sophie's life

What I Did in 2020

Hi everyone!

Is it me, or was 2020… really off? Usually I’m pretty good at planning ahead and getting what I need to get done. But 2020 sure threw a curveball at me.

11. I read 42 books (original Goodreads goal = 40 books).

This year, I really wanted to focus on quality, rather than quantity… and it worked! I ended up enjoying reading more when I don’t pressure myself to read a certain number of books per week or per month.

10. I’ve decided to read what I want, and not bother with books that don’t interest me.

I only have so much free time, and I want to spend this time on books that I want to read. Also, I learned the art of DNF’ing. There are actually quite a few books that I pick up that don’t interest me, and I realized that if I stop trying to “tough out” these books which rarely ever end up impressing me, I can move on to books that I will love.

9. I discovered Middle Grade.

Confession time, prior to recently, I hadn’t taken MG seriously. Because I’m, like, an adult now so what am I doing reading books for kids age 8 to 12? I always thought that I was too old, too grown-up for middle grade.

Newsflash: YOU CAN NEVER OUTGROW MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS.

Even though the characters are younger, I can still relate to the themes about love and family and friendship which are so often the focus of middle grade books. I really love how almost ANYTHING can be in a MG book if it’s written well. I’m surprised again and again by serious topics that are handled so brilliantly in MG fiction.

Read more about my love for MG:

8. I finished writing Fog (157K words).

Fog was the longest novel I’ve ever written at 157K words. It was my first adult high-fantasy novel and… I got to say, it was a challenge and I’m happy to let this one sit in the back of my drawer for a while. I love this novel-baby very much, but I’m not sure if high fantasy is my jam.

Read more about my novel, Fog:

7. I became an Author Mentor Match mentee.

Author Mentor Match is a mentorship program for writers who want to become published authors. During Round 7 of AMM, I was matched to the most wonderful mentor, Jennifer Camiccia, and met a group of dedicated aspiring authors like me. Not only did I improve my manuscript, I learned SO much about the writing, revision and querying process from both my mentor and the AMM family. If you are interested in pursuing writing seriously, I’d definitely recommend signing up for this mentorship contest!

Read more about AMM here:

6. I sent my first query, received my first rejection and my first full request.

It took me about four hours to draft my first query email to an agent, which marked my first foray into the query trenches. I didn’t send out too many queries yet, just a few to test out the waters, and… well, it’s absolutely a rollercoaster of emotions that had me checking my email inbox a gazillion times a day.

5. I started and finished a zero draft of my newest MG novel, Vampires Don’t Drink Blood.

Although I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo (with baby and all!) I finished a zero draft of my MG paranormal novel at the end of December, which I’m really proud of! It needs a lot of tidying up, there are SO many inconsistencies and world building gaps, but HEY, it’s done, and one of these days, I’m going to edit it and polish it until it’s a shiny stone.

4. I did not meet my 2020 blogging goals… did not touch it with a ten-foot pole.

When baby arrived, I had to temporarily give up a lot of my hobbies, blogging included, and only now am I slowly reintroducing them. I don’t think I’ll be back to my two-posts-a-week schedule, but I’ll aim to write blog posts when I can, and my goal is to pour all my heart into them when I do write them.

3. COVID happened.

Aren’t we all familiar (and, to be honest, a bit tired) of COVID by now? But still, it’s a part of 2020 that impacted my life that can’t be ignored. Let’s just say, I did a lot of online shopping, Zoom sessions with friends, walks along the waterfront, and working from home. The introverted part of me really didn’t mind all the social distancing, but there’s also another part of me that’s itching to get out there and do fun stuff again.

Read about what I did during the pandemic:

2. My dearest dog Charles passed away.

It broke my heart when my 11-year-old greyhound died.

1. I had a baby, the sweetest little pumpkin in the whole world.

(Not my baby, but definitely still cute and fierce!)

My life changed overnight, literally, when my baby arrived. Suddenly, things got a whole lot more hectic, and sleep became a distant memory. It was a challenging first few months, both physically and emotionally, but we got through it, and I couldn’t ever wish for anything better.

Tell me about how the year went for you! What are some of your favourite moments? Did you meet your goals?

