2021 in Review… and Looking Forward to 2022!

At the end of the year, it’s nice to reflect on the past twelve months and then to look ahead. What worked, and what didn’t? What would you do again? What successes have you had, and what was challenging? How did you learn and grow? What are you excited about in the year to come?

A lot has happened in my writing world since January 2021. Here are my top five highlights:

1. Writing for Love Is Moving!

After writing my first article in summer 2020, I continued contributing to Love Is Moving this year and had five more pieces published! I have learned and grown so much as a part of this creative community for Christian young adults.

2. Devotional Adventures!

I still love to write for Unlocked Daily Readings for Teens (and this year, I had my first poem and short story published)! But I also ventured into writing for their sister publication for children, Keys for Kids!

I was a Keys for Kids reader with my family growing up, and it’s so cool to now be able to encourage a new generation of readers and point them to Jesus! I’m excited to have more stories coming out in 2022!

3. Contest Excitement!

Contests are a great way to practice writing in a variety of formats and under strict guidelines. They’re also good gateways towards the world of publishing.

I stumbled upon Aster Lit by chance when it popped up on my Instagram. I decided to submit a poem, and to my surprise, “The Poem Collector” was accepted in  Issue 3 Fall 2021: Metamorphosis!

In addition, I entered the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival poetry contest for teens, and my poem “Flying” was a runner-up. Finally, I was shocked to learn that my French poem  “La fin de l’été” and story “Le tamia et la boulangère-pâtissière” both won second place in the Hamilton Public Library’s Power of the Pen contest!

4. Starting University!

Beginning university meant I had to cut back a lot on my personal writing projects to focus on my ocean of essays and assignments, but I learned a lot through academic writing.

One of the most valuable lessons was in streamlining my writing process. I learned how to go from planning to outlining to drafting to revising to editing quickly. I have become a much more efficient and organized writer because of school.

5. YMI Christmas Surprise!

As I finished my first term of university, I wrote my first article for YMI, an international online publication for Christian young adults! “Rediscovering the Hope of Christ through Carols” is the longest piece I’ve published, and YMI is the largest publication I have written for. This article taught me about writing and editing on a tight deadline and was such an exciting way to end 2021.

And now it’s time to look forward to the year ahead: 2022. Here are three things I’m excited about.

1. Novel Editing and Querying!

I did not start querying my middle-grade novel in 2021, but I got peer editing help, researched agents and learned a lot about the publishing process.

I have discovered that it’s better to take time and to fully understand something first than to rush in and be overwhelmed or confused. Though there’s a long way to go, I have grown a lot as a novelist. I hope to begin querying in 2022!

2. Learning in University!

I love to learn, and although school can be challenging at times, I love it. My second term of university is about to begin, and it will bring exciting new courses… And thinking ahead to fall 2022, I will have my first creative writing courses!

I hope to try writing for the school newspaper soon, and I am also connecting with other writers around the university and am working on creating a writer’s group.

3. Continuing 2021’s Projects!

And, of course, I’m excited to keep writing devotionals, entering contests, and submitting to publications when I can.

2021 has been hard, but there were so many good things in it too. Through this year, Psalm 96:3 became one of my favourite verses, especially as a writer.

“Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.”

Psalm 96:3 (NLT)

I hope that in all I write, I point to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and bring Him glory in all I do and wherever I go, no matter what 2022 brings!

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