Well, it’s four days into the new year, which means I’ve been reflecting on how last year was. It started off kind of bad due to job stuff, but after March everything got much better. I finished a draft of a novel early in the year, and then another draft of a different (and much better) novel. I’m actually considering hiring an editor to work with me on this draft because I’d love to get an independent, objective opinion from someone who doesn’t know me personally.

I also stopped reading the news in 2015, which was perhaps the most significant change I made. Overall, the results have been fantastic and I would recommend this change to everyone. I’ve started reading a few news items in Russian here and there, but I don’t read English-language media at all anymore, unless someone specifically sends me a story.

So yes, 2015 was a good year. I read a lot of books, did a lot of writing (see my forthcoming writing report later this week), and even finished making an afghan for my living room. I also started a blog series called Wednesday Music in which I write about a different piece of classical music once a week.

One thing that I wish were different about 2015 was the amount of violin playing I did. I didn’t play nearly enough, unfortunately. (Playing more will definitely be a resolution for this year.)

Want to know what my 2016 resolutions are? Check back on this blog on Tuesday and Thursday for more detailed posts.

How was 2015 for you? Did you accomplish your goals?

10 thoughts on “2015 Overview!

  1. I quit listening to and reading the news almost twenty years ago now after living in Europe. The American news was so hyped with over-dramatized negativity and fear that I didn’t want that in my life. It sounds like you made some great accomplishments in 2015 and I wish you continued success in 2016. I’m glad we connected through Twitter.

    2015 for me was horrible. Started out the year with job loss and just continued to go downhill from there. I did have a few bright moments when I had a manuscript requested by 6 different agents, won three contests with my writing, published some short stories, and was able to hire the editor I wanted to work with. I highly recommend hiring a professional editor as opposed to using Beta readers. The difference is night and day. I did actually accomplish more than I set out to do thanks to the push of a new friend that already is no longer a friend. (that’s how bad 2015 was) The roller coaster of the year was all my relationships that went from good to bad to good to bad to good so fast I couldn’t keep up with them and gave up trying on all but the ones I had to keep up with.

    But probably the best part of all for 2015 was finding my new writing workshop group. They are the best!!!! I am so fortunate to be part of them.

    1. Yeah, I’m so over the news. I’ve written about that a few times on this blog, so I won’t re-say what I’ve already said, but I totally agree with you.😀

      I’m sorry to hear you had a bad year! I hope 2016 is better for you, job-wise, writing-wise, and concerning everything else as well. Thanks for the advice about hiring an editor. I’m seriously considering doing that because I would love to have an objective third party read my manuscript. How much did you edit your manuscript before hiring your editor? I’ve done two drafts of my novel and some advice online suggested doing three or four, so I may do some more editing and then send an email to the editor I’ve picked out.

      Lucky you for finding a writing workshop group! That’s awesome! I need to find some local writers to hang around with. Sometimes fellow writers are the only people who understand my struggles, LOL.

      1. Honestly, the number of drafts you do depends on how you write and how much editing you need. For me, two drafts is plenty but other people I know take 5 or more. Just depends on how “clean” you write the first time through and who your intended audience is. I was lucky in that I knew my editor and his writing and knew that we had similar styles so he helped me clean up some tricky spots, add in some details, and give me ideas on overall storyline. Different editors will give you different input so ask a lot of questions at first and also ask if they will do a trial portion to make sure they are giving you the kind of feedback you need. Nothing worse than paying for something you can’t use.
        And so far, this year has gone much much better than last. I sold several copies of my new book at an authors fair this weekend, and my writing group is fabulous, and other things are looking up.🙂

  2. Yes, I accomplished my goal of going cold-turkey on English-language news coverage of Russia too! I am still very much interested in Russian affairs, but now I prefer to learn about them through carefully selected books.
    I was surprised I was able to read some 115 total books in 2015.

    1. Same here—I mainly read books now to learn about things and stay away from the news. Sometimes I’ll read the news in Russian, but I rarely, if ever read it in English. Do you have any specific recommendations for books about Russia/Russian affairs? I’d love to read some new stuff this year!

      1. Of course! It really depends on what area of Russian affairs you would like to read about. Would you prefer something about society and culture, or something more political?
        (I literally spend a large chunk of my time reading and reviewing books on Russia, so there are many options to choose from.)

      2. Um, how about everything? Not even joking—if it relates to Russia, I’m probably interested in it.😉

        Do you want me to send an email to the email address you use for comments? Maybe that would be easier than back-and-forth in these comments?

  3. That would be great, Natalie (Though I’m not sure how you’d go about that, since I’m essentially commenting as an anon with a name).

    1. Well, there’s an email address that shows up on the admin end of my blog… it’s a Gmail and the username starts with a j. I was just going to email you at that address, if that’s okay?

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