Photo by Andreas Dress on Unsplash

28 thoughts on “What I Did in 2020

  1. Lol at that gif.
    Congrats on all your accomplishments. I hit some major goals in 2020 that made me very pleased with myself and eager (and hopeful) for what the new year will bring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. What a year you’ve had. Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished. I can’t imagine how nerve wrecking it must have been to send out that query. Here’s hoping 2021 lets you catch up on your sleep. Happy New Year 🎉😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on achieving your goodreads goal. I think it is really good that you prioritised quality over quantity. I was trying to do that but as I got closer to 100 I was determined to reach it so quantity took over but I hope to be a lot calmer this year. I’m glad it worked and you enjoyed so many of your reads.
    I’ve definitely had a great time with middle grade books this year too !! It is so great to hear all your process with your writing, you did so well this year and I’m so glad to see AMM was such a great experience for you.
    I wish you all the best going into 2021 !! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you were able to find so many books that you enjoy this past year, as well as discover a love of middle grade! 😀 Ahh all your progress with your writing and querying has me so excited for you!! You’ve certainly had quite the exciting year, and I hope 2021 brings so many more good things your way ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Sophia! Gosh, 2020 was insane, wasn’t it? My goals pretty much all got tossed into the fire, LOL, and not just because of COVID. There were some happy things that happened in 2020 too, like how I discovered the amazingly addictive All for the Fame (Foxhole Court) series by Nora Sakavic. I still love it a lot, but at least I’m able to read some other books now, haha. I just read Watership Down by Richard Adams, where almost all the characters are rabbits. It’s so cute and inspiring!

    (I also got one of my trans surgeries done. 😀 Thank God!)

    Omg that’s funny that you talk about middle grade books. I have a friend from Pokemon Go who works at a publishing press for children’s books (Pajama Press). He mentioned it in our group chat once, for anyone who wants to buy a child a Christmas gift. LOL I told him that I was interested in buying a book for myself! I bought and read one of the books they published (It’s “Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life” by Beverley Brenna.) This book is so sweet and adorable, and it even has gay and trans characters in them! The story is narrated in the alternating first person perspective, told from the POVs of a nine-year-old girl and her hamster respectively. I had such a great time reading this book. It was so refreshing to read a children’s book, after going through all the dark and heavy books I read earlier. Sapphire the Great had some heavier themes, too, but overall it’s lighthearted and optimistic, as it is written for children, after all. Oh, I laughed when I posted my book review on Amazon, and Amazon asked me for the age of the person I bought the book for—the oldest age category was like 13+. XD Heh! Adults can enjoy children’s books, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sieran! Happy new year! And that’s wonderful that you’ve gotten a surgery done. Hope you’re recovering well.

      Glad that you discovered some good books. I remember watching the cartoon series for Watership Down back in the day but never read the book. Sounds interesting though! Yes I agree that children’s books can be enjoyed by adults too. 90% of the books I read are MG or YA nowadays haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy New Year to you too! Thanks, I’m all recovered by now, haha.

        Ooh yeah I didn’t really watch the tv series, but I checked out some previews and stuff for the tv series on YouTube. Wow, they turned Blackberry into a girl. 😂 Blackberry’s actually a buck (male rabbit) in the book. One of the main plot points is that, they made it to their new home, but all of the rabbits were bucks, meaning that they would die out in the end, since they can’t have children. So they had to find does (female rabbits), too. But I get that the cartoon probably wanted a bit of female representation. In fact, a criticism of the book is that the does (female rabbits) were kind of marginalized, and not given much agency. I found this very surprising, since Richard Adams originally made this story for his daughters, and even accepted story feedback from them. :O. I’m surprised that his daughters hadn’t complained about this. I don’t identify as female, but even I was bothered by this. The book is still very good, but yeah, in a way, it could be seen as a little anti-feminist. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess if the book was written a while ago, it was accepted as is despite portraying female stereotypes. I think even females accepted or even embraced their gender roles back in the day because it was the norm.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yeah good point about how, back in the day, even many females accepted the gender roles because it was seen as the norm. So cringeworthy, though! Our society is far from perfect, but we have at least made a lot of progress! Some historians even say that our shunning of racism and sexism are very recent developments, that people just some decades ago were normally racist and sexist and didn’t think they were doing anything wrong. 😥 Oh my gosh I’m reading a historical romance right now, and I was appalled by the harsh discrimination against Chinese people in that era and society!! (The book is set in Seattle 1888.)

        The shunning of homophobia and transphobia is even more recent. And you still see a lot of whining from some people when they get called out for their homophobic and transphobic attitudes. 😬

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What a year, Sophie, so much has happened! I’m so proud of you for getting into AMM and so happy you got to learn so much through the mentorship, that’s wonderful ❤
    I hope that 2021 will be lovely to you ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Margaret @ Weird Zeal Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s