2016 Year in Review

Photo credit: Dru! on Flickr
So back in 2014, I started my annual tradition of reviewing all the things that happened over the past year, which I continued last year. 2016's been one prolonged garbage fire, but some pretty big positive things did happen for me. So let's take a look at 2016!

January was a pretty quiet month. I started my last semester of college while silently gearing up for the impending release of my debut two months later. I took both a fantasy and a kidlit class which was truly the perfect way to tie off my college experience.

February I had my birthday and the best birthday present ever: I got my author copies. It was a really amazing moment that I thankfully had the foresight to capture on camera so I could turn it into a happy vlog.

Then March! March was an enormous month. Beyond the Red published and shortly thereafter I flew off to Maryland to speak at SCBWI MD/DE/WV and do a mini-book tour with some lovely fellow Sweet Sixteeners. We had an amazing time and I did my first ever book signings and school visits and did so many panels and all in all it really was a blast. It was the perfect way to welcome my debut to the world and step into Professional Author shoes in an undeniable way. All the while I was working on a secret project which became important a few months later.

April then was finals time. I finished up my last semester of college and graduated with high distinction, in the top 10% of my graduating class. So that was really exciting and felt pretty amazing. I also launched my freelance editing services, which was thankfully welcomed with open arms.

May and June were pretty quiet. I first drafted a manuscript, plotted another, Beyond the Red went into its second printing (yay!) and I also got some fantastic bookish news I couldn't talk about, which meant sitting on my hands until I could talk about it and in the meantime continue working on that secret project. Come to think of it, I guess those months weren't so quiet after all. :)

Then in July I finally got the go ahead to announce my amazing news: Beyond the Red is getting not one, but two sequels! And the first will publish next year! I was over the moon happy about the news, and I finished first drafting Into the Black, a book I'm already very proud of.

August was another quiet month. I started revising Into the Black and joined the Pok√©mon GO craze, which was fun and actually got me out of my writer cave from time to time. It was, however, a pretty bad month health-wise, so that was unfortunate—and a sign to my doctor and I that I need to move to a stronger treatment regimen.

September and October were full of revisions and multiple rounds of critique partners and sensitivity readers while preparing for NaNoWriMo. At the end of the month I sent Into the Black off to my agent, applied for—and landed—a seasonal part time job, and then...

NaNoWriMo! I mean, November! November was an especially rough month, but the good part is I started and finished my NaNo novel before declaring myself exhausted and swearing not to write for the rest of the year. I'd never first drafted three manuscripts and revised one in the same year before and it was tiring but also really gratifying.

And now, December. This month I've (so far) kept to my not-writing promise while trying to catch up on my Goodreads reading challenge, which I am currently three books away from completing and totally determined to manage it, even if two of those books are comics. I also got the laptop I've been saving for forever, and I sent in an application to grad school for a program of my dreams, so I've got my fingers crossed while awaiting the new year. And that's all I'm gonna say about that. :)

How was your 2016?

Twitter-sized bite: 
.@Ava_Jae shares her 2016 year in review. Did you have any big moments this year? (Click to tweet)

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