a big accomplishment for me.

2. I started taking voice lessons this summer, also. For the same reasons as above, it’s been hard but also rewarding. I don’t practice as much as I should…but when I do, I can hear my voice growing better and better! I also had my first voice recital and did very good considering getting up and singing solo in front of people terrifies me. It’s also helped with my self-confidence.

3. I definitely improved on my scripture study–I’ve started reading every morning and I also have a journal to take notes in with my scripture study and while at church, which is awesome.

4. I went on a date. Okay, that shouldn’t be such an accomplishment to go on one single date, but I hardly talk to guys and so I was proud of myself for asking a guy out on a date and having a fun (though slightly awkward at times) time with it. It was a good experience.

That’s all I really have to say/I can think of. So yay! Life accomplishments were definitely awesome this year. Writing accomplishments, on the other hand….not so awesome.

From last year, I made several goals:

  1. Write/finish my Zel novel.
  2. Revise Enhanced (which was at that point nicknamed KT).
  3. Write Cryonic, the sequel to Enhanced (I called it KT 2 in that post).
  4. Do NaNoWriMo again.
  5. Finish novels–I even mentioned it was a priority.

And here are the results of these goals:

1. Write/finish Zel novel.

Ahah. Well. I did write it. Some of it. Approximately 34, 515 words of it. Okay, I’m downplaying this quite a bit because I feel bad that I didn’t finish it this year, but I am proud of what I have of this novel. I really love the setup of this story (Rapunzel as a foreign criminal + awesome magic quest) and my first chapter is great. (Hmm, maybe I should post that as my next Spotlight, even though it has nothing to do with what I’m writing right now.)

So I made progress, but I didn’t quite complete the goal. (Which is the case with most of these.)

2. Revise Enhanced.

Well…no. Not really. At the time I made this goal, I’d only just finished, and I didn’t really know what it entailed. I think I did close to, if not a total of 40 hours working on developing the characters, setting, and plot in order to rewrite it, but I only have about 8.5k written. I love the story, though, and I’m making progress on it now.

3. Write Cryonic, the sequel to Enhanced.

Sort of. I wrote 40K worth of the sequel during Camp NaNo, but then my planning for Enhanced’s revision took over and I wasn’t ever prepared to write it at all. I hadn’t planned out anything when I wrote it, so there wasn’t much of a way to finish it, without first rewriting Enhanced, which didn’t happen, as said before. So nope, not really.

4. Do NaNoWriMo again.

I did do it, but I lost everything. Well…not everything. I won April Camp NaNo writing Cryonic, with just over 40k/40k. But July Camp NaNo, when I was trying to do 40 hours of prep for Enhanced, I only ended with 24 hours/40. (I did finish up those hours afterward, though.) And then November, the official NaNoWriMo, I procrastinated from Battle Song a ton, and ended up with 37.5k/40k. So, I did do NaNo, I just lost more than I ever have.

Screenshot 2016-12-29 at 1.14.41 PM.png
Stats for the preparation of Enhanced.

5. Finish novels.

Nope. While in 2015 I finished two novels, this year I finished nothing, which is one of the biggest reasons my writing goals feel unsatisfactory to me this year. I wrote a lot. I prepared a lot, both for Zel and Enhanced and even Battle Song, but not one of those novels (or even my previous ones) did I finish. So while I am proud of what I did accomplish, I’m a little bit frustrated, and I’m going to try to do better in 2017.

Phew. This post is already past 1000 words long and we’ve only just finished with 2016’s review. Prepare for more rambling. Maybe take a hot chocolate break, or rest your eyes with a short nap before continuing.

But…I’m not really sorry. This post was long last year; I have reason to expect it’ll be even longer this year, especially with the inclusion of life goals and not just writing ones. Plus, I’m rambling more than I was last year, even in this middle part. (But there are pictures in this next part, so that makes things better, right?)

Right ho, then, let’s move on to 2017.

Plans for 2017

I want 2017 to be better than this year–way better. Which means I have quite a few goals to share, though more writing ones than life ones. I want to try to keep them better, too…I think I may put my goals on the sidebar of my blog so I don’t forget about them, and maybe show my progress on them somehow…

One of my friends, Kellyn Roth @ Reveries has been doing posts with monthly “Dares,” which is essentially daring yourself to do something each month and following through with it the next. (Basically, a lot like this post, only monthly…because I know how much you all love to read extremely long posts.) Here’s an example of one of her Dare posts! Anyway, I think this would be really fun to start doing and help me to segment my goals into smaller pieces that will help me keep on track. So look forward to those!

Anyway…the actual resolutions/goals!

