2019 Writing and Reading Recap

Hello, people of the Blogosphere! I very obviously did not stick to my 2019 goal of blogging regularly or even at all, and i am not making that a goal for 2020 because college and adulting ate my life, and when I’m not doing either of those things, I usually want to be writing books instead of blog posts. however, I have returned to the internet after almost a year of silence for my annual recap of writing goals and favorite books of the year. I do genuinely hope to post more in 2020 because exciting writerly things may be happening in the upcoming year, but no promises!

Let’s start with a recap of my 2019 writing goals…

◦Finish editing Scarred Flawless: I’m calling this one a partial win! I said in my last recap post that Scarred Flawless had a lot of major developmental problems pertaining to world building because the geography of fictional worlds is one of life’s great mysteries, and maps are hard. Well, the developmental edits are DONE as of a few hours ago!!!! I think the whole thing is logical and coherent now, or at least it will be once I finish the line edits and eradicate all the strange sentences I created at 3 AM.

◦Start drafting Fractured Faith: This did not happen. I don’t even have Fractured Faith fully outlined, but it’s fine. Fractured Faith is the sequel to Scarred Flawless, and Scarred Flawless was my priority for 2019, so I am perfectly happy with what I did accomplish in regards to that series.

◦Start outlining Scarred Flawless Book 3: This sort of happened? I have a few index cards for it at least. Again, this is fine though because at least I mostly met my goal for the first book in the series.

◦Finish outlining Unmarked: That didn’t happen either because I started working on a new book, (Indie Blue), instead of Unmarked. I am quite happy with this arrangement though because i feel like I could sit down and draft Indie Blue right now whereas Unmarked still needs a lot of outlining and research before it’s ready to be drafted.

2020 Writing Goals:

I am only giving myself two major writing goals for 2020 because I am taking Creative Writing I in school this semester, and I’m not sure how much or what kind of writing that is going to require. My two goals are:

◦Finish line edits for Scarred Flawless and get it in the hands of beta readers

◦Finish the zero draft of Indie Blue

2019 Reading Recap:

I read 60 new books in 2019 and failed to review all of them because book review formatting is hard and adulting/school/Scarred Flawless took priority over that. So… here is a list of my top ten favorite books of 2019 with links to Goodreads instead of my own reviews!

1. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. The people weren’t kidding when they said this one was graphic and intense, but man was it good! Yet another work of literary genius from Leigh bardugo!

2. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie stiefvater. This one was my 20th birthday present to myself. It was well worth the audible credit. I don’t have anything more to say about it other than Maggie Stiefvater created another literary masterpiece, and I want to reread it now.

  1. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang. This is an absolutely fantastic sequel to The Poppy War.

  2. Sadie by Courtney Summers. This is not my usual genre, but I absolutely loved this book! It is dark, and suspenseful, and it has a very unique writing style.

  3. Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. This one has people who can talk to gods, and creepy mages, and it is amazing.

  4. How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. This is the only book that made me cry in 2019. Kathleen Glasgow is really good at making me cry, but her writing is fabulous, and I will read everything she writes.

  5. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. To be quite honest, I really don’t remember much about this book because I read it whilst curled up in bed with a sinus infection trying to drown out my roommates with the audio book, but I gave it 5 stars, so it must have been fabulous!

  6. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. I will read everything Karen McManus writes because her first two books have both been 5 star reads for me.

  7. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. This was a stunning conclusion to Holly Black’s “Folk of the Air” trilogy.

  8. King of Fools by Amanda Foody. This was an excellent sequel to Ace of Shades. Amanda Foody did not disappoint.

2020 Reading Goals

My only reading goal for 2020 is to finish 75 new books. I’m not starting any other kind of reading challenges because I definitely will not stick to them. Feel free to leave some of your 2019 favorites or 2020 books you’re anticipating in the comments though, and I’ll add them to my terrifyingly long TBR! Also, if you’re a writer, let me know what you accomplished this year and what you hope to accomplish in 2020.

Getting the Most Out of Camp NaNoWriMo 2017

Camp NaNoWriMo is here!!!!! If you have no idea what that is, head on over to campnanowrimo.org to learn more! If you’re looking for some last minute advice before you start your journey, stick around!


