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So as 2014 approaches the end, I’m doing my usual blog on how the year has gone.

I think my lack of blogging is an indication of how the year has been. It seems to be the same for every other year. Just taking one day at a time, getting through life, coping and little things, like blogging, tend to get put on the back burner. It’s not something I’m proud of but I’ve come to accept that sometimes life gets in the way and I can’t ignore that. I need to put life first.

How was my 2014? Well in a nutshell it wasn’t the best year ever but it had it’s good parts.

The hardest part was seeing my Grandad’s second wife pass away from cancer and then seeing my Grandad have a mental breakdown. He has since recovered but he is not the same. His dementia slowly eats away at him and while he recognises us now (where he didn’t a few months ago), his short term memory is shot. Now he’s unwell with a bladder condition that will eventually kill him. It’s really just a waiting game.

Otherwise there were some good memories from this year. We made some great friends and had some fun times with family. Seeing The Hobbit – The Battle of Five Armies yesterday was probably the highlight for me because I had been hanging out for it since the second one last year. It was worth seeing and a great way to end the year.

On the writing note, I’m still not published but I feel more ready to be published. I finished a manuscript just recently and I’m going to send it off to publishers in the new year. I feel my writing has greatly improved this year and so I’m going to try hard to get my name in print. Only time will tell.

Well it’s 22 minutes until the new year and while I’m not celebrating it I know many are. Keep safe and if you’re partying, don’t drink too much and don’t do anything silly. You don’t want to make 2015 a bad year.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back in he new year. I will write blogs when I can and when the ideas come to me. Thanks to all those who have read, liked and commented on them. It really means the world to me.

Lisa ❤

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As the end of 2013 approaches, I’m finding myself reviewing myself as a writer. How have I improved in 2013? What have I actually achieved?

One part of me wants to say I’ve achieved nothing. After all I’m still unpublished. But then I realise something… I may not have my name printed on the spine of a book but that’s not everything. What I have achieved is becoming a better writer and to me that’s much more important. After all, how can I get published if I’m not a good writer?

So no, I refuse to say I’ve achieved nothing. I’ve actually achieved a lot.

At the beginning of 2013, I set myself a goal to get my first book published. The only reason this didn’t happen is because I learnt something. I learnt that having a critique partner and getting your manuscript critiqued before sending it to a publisher is vital. I wrote a blog about the importance of having a critique partner a few months ago. You can read it at this link: The importance of a critique partner

After realising this, I found myself one. The woman I partnered up with has been invaluable. I have learnt so much in the 10 months I’ve known her and we’ve both helped each other become better writers. The manuscript I want to send off for publishing had more errors than I realised and I’m really glad she’s helped me improve it so I can send it off in 2014. We have a little way to go on it but I hope to have it fully critiqued early January. Then I will send to a publisher.

I’m so glad I held off. How embarrassing would it have been sending off a manuscript with so many errors? Of course it won’t be perfect when I do finally send it, but it will be better and hopefully more appealing. So I can’t emphasize enough how important having a critique partner is and how important it is to be fully critiqued before sending your manuscript to a publisher. Trust me, you will be so glad you held off.

Being a writer, albeit a successful one, takes time. Don’t rush it. I know someone, aged 16, who was so desperate to get published, they wrote a novel, didn’t get any editing or critiquing done then published it through Create Space. It was a complete flop. The novel had so many plot holes, the story was weak, the grammar, punctuation and sentence structure needed desperate work and just overall it was a bad move.

I know the feeling of desperately wanting to get published. I’ve had that desire for years. But please…just wait! Don’t be too hasty. I’m 31 (32 in 12 days!) and still not published but I’m glad I’m not because if I published any earlier, I know I would have failed. Be 100% happy with your work, be happy to accept criticism and you will then end up going further than you realised.

I’m not saying I’ll succeed when I finally am published, but because my writing has improved so much, I’ve got a better chance at people actually enjoying what I’m writing. As the days go by my writing is becoming better and better. I have a lot to work on but compared to where I was at the beginning of the year, I’ve improved massively.

So yeah, I have achieved something this year and it’s an achievement I’m very happy of. Oh and we can’t forget my success in NaNoWriMo. This story has a long way to go but I succeeded and reached 50,000 words I’m happy with that.

With 2014 only a few minutes away now, I just want to say this… I know for a fact 2014 will be a better year for me as a writer. Whether my novel is published or not, I will continue to improve even more. I realise now, at the end of 2013, that improving as a writer is one of the biggest achievements you can have.

I hope you have all had a great 2013. If you haven’t, may 2014 be a better year for you. See you in the new year. For me, that’s only 6 minutes away. 🙂

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As the end of 2012 comes to an end, I feel it is a perfect opportunity to blog about the last year.  It has been a reasonably uneventful year but it’s been quite trying at the same time.