Life Goals:

1. Continue reading my scriptures every day, and pray every morning and night.

2. Write in my journal at least 6 out of 7 days every week (85% of the time).

3. Start researching colleges and apply for college at the end of 2017.

4. Get my driver’s license and finish my online class (this should be done by February, though).

5. Do an act of service at least once a week.

6. Get a job. I don’t want one…but I need one and it’ll be a good experience for me.

Reading Goals:

1. Read at least 5 books a month and post reviews on them on Goodreads (so a goal of reading 60 books…though I might change that to 75). And…that’s about all.

Blogging Goals:

1. Blog at least 6 times a month (at least 72 posts throughout the year).

2. Keep the sidebar of my blog updated.

Writing Goals:

1. Complete the 365K challenge. In 2015, this was one of the things that really helped me write a lot and integrate writing in my life–the idea is to write 1,000 words every single day for an entire year. I didn’t do that this year because I was going to be doing so much planning, but this year I’ve done a few more things to help me.

Firstly, I’ve decided that planning/developing/researching/etc. for an hour can count as a thousand words. Secondly, I’ve create a color-coordinated spreadsheet that will calculate how many words I’ve written total by only putting in the number of words I wrote that day, which will help me easily keep track of what I’ve done.

Screenshot 2016-12-29 at 12.58.52 PM.png
Here’s a little screenshot of part of the spreadsheet.

2. Finish 3 novels, one of which has to be EnhancedThis was one of the things that most frustrated me about last year’s writing: no novels finished. So next year, I’m going to finish three novels, one of which is the rewrite of Enhanced.

enhanced cover

The other two novels, I don’t care what they are, as long as I finish them, but I do have several novels I’ve started that range from 20K to 55k already written, and it would be very simple to complete a couple of them. Specifically, I’d like to finish Riven and Zel, maybe even Battle Song, but if those aren’t the ones I finish, that’s fine. I just need to finish at least two other novels besides Enhanced.

3. Start a maximum of 2 novels. That’s right; I’m only going to start 2 novels this year because I’m going to be focusing on finishing the others. One of these is going to be in November NaNoWriMo, because I always start a new novel for that, which means until November, I can only start one novel. (Writing down ideas/first scenes doesn’t count.) I’m thinking about starting an MG novel about dragons for my little brother, but maybe not. I want to keep my options open at the moment. Although, if I start that one in the next two days, I wouldn’t be starting in 2017 and so it wouldn’t count…heheheh.

Doodles of the people in the dragon MG novel, though the guy in the middle is definitely inaccurate. I just need to figure out how his personality is and then I can actually draw him. But Mikael and Asta are spot-on.

4. Write a short story/flash fiction every month. This one is less important to me than my novelling goals, but I do know that I need to improve on writing shorter pieces than novels, and it would be really cool to submit one of them to a magazine or contest so that I could get that experience of writing, revising, and submitting on a much smaller level than with novels.

Screenshot 2016-12-29 at 1 edit.png

5. These aren’t necessarily goals, but I do have a couple of things that I’d love to get done writing-wise, though they may not happen:

  • Find beta-readers after rewriting Enhanced. After I finish the rewrite, I want some feedback from people on the overall story and the big things that I need to revise.
  • Get a short little thing published where people will read it just because…like I said, I want that experience, and I also think it’d be really awesome.
  • Plan out and really develop Cryonic so that I’ll be able to write it soon sometime.
  • Research more about publishing options, both traditionally and self-publishing.

Happy New Year, everyone! How has it been for all of you? What are you planning on doing next year? Comment with some of your achievements/goals or link to your new year’s posts! Also, if you have any ideas on how to keep myself motivated, please tell me! What do you want to hear updates on? What novels should I work on in 2017? Etc. Thanks for reading!

19 thoughts on “Review of 2016, Plans for 2017

  1. Kellyn Roth December 29, 2016 / 3:15 PM

    I don’t really want to do New Year’s Resolutions (… at least not this year … though I have some from last year that I should probably take a peak at). Why? Because the moment I resolve to do something, I invariably don’t do it. XD I am so awful that way … I’m like, “Well, I have a whole year to do it!” With my monthly dares, though, I only have a month, so the pressure is on!

    Seriously, though, what did I say I was gonna do this year? Now I’m curious. I haven’t thought about it in forever and ever … so yeah.

    Anyway, I’m actually super excited about Zel! I really like that story. And I like the Battle Song story, too. I’m rusty on Enhanced and Cryonic, though, honestly. I remember it … but I don’t. You know what I mean? Like, when you think you remember something but you probably don’t? That’s me … right now …

    Hmm … you know, I might do a … 182.5K. XD Yeah … that’s 500 words a day. I don’t think I could be as awesome as 1,000 a day all year!