  1. Make sure that your Camp NaNoWriMo goal is actually achievable! If you set a goal that you’ll never reach due to your schedule in April, you’ll probably give up half way through and end up regretting it later. However, if you set a goal that pushes you a bit but makes sense with your schedule, you might surprise yourself and exceed it! Also, you can now choose to set your goal in pages or hours instead of just words, so there’s really nothing stopping you from setting your goal however you want! My goal is currently 150 hours of editing for my Shaman Novel. That seems pretty small when you do the math and convert it to days, but I know that the last two months of school are going to be a whirlwind of semester projects, therefore I made sure to set my goal according to what I thought I could accomplish. I should definitely be able to hit that, and I can always raise it if I realize I’m going to blow it out of the water.
  2. Organize your outline! Trust me… It is NOT fun to sit down on April 1st and go, “I have no idea where anything is in this Scrivener project!” Even if you don’t use complicated Scrivener templates to organize your projects, make sure that you know the location of all of the information that is necessary for you to write your story!
  3. Decide how you plan to back up your project. You really do NOT want to loose any of your precious writing due to a technological failure or a lost notebook! Personally, I dump all of my Scrivener projects into a Scrivener folder in Dropbox, which backs up everything to the cloud and syncs everything to the Scrivener IOS app. Also, don’t just trust the cloud to keep everything safe for you! Put those precious writing files on a flash drive, an SD card, an external hard drive… whatever you’ve got!
  4. Schedule stuff around your chosen writing time. You need to plan your writing time just like you’d plan anything else because if you don’t, it might not happen! You should either pick a time each day and dedicate it specifically for writing, or pick a day or two out of each week and write like the wind on those days!
  5. Be active on Twitter and in your Camp NaNo cabins! Some of you are probably going, “Being active on Twitter is NOT conducive to a good writing session!” But it is if you follow the right people! Go to the @NaNoWordSprints page! Do NOT scroll through your timeline! Do NOT check your notifications! You WILL get writing done because lots of other people will be on that page writing with you!

Writing Up Wednesday #4: Word Cound Woes

Hello, writerly people! I have not blogged in quite a while because… school/life happened. But today I bring you a Writing Up Wednesday Post!
Writing Up Wednesday is a weekly writing meme created by Lizzy @ The Bent Bookworm! This week’s topic is “Word Count Woes!”


If you’re a serious writer, you probably know that word counts are pretty important. Sometimes the word count of your manuscript can make or brake a publishing opportunity! Because of this some writers obsess over the suggested word count guidelines and stick to them religiously, and some writers tend to ignore it entirely. Personally, I am somewhat in the middle.
I like to make sure I stay kind of in the range of the suggested word count for my genre, but I do not let that number define every single move I make. I do set word count goals before I ever start writing, but I don’t force myself to stick to them. Now… The process I use to determine my prewriting word goal gets kinda nerdy, so be prepared!
I like to loosely mold my writing projects around the four act structure, so I try to pick a word count goal that is sort of close to the suggested range for my genre and is also easily divisible by four! Doing this makes it super easy to figure out how long each chunk of the four act structure needs to be, which gives me a few big milestones to hit!
To give you an example, the prewriting word goal for my “Shaman Novel” was 100000 words. That meant that every 25000 words, I needed to start transitioning to the next act. That being said, I exceeded that goal, and that’s totally fine because the story just wasn’t over at 100000 words! The current word count is 142397 words, but that is still subject to change! I am revising this novel for Camp NaNoWriMo, so I’m sure I’ll add some scenes and chop out some others! I expect the final count to round out somewhere around 150000 words, but that number isn’t set in stone either. My end goal is to tell a good story that feels complete, and I’m not going to let a number of words interfere with that as long as it isn’t completely unreasonable for the genre.

Beautiful Books 2017 Writing Goals

Beautiful Books is a writing link up created by Cait @ Paper Fury. Click here for instructions and links to other Beautiful Books blog posts.


  1. What were your writing achievements last year?
    I finished the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel!!!!!!! And now I get to edit it….

  2. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
    ◦Edit this mess of a thing I’m calling a novel.
    ◦Have it ready for beta readers by June.
    ◦Start writing the next book in the series for NaNoWriMo. I really would like to start that in July, but July is going to be crazy busy for me it seems!

  3. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
    My absolute top priority project is the “shaman novel” that I wrote for NaNo and have already written a lot about. I’m now referring to it as the “shaman novel” because it’s gone through numerous title changes, and I don’t want to confuse you guys as much as I’ve confused myself. The plot is a total complete mess right now because writing the thing in order the first time would’ve made too much sense, so here’s some basic info that you can apply to the whole book!
    ◦It centers around a bunch of corrupted politicians who call themselves “The High Council.” They pretty much rule the world, and if you’re not royal, you are less than nothing to society.
    ◦Naturally there has to be a “lower class,” and they are the shamans. They practice a different kind of magic than all the royals, and they are very much looked down upon.
    ◦There are various practices of magic in my story world, but the ones that come up the most in this book are natural magic, blood magic, and academic magic.

