It's the end of the year (and the end of a decade). For me, this is a time of reflection. It's actually something I do at the end/beginning of each month, and then, again, at the end of the year as a whole.
Throughout the year, I have ongoing lists in my journal. I title a page for each, and then add to it throughout the year.
This year, my page titles included:
Of course, there's the rest of my journal for musings, learnings, sketches, early drafts, revision notes, outlines, etc.
After reviewing each of my lists at the end of the year, and going through my journals, I make a new list for the new year: GOALS. (I'll come back to goals in a later post!)
I was proud to fill (and overflow) each of these pages this year. In fact, my major highlights page was bursting this year.
Some Major Highlights This Year:
-Trusting my gut & seeking new representation. Knowing what I need and want in a professional agent-author relationship.
-Taking it seriously & staying grounded (and true to myself) when receiving multiple offers of representation. Taking my time to be thoughtful and ask potential agents and myself the hard questions.
-Signing with the perfect-for-me agent & agency! Later, meeting my agent (on the east coast) and celebrating hopefully-soon-to-be-announced news, meeting Writers House agents on the west coast in person, and touring the west coast office!
-All the moments along ONE HUG's journey to becoming a real book in the world, on the shelves for readers. What a long journey it's been! This year I got to celebrate this book in it's various stages!
-Connecting with others as an author! Presenting at my first SCBWI conference, and attending and signing books at my first nErDCamp!
-Of course, connections made are the best, biggest highlights of the year. I chatted about this during a twitter #PBCHAT with my New In Nineteen Debut Group. Also, this group of creators debuted AMAZING books this year. Check them out if you haven't already!
-And last, but certainly NOT least, ONE HUG debuted in the last month of this year, and I've been overflowing with joy and gratitude!
-So honored to have guest posted and been interviewed all over online! I share more on my writing journey, how ONE HUG came to be, what I hope it will do for readers, and some other fun traditions and tidbits! Check some of ONE HUG's online appearances here:
Whew! What a year it's been! I've filled four notebooks, sold books in a new genre, and began writing in another genre!
While the major milestones are definitely worth celebrating, it's also worthwhile (and important) to celebrate each moment that brings you to that milestone. Every moment that pushes you forward, and up, and along on your journey.
It's been a year of new beginnings, branching out, and what's been most challenging, but also most important to my overall health and well-being, a year of balancing. As a mother to two young children and two high-energy dogs, a teacher, and a wife, I'm most proud that I've been able to balance it all and find the time to nurture my passion---my writing. I've grown in craft and curiosity. And I'm excited for what's to come in the new year (I'll write up a goals post to share in the New Year).
For now, I'm wrapping up the year by spending New Year's Eve with my family. We're playing, partying, and not planning much of anything else!
What are you most proud of this year?
How are you wrapping up 2019?
Check out my Featured Author Post on the 12x12 Blog! I share more about my writing journey and how to take your career into your own hands:
So here's a letter to you about why I wrote this book, what I hope it will do, and who I think it's for (Spoiler alert--it's for you.)
When I set out to write One Hug, I wanted to celebrate how powerful and transformative one connection could be—how one hug connects us uniquely, yet universally.
At its heart—it’s about one hug connecting us in ways that sometimes words cannot.
Like the overwhelming joy that one feels when reunited with their far-away family after a long separation. Or that comforting hug from a sibling that soothes us more than a thousand “it’s okays” ever could.
I also wrote this book to give a voice and stage to the little Chinese-American girl in me who never saw herself accurately represented in the media. Growing up, none of the characters I knew were Chinese. Not on TV. Not in books. The few stories featuring Asian-American characters were issue-driven books surrounding race and identity. I never felt like being Chinese-American was my singular identity, but the media made it seem so.
This book shows the more accurate version of myself and others. Like the characters in One Hug, my cultural identity influences my life, but it’s not my whole story.
Upon first read, this book is a fun, rhythmic, easy read aloud that’s perfect for bedtime—celebrating summer nights, simple pleasures, and the people we love. And yet, when we dig deeper, asking, “Who are these characters? What are they doing? Why are they celebrating?” children, as astute as they are, will notice a cross-cultural family dinner, an immigrant family reunion, and three generations of a family.
I hope it’s a book that all children will cozy up with—anyone who needs some love, and also those who love to hug!
Hugs and Love,
Ready to pre-order?! Available here
and wherever books are sold!
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Katrina Moore writes for all, teaches many, and raises two young children. She holds an M.A. in elementary education. She's the author of ONE HUG, GRANDPA GRUMPS, SOMETIMES LOVE (Penguin/Dial, '22), and the forthcoming chapter book series, TEENY HOUDINI (HarperCollins/Tegen, '22), and more. Connect with her on twitter!