This very possibly makes me sound old, but I’ve noticed that time really has started going by more quickly with each passing year. 2017 was a whirlwind for me, especially the latter half. It was a year of much change. I announced a new two-book deal for my YA psychological thrillers. My Firsts paperbacks came out in June. I finished writing an ambitious and very different new book that I’m excited about. I read a lot of books and wrote a lot of new words spanning several projects. I became more skilled and efficient at revising. I feel like I’m going into 2018 a stronger, more self-assured writer, and I’m looking forward to what comes next.
Of course, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in writer-land. I struggled with feeling blocked and unable to create anything and wondered if I’d ever get my creative mojo back. Not to mention, life after the excitement of being a debut author can be a tough adjustment. I honestly found that taking some time to recharge– and read widely– helped me get back into a writing groove stronger than ever. Writers, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re only a writer if you write every day. Take all the time you need away from it, even if your routine is disrupted. A break might be the best thing you can do for yourself, mentally and emotionally.
2017 brought a wonderful life change on a personal level: the arrival of my beautiful daughter Astrid at the end of May. Watching her grow and develop has made this year incredibly special for me (even though I keep telling my husband I want to freeze time and keep her this little forever)! I feel extremely grateful and lucky to be her mom, and to be able to spend so much time with her while she’s this small. Her milestones make my heart so happy, and she has already experienced so many firsts (sorry, I’ll never be able to quit with the Firsts puns)! First smiles, first bath, giggles (best sound ever), story time, diapering antics (spoiler alert: the bookshelf was an innocent victim), introduction to solid foods, army crawling, pulling herself up, first Halloween, first Christmas. Some of the most magical memories so far have been the hikes we took Astrid on in the summer and fall. She’d look out from her baby carrier at the woods and the world with such wonder in her eyes. It’s amazing how she’s seeing everything for the first time, and making me see things differently too.
This year, I have the same resolutions I’ve dragged with me for much of the past decade (namely, stop picking my cuticles and learn how to cook). But I’ll add a new one as well: to find a way to be more present in every moment. In life, and especially in the writing industry, there’s a tendency to always be thinking about the next thing. Which isn’t always bad, because it’s a good idea to be proactive and productive. But it’s just as important to be happy with whatever moment you’re in, wherever that happens to be in your career and your life. One day you might look back and miss being in that moment, which you didn’t really appreciate at the time. So instead of always thinking in fast-forward, I’m going to challenge myself to focus on whatever I’m doing, to savor it while I can.
Thank you, 2017, for giving me some seriously spectacular moments. I’m wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a great start to 2018. I’m looking forward to sharing more updates about my next book, Last Girl Lied To, which now has an official release date (April 16, 2019. Mark your calendars)!
2018, we’re ready for you!