    A date. *blinks* Like … with a human being who is a male? *chokes* You, Lana, are my new idol … 😛 Oh, and how do you pronounce Lana? Because I said it out loud when my friends and I were talking about bloggers I follow (or something like that …) and they were like, “You’re pronouncing that wrong,” and yep.


    • Kellyn Roth December 29, 2016 / 3:18 PM

      Okay, so I just looked up my new year’s resolutions from last year … wow. I actually did some of them! I published The Dressmaker’s Secret, wrote At Her Fingertips, and at least started revising Ivy Introspective! However, I did not read the Bible through in a year, nor did I practice the clarinet or saxophone reliably (I gave up the saxophone, in fact), and I didn’t even touch Caught in a Spell. And I’m not sure if I’m ‘the person God meant me to be.’ *shrugs* Vague resolution … I did read lots of new books though … and I don’t THINK I started a new book every five seconds … XD


      • Lana December 29, 2016 / 3:31 PM

        Good job! 😀 I know, a lot of my resolutions were vague too! Like “Finish novels.” How many novels? Which ones? What am I even trying to accomplish? I think I set better ones this year, though, that are less vague.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth December 29, 2016 / 3:33 PM

        Yes, definitely! Yeah, “finish novels” is vague … but I’m sure it made sense at the time …
        I should do new year’s resolutions … but when? I have that schedule now … XD Maybe I’ll do a vlog and say, “And, by the way, if you want to know what my new year’s resolutions are, then watch this!” That might be kinda fun …


      • Lana December 29, 2016 / 3:37 PM

        Oooh, yeah, you could do that! You could also throw in them at the end of your January dare post too…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth December 29, 2016 / 3:43 PM

        Oh, yeah, that’s true! I think I’m gonna do a vlog and then throw it in at the end of my January dare post … so I’ll use both ideas.


      • Lana December 29, 2016 / 4:11 PM

        Good idea! I’ll be looking forward to it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lana December 29, 2016 / 3:28 PM

      Ahhh, I get that! Actually, I’d totally forgotten what my goals were from last year, so I’m hoping that doing monthly dares in accordance with my new year’s resolutions, I’ll be able to do ’em all! (Okay, maybe not all of them. But most of them.)

      Oooh, you should! Then when you say you wrote 500 words every day in the month, then I’ll be super impressed and want to be better.

      Yup, a date, haha. It was fun and awkward at the same time.

      I pronounce it LAWN-uh as in “open your mouth and say ahhh.” It’s okay if you pronounce it wrong, though! I mean, I can’t hear how you type it, so it wouldn’t really bother me….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth December 29, 2016 / 3:36 PM

        That’s a really great idea! Maybe I should do that (do the monthly dares in accordance with my new year’s resolutions). I don’t really know what I want to do in 2017, though, other than publish Ivy Introspective.
        I imagine so. Boys and me … we don’t … talk. Like, at all. Of course, I know practically no boys, so …
        Ah, okay! I pronounce it differently every time … ‘Lay-na’ or ‘Lawn-uh’ or ‘Lawn-na’ … it depends on my mood, I suppose … 😉


      • Lana December 29, 2016 / 3:40 PM

        Hmm….revise At Her Fingertips? *shrugs* I dunno. Write Flowers and/or other short stories? Start a new novel? I don’t know…

        I feel the same way. I used to talk to boys when I was in 5th grade, but after that…well, nope.

        Haha, is there a difference between ‘Lawn-uh’ and ‘Lawn-na’?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth December 29, 2016 / 3:45 PM

        Those are all good ideas! Maybe I’ll use some of them.
        Not really, I suppose … unless I pronounced one of the other really weird. Used French pronunciation rules or something, haha …


      • Lana December 29, 2016 / 4:10 PM

        Haha, for all I know, it could be French…though I doubt it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. April McLauren December 29, 2016 / 5:17 PM

    Yay! Another year in review post, I love reading these. I hope you accomplish all of your goals! Wow, these make me feel like a slacker. 365K challenge?!? That’s so impressive! Your spreadsheet seems really well thought out. Ok, I’ll stop taking up your comment section now 🙂


    • Lana December 29, 2016 / 5:47 PM

      Thank you! I hope I can do all of them too! I know, the 365k challenge is huge, and I don’t know that I’ll actually get that much, especially with school and all. But it doesn’t hurt to try, and it definitely helped me last time I did it! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Morgan @ studiesincharacter January 1, 2017 / 11:04 PM

    I…thought I commented, and turns out, I read it and didn’t comment. Oops. My bad. Sorry.

    Sadly, I don’t remember what I might have commented on if I’d actually commented when I was supposed to.



    • Lana January 2, 2017 / 2:36 PM

      Haha, that’s all right.



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