A year ago, I sat down to reflect on 2014, after publishing my first book that July. I couldn't have imagined then the amazing opportunities that would come in 2015!
It has been a year filled with surprises and success, and I've enjoyed every minute of it!
I have continued on my independent author journey this year and published a further 7 titles (after only hoping to publish 1!).
- 1 YA fiction (the sequel to my first)
- 2 illustrated children's fictions
- 2 adult colouring books
- 2 companion books for the adult colouring books.
I have so many ideas that I haven't had chance to pen yet too. Right now, I have I think about 30 books plotted or planned that I need to schedule to time to actually write/draw!
Of my 8 books, all are top 100 bestsellers or better on Amazon. All are positively reviewed and it's so wonderful hearing that readers have enjoyed my work. I write because I love to, but I publish because I want my books to be enjoyed.
In the case of my colouring books, I'm touched and honoured to hear from those with health problems that colouring my books has helped them cope and recover. You may recall I've had my own health problems this year - so drawing and writing has helped get me through the tougher parts of 2015 too.
A year ago, I was on the cusp of selling my 100th book. Now I'm on the cusp of selling my 4,000th! I know that's not a huge number to some, but it's much more than I was expecting or hoping for - and I'm so grateful to everyone who chose to read one of my titles. This for me, is just the beginning.
It means that I am so so close to what I would deem financial success from writing and illustrating. I have a number in my mind that I'd like to make each month from creating, to justify and enable me to go full time without needing a part time job. So to exceed that number greatly for several months of this year is fantastic. It shows me it's possible, with hard work and time - and luck!
In my personal life, there's been a lot of changes, so 2015 has been quite tumultuous! I finished my 4 year teaching degree in May and recently graduated as the only woman in my year with 1st class honours. I am so very glad to be free of teaching. It was clearly the wrong career for me.
I also changed job/working hours a few times at my part time job and am now (as of December) working a new stable pattern that allows me to have a large chunk of defined writing/creating time each week. Not being at university has certainly freed up lots of time!
My fiance and I (and of course our beloved cats Jet and Pixie) moved house this Autumn too. This is one of the biggest changes of the year, because it totally alters our lifestyle. We have upsized to a good-sized family house further into the countryside that we can grow into in the coming years.
It's in a lovely location and I have a beautiful office space to call my very own, that looks out over my favourite moors. It is a wholesome and uplifting place to be that is very good for my ongoing productivity and mental/physical health (which is really important as sitting/writing is so bad for your health!). I look forward to lots of happy years living and working here. :-)
So 2015 has been a year of transition, from university student to actively planning to become a full time author. This year my eyes have been opened to what I really want to pursue with my life, and that it's possible. I've changed from being quite naive and pottering about publishing, to wanting to make a serious go at it.
It's been exciting to stumble upon and take advantage of the unforeseen opportunities that have arisen. I am so excited to share my 2016 goals with you to illustrate exactly how I plan to achieve that, so stay tuned! :D
Have an awesome New Year's Eve, and let me know how you got on in 2015/what your 2016 goals are!