  4. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
    This’ll be my first experience editing a project on this scale and sending it out to beta readers that aren’t just friends or family. My end goal for this year is to be querying for publication, so I’m sure I’ll learn a lot and improve my writing in several different ways.

  5. Describe your general editing process.
    Well… Umm… Yeah… Ok… So… Maybe I don’t have a process right now??? I messed up the timeline of this story SO horrifically that I’m still moving index cards around to figure out the order in which stuff needs to happen! After I’ve got my skeleton outline on a bulletin board, I’ll do a read through and put everything in order in Scrivener. After that??? I am seriously considering exporting it from Scrivener, brailling it, and putting it all in binders so I can slap sticky notes all over everything. The flaw in that plan is that I wrote a lot of words, and braille is bigger than print, so that would be a lot of paper, and I’d probably need like five giant binders…. We’ll see if that actually happens! If not, I guess I’ll just put it in a Word doc and leave myself a ton of comments, but oh how I hate using the comment thingy! I don’t know, ok?! Please describe your editing process in the comments below this post…

  6. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
    I’m going to put this at a solid 3… I think the story is great, but… See my answer to the previous question!

  7. What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
    Plot and structure! My character development is really good because I created the characters first and then worked the plot around them, but multiple POV characters and a little bit of a dual timeline made for an incoherent mess because my brain just doesn’t write things in order the first time apparently!

  8. What do you like the most about your draft?
    I love my characters! I can’t really explain why because spoilers, but they’re awesome, and I feel like they’re my friends now, and I really hope they’re as awesome as I think they are!

  9. What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?
    Beta readers, probably more edits, and hopefully querying by the end of the year!

  10. What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?
    Are ya sure you want advice from me after reading this? Really?! Ok… If you’re gonna edit the thing, index cards, sticky notes, Scrivener, and coffee are your best friends!

2016 Wrap Up/2017 Goals

To continue with the theme of scatter-brained posts, I had goals for 2016 to wrap up, but I don’t have them anymore. They were on my MacBook which had to be wiped because of a malware invasion, and apparently the file wasn’t in Dropbox… The fact that I don’t remember most of them is probably a good indication that I failed at most of them, but here’s what I do remember!


  1. I did NOT win my Goodreads challenge, and Goodreads feels the need to remind me of that fact every time I open the app…
  2. I won NaNoWriMo for the second year running!
  3. I finished the first draft of my first novel! insert terrified emoji here It’s a total complete mess, but I finished the thing!
  4. I learned lots of programming stuff that I am not going to get into here because you most likely don’t care, and I don’t wanna explain it… Ok so really that wasn’t an official goal for 2016 until two weeks ago, but I made it my goal over Christmas break, and I accomplished it, so I’m counting it!
  5. Added together, all the writing projects I’ve completed in 2016 total up to 111911 words! I’m pretty sure my goal was 100000, so I’m proud of that!

Goals for 2017:

  1. By June 1st, I hope to have my novel ready for beta readers. If it could be by March 1st, that would be fantastic, but school is probably going to crush that dream.
  2. I’m setting my Goodreads challenge for 30 books because I’m 90% sure I can meet that!
  3. I am going to attempt the A to Z reading challenge, which means I have to read a book starting with each letter of the alphabet. If you know of books starting with R, Q, X, Y, or Z, please leave them in the comments! Those are the only ones I haven’t found yet…
  4. For NaNoWriMo this year, I’m planning to write the second book in this series I have started. We’ll see if that actually happens because I may still be trying to sort out this mess of a thing I’m calling a novel if the unthinkable happens and I epically fail at my first goal.
  5. This is the thing that I really need to do, but don’t wanna do. I’m in the middle of learning Swift and Python, (which are both programming languages), and I have a ton of notes for both all over my phone, iPad, laptop, and two notebooks, and they’re gonna have to be combined and organized before I get much further into this. I was planning to do this over Christmas break, but I just added to the mess instead because I’m a nerd like that!

I feel like I should list my upcoming posts here, but I still have all those that got caught in drafts, and honestly the next couple posts are gonna be embarrassingly late stories for Short Story Society. How did you do on your 2016 goals, (writing or otherwise?) Got anything cool planned for this year? Are you planning to join The HP Writing Cup? Let’s chat in comments!