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Before I can really focus on 2012 and what I want to do with it, I have to look back at what worked and what didn’t in 2011.  I think the thing I’m most proud of from this past year is successfully completing NaNoWriMo. I might not adore the novel I wrote, but I started it, and finished it, and for that I can be happy.  I now know that I am capable of having an idea and actually turning it into a story that I can be proud of.

Then there’s this blog.  Started just three months ago, I’ll end the year with 50 total posts. That isn’t as many as I would have liked, but it’s still something else I can be proud of. I still struggle with making time in my life to post, and in allowing myself time to think and write without distraction, something that I know I need to work on.  At the end of the day, I think this blog is nothing but good for me, as it keeps me writing when I don’t have the energy to come up with new fiction. I can also credit this blog with getting me to read more than ever before, and it’s not like I haven’t always been a huge reader. I’ve started doing some journalling as well, mostly writing down story and blog post ideas.  I’ve found it helps me break a nasty bout of writer’s block if I can just walk away from the computer and go actually WRITE something in a book with a pen.  All of that is something I’d like to continue into the new year, as its a change in my life for the better.

I think that one of the other major positive developments in my life in the last year was professional. Without going into a lot of boring detail, I feel like I’m finally finding my own at my job, and even better, I’m being recognized for my accomplishments.  I’m really proud of how I’ve grown in the last year within, and beyond, my job description, and look forward to continuing that into 2012.

I’ve discovered some fantastic authors and books this year, both through other bloggers and through friends I’ve made during NaNoWriMo, my favorites include:

Feed by Mira Grant

Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series’

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series

Amanda Hocking’s Trylle Trilogy

Katherine Lasky’s Guardian’s of Ga’Hoole series

…and probably a million others that I wish I’d taken the time to write more about here. Maybe next year!

On a more personal level, I’m really happy to have made some new local friends this year, most especially the folks I met through NaNoWriMo. I’ll always love my high school and college friends, but one of my biggest complaints since moving an hour north of my hometown has been about the lack of local folks to hang out with.  Aside from my boyfriend and his family and friends that is, and they are a great group, don’t get me wrong… it’s just nice to have girlfriends again!!

Next up?  A look forward to 2012!  Happy New Year everybody!