I'm not one for New Year's resolutions--they're either stupid or unachievable over time (and by 'over time' I mean past January 15th) but it is beneficial to look back over the previous year, listing pros and cons, wins, failures, and draws, before starting the new one.
In 2013, I worked closely with an agent tweaking a story that didn't end up getting published, though I did learn a buttload in the process. I parted ways with that agent, though I did recently hear from her (she left the agency and wished me great luck with my writing in future). I finished one novel (my ghost story!) in the meantime and another during NaNoWriMo, which was an amazing process. I wrote a handful of short stories for submission in 2014 and, in the process, rekindled my love for writing shorties. Kiddo and I soaked the house in estrogen whilst my husband was deployed for the year (he'll be back in February! Finally!!) and had many good months of giggling, hilarity, movie reenactments, food craziness, shopping, etc. We got over a bad medical situation that befell my mother during the very last bit of 2012, so 2013 was instantly better once we shoved that behind us. I lost my little dog in April, which was awful, especially considering my husband's ongoing deployment. I traveled some, but not as much as I would have liked. I watched kiddo play her first season of varsity soccer, finish her freshmen year in high school, and start her sophomore year. I read at least 10 excellent books and many more that were very good, all the while dreaming about one day seeing my own novel on bookstore shelves. I can't say I learned much about myself this year that I didn't already know (I do spend hours each day locked inside my own head, so...) but I have noticed that with age comes increased comfort in my own skin. Progress, I suppose, especially for a woman. Aren't we born and socialized to hate ourselves? At least subconsciously? Anyway, fuck that. My skin is most comfortable and the inside of my head is a sanctuary unmatched by any place outside it. Oh, and let's not forget that, as this year comes to a close, an agent is actively considering the novel I sent queries out for in October. As good a way to end the year as any. I'd rather have a freshly signed publishing contract (or, better, a copy of my book sitting right in front of me), but I'll take what I can get.
As for the new year, I refuse to make resolutions. But I do hope for health and happiness for those I care about. I'd love to be published by this time next year, but that isn't really resolution material. I know what I need to do to give myself the best chance. So I'll do it. That's a promise, not a resolution. Bring it, 2014.