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This is my last writing post for the year – next week I’ll end my blogging for 2018 with a folklore post – and as per usual, this is my post to go over what I did this year and what I had achieved in my writing career.

I think the best way to keep track is to go chronologically. I’ll also link to posts from the past year that goes into detail on each accomplishment (or setback).

The Highs and Lows of 2018

In the first quarter, I got “Eens…” turned into an eBook and audiobook, and got it published through Amazon and other online retailers.

I was so ill, I nearly died. I didn’t write much.

In the second quarter, I published “Once…” (the English version of “Eens…”) as print and eBook.

I set up my newsletter with a freebie to attract subscribers. (Only one review on Goodreads for the book.)

My illness from earlier the year came back and even less writing got done.

In the third quarter, I published “Once…” as an audiobook.

The reviews for the two language editions are all five stars. The reception to this book is amazing. Sales… not so much. But I’m learning how to fix that.

Tony died.

In the fourth quarter, I got myself back into gear. “The Inn” – which I wrote earlier this year – was published in the fourth Clarion Call Anthology “FairyTale Riot”.

And I won Fiction Writer of the Year 2018 on INK: Skryf in Afrikaans. (More to follow below with pics.)

I also readied a story for publication in January. (If you’d like to know more before then, join my newsletter to get freebies and news before anyone else.)

And I participated in a crazy NaNoWriMo – I wrote several short stories, novellas and upper middle grade/lower young adult novels (I’m sprinting to the finish line that lies far, far away from the original aim of 50k words in a month.) – to make up for not writing as much as I possibly could (or wanted) the rest of the year.

I also published an eBook with short stories and folklore in November. (See below.)

Realisations and Resolutions for 2019

To start off with, I should listen to my body more. If I had figured out earlier that a seemingly harmless cough in February wasn’t normal (asthma or not), I wouldn’t have had such issues with my lungs for an entire year.

Next, if I want to make a living with my writing, I need to publish more. Which means writing more.

I need to honour my reality. The guilt I felt at not being able to write while ill and while grieving the loss of my little boy isn’t constructive to a creative life. It took a while to get back into the writing groove in the fourth quarter, but my wonderful writing friends (you know who you are) helped so much with their encouragement and feedback on my writing.

I need to not work on weekends. There’s a part of me that thinks “Weekends? Is that something you can eat?” instead of seeing it as a well-deserved break from a week of hard work. So, I’m moving my blogging schedule. In 2019, I’ll blog on Wednesdays instead of Sundays. (It works better with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and Author Toolbox Blog Hop anyway.)

Though I read more than a hundred books in 2018, which is a good thing, it was rather stressful to keep up with reading two (or more) books a week. So in 2019, I’m aiming to only read one book a week. If I manage to read more, yay, if not it won’t affect my schedule. Check out my Goodreads Challenge.

Audiobooks are amazing, but the time and money that has to go into that can be better spent in 2019 to write more books and get them published. I can always do the audio versions later. And the translations, too.

Though I did everything I knew how to market my books in 2018, the ROI (return on investment) didn’t match the time I spent doing it. I need to figure out how to be more creative and innovative with my marketing to turn “maybes” into “yes, I will buy that book right now”.

Winning Friction Writer of the Year – Again!

I know, I’m amazing.

Seriously, though, I didn’t think I stood a chance. Perhaps because I only came second last year? Perhaps because it didn’t look like I did much this year? Perhaps because, despite the awesomeness that is me, I’m still an insecure writer? (Which is why I’m part of a support group – the IWSG.)

I got all dolled up, wore amazing shoes (tip: don’t wear stilettos to places with stairs meant for giants or that has slippery cobblestone-like paving stones), did a bit of networking, got some writing done, didn’t fall or break an ankle, and celebrated the wins of those around me.

And then I got called up to stage… And won!

Here’s a video and some pics to give you an idea of how the evening went. (Yeah, I’m not great with the techy stuff, so you’ll have to watch the video with your head tilted to the side.)

I love those shoes! And I can’t even go into how much time went into designing and making that dress

Let’s just say it gave me enough energy and motivation to work through days that was warm enough to melt your brain (we had crazy temperatures going up into the mid-thirties last week) instead of hiding in the swimming pool or freezer (like that’s a real option, tut-tut).

Fun things for you:

First up, a free eBook.

You can get it at the store of your choice: The Fae Realm UBL.

Then…

You all remember how psyched I was to get published in Cinderella Reimagined – not just because it was a fairy tale retelling, but also because I earned royalties (and still do)?

Well, now you have the chance to do it, too!

Reimaginings Anthologies have another anthology competition running, and you can be one of the next winners!

  • Theme: A Midsummer Night’s Dream retelling.
  • Genre: any.
  • Length: 2000-6000 words.
  • Deadline: 1 January 2019

You can send your polished short story to aj@annajaileneaguilar.com with Title/Submission/Dream in the subject line.

The anthology will be published in 2019.

What are you waiting for? Start writing!

So, that was 2018. I didn’t write and publish everything I wanted to, but I did well enough. I want to do better, though. Any thoughts? Are you going to enter the Reimaginings Anthologies competition? Did you get your free eBook yet?

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