The months of January through to March were exceptionally busy months. At work that is always a busy period which was part of the reason why time went so quickly. I remember the stress levels started to increase but they were bearable so I never thought twice about it.

Downton Abbey came out on DVD in the UK and I bought my own copy from Amazon. I was so excited to be able to watch it before other Australians who were waiting for it to air on TV. In late January I got together with my bestie and we had a girl’s night while our husbands got together and did whatever men do. We were all in our elements. While the men ate pizza, drank beer and played video games, my bestie and I drank champagne, ate naughty food and watched the entire series 2 of Downton Abbey. It was such a wonderful evening.

In March I had a week off of work for my husband’s and my third wedding anniversary. It was a quiet week with just the two of us but it was lovely. On the day of our anniversary I cooked him a three course dinner and we exchanged presents. It was a lovely anniversary and we were happy with the knowledge that our marriage was still going strong and we were still happy.

The months of April through to June were probably the worst months of the year for me. Work was so busy and my stress levels heightened to such a level that I barely had time for anything, even writing. As I have pointed out before, writing is my life and when I can’t write I get really depressed. Sadly this period was a depressing time over all. I don’t remember ever being so stressed and I even became really ill as a result of it. I gradually recovered and the stress levels reduced a little but I don’t think I ever really recovered.

In June I went to Perth for my Mum and Dad’s 40th wedding anniversary party which was wonderful. I got to see all my family and friends again and we had a good time. Sadly when I got home I got sick again with a serious bout of tonsillitis.

The months of July through to September were not as stressful as the previous three months and were quiet overall. Sadly I was still on a low from the last quarter. The upside was having 10 days off work in September which proved to be very beneficial as it gave me some much needed time to relax and fully recover. The best part about this quarter was the birth of my new niece, Lillian Amber. My sister lives in Perth so I didn’t get to see the birth but I saw plenty of pictures. She really is such a beautiful angel.

Then finally, the months of October through December were very eventful. The stress levels at work lessened somewhat but we got a new manager. This was not something I was very happy with. The new manager we got is not a very nice person and I find working under the new person is not working well. I have always enjoyed my job but as of late I’m finding I don’t actually enjoy it so much. I’m a person that always adapts well to change and am able to go with the flow but for some reason I struggled, and still am struggling, to adapt to this new person. Maybe the New Year will help me adapt better.

In October I had 2 weeks off work and my husband and I went to Perth again, this time to meet our new niece. Lilly was a real little princess and to spend 10 days with her was so wonderful. My sister and brother-in-law had to work so my husband and I spent our time with little Lilly. We were happy to babysit and since we don’t get to Perth often, it gave us a chance to spend some much needed time with her.

We even went to a farm in WA to visit my brother-in-law’s parents. It was a lovely, quiet weekend away and it was nice to see them again as it had been a long time since I last saw them. The only downside was a few weeks after we returned home from Perth, their house burnt down. It was a sad time and I know they’re still struggling but I am just glad they are safe.

Now it comes down to now. I feel I have picked up health wise after a very bad run of illness throughout the last half of the year. I am still struggling with my new manager but I am trying to keep positive and I live with the hope that things will improve in 2013.

Right at this moment I have been on holidays since the 21st December and I am enjoying the break immensely. I don’t go back to work until the 7th January. Having this time off has done wonders for me, even more so than having the time off in October. I feel so relaxed, happy and refreshed and I think when I go back, things will be good.

I am also writing a novel which I have almost finished which is very exciting. It is entitled Comeuppance and I hope that it will be published within the first half of 2013. I will keep you notified through my blogs.

One little update from me though, in my last blog I wrote about the day when I wouldn’t snap at anyone. I guess you would like to know how I did. Well I’m afraid to say I failed miserably. Let’s put it this way: I was out shopping during the Christmas rush, I just started my monthly visitor and my husband and I had a little tiff that morning. So yeah… I didn’t do too well. On saying that though, I am going to keep on trying doing better. We are imperfect humans, we’re going to snap at little things but we can also be mindful of others.

Let’s try not to be selfish, rather try and be more mindful of others. Let’s work at things that we find difficult so that when we succeed, we have a feeling of accomplishment. If you’re married, don’t let the little things that nag you become big things. Talk frequently and don’t argue. In conclusion, let’s make 2013 a good year. My resolution is to try and control stress a little more so that I can focus on my writing. My goal is to have my first book published in either e-book format or paperback by June.

What are your resolutions?

That’s all from me for 2012. I’ll be back in 2013. Love, hugs and best wishes.

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