Hey! Welcome to 2016, guys!!!
I have lots of things to talk to you all about, but first things first. I guess it would be remiss of me to not do the whole reflection on 2015…
I’m sure by now you’re all yawning as you’re reading these things. Normally, I would have written this post on the first and gotten it out of the way, but when January 1 rolled around this time, I felt like…I don’t know. I guess I felt like I wanted to take a little time to digest. I’m an impulsive person. Impulsive to the point where I’ve found myself living in foreign countries, my belongings packed in storage boxes, which are in turn packed in shipping containers, sailing across the world, and I’ve suddenly been hit with this panic. Terror, actually. It’s really quite scary. A rundown of my thoughts as I’m gripped by this paralysing fear would go something like this:
Am I making a colossal mistake right now? What if I can’t be happy here? What if I can’t make friends, or I miss my old ones so much that I just can’t cope anymore? I can’t drive on that side of the road. I don’t know how the healthcare system works. What if I forget the number for the emergency services? What if I get murdered in my apartment and no one finds my body for weeks because I haven’t given out my new address yet?
Should I turn around?
Should I go back?
I’ve been through this three times in my life now. Each and every time has been different in its own way, but this time, the time I upped sticks and moved countries in 2015, was potentially the most frightening for me. Before, I had a travel partner or I was going to something. Yes, it was new and strange and all very overwhelming to find myself in these different settings, but I always had a person or a crutch that I could lean on. This time that isn’t the case. This time I was on my own, and the sole reason I made the journey wasn’t because of a person or a concrete purpose, already in motion. It was because of a dream.
Dreams are unreliable, flaky things that have a tendency not to pan out. They’re like plants: if you don’t feed and water them and give them lots of sunlight, they tend to die. They require persistency and determination before they can come to fruition. And before the persistency and determination can pay off, you have to have the hard work and talent part down pat, too. It’s not an easy thing to commit to, and so to roll the dice on the wonderful life I had in Australia and risk it all was scary. So, yeah. I suppose that is my lasting memory of the past twelve months so far.
2015: the year that I was scared and
I didn’t really know what I was doing.
That may sound horrible to you guys, and I guess in many ways feeling that way did have a massive impact on my life and my productivity as a writer, but it really wasn’t all horrible. Taking risks should be a part of the human experience, right? If you’re not just a little bit scared by what you have planned for your future, then in my experience it generally means you’re going to be bored by that future. That could be a harsh statement to make, perhaps. Maybe feeling secure and certain in what lies ahead is the only way some people stay sane, and I get that. I need an element of that in my life, too. But then again, that element of danger is also exciting. It makes you ask big, important questions about yourself.
What if I fail? What are the consequences to my decisions and actions, good or bad? What if I risk too much and I can’t get back to where I was? How do I even begin to tackle such momentous and seemingly insurmountable goals? And will I be able to continue if I don’t?
That old ‘what if’ is a bitch. I’ll admit, those questions had me second-guessing myself so many times I lost count. It’s easy to forget what you’re capable of, though. So much easier to listen to the voice inside your head (and sometimes the voices of other people, which sucks) telling you that you can’t do it, instead of listening to the voices telling you that you can. I had to sit back and really take stock of what I’d accomplished in 2015 before I felt like maybe I wasn’t crazy and I could achieve my goals.
I made the USA Today bestseller’s list. I travelled all over the world, attending eight international book signings. I released four books. I succeeded in immigrating to a country that is notoriously difficult to relocate to, based on the strength of my work as a writer and storyteller.
I realised I had so much to be grateful for. I think that’s another thing I’ve taken away from 2015, too. Gratitude. I’m so guilty of wanting something in my life and being lucky enough to receive it, and then being flippant and careless about it afterwards. To want something more, something extra, something better, without taking a beat to be thankful for what I have.
Waking up each morning and just quietly running over everything I have in my life that I am grateful for really takes the pressure off. If you’re contented and happy with your life as it is, it’s hard to be stressed and anxious about trying to accumulate more.
I realise this post is beginning to sound a little self-helpy, so I’m going to rein it in now. I’ll just finish up this section by saying that I suppose I finally, finally also learned to cut myself a little slack and give myself a break, too. It wasn’t through choice—it was definitely through necessity. When you reach a point where you feel like you’re teetering on a dangerous precipice and to fall would be disastrous, you learn to take better care of yourself, both physically and mentally. I really hope I can maintain that through 2016, and I hope that you guys are being kind to yourself, too.
!!!! 2016 IS GOING TO BE AWESOME !!!!
I have so many awesome sekrit projects that I don’t want to jinx by talking about too early, but I do have Michael’s full length novel on the cards, as well as Ransom, book 3 in the Dead Man’s Ink series, Summer, the sequel to Winter, as well as book 3 in the Blood & Fire series, and book 2 in the Chaos & Ruin series. Hopefully that alone will have you guys excited.
I’m attending a couple of HUGE signings in the states and in the UK as well, and Lili Saint Germain and I will be completing our Hell’s Kitchen series, too. Very awesome stuff lined up for you guys on that one.
In other news, last month I started up a very cool newsletter lottery by way of a thank you to all the people who subscribe to my newsletter and support me in my work. Every month someone will be selected from my lists to win all kinds of goodies, such as signed books, ereader devices, ebook vouchers, swag, music event tickets, movie tickets, author signing tickets…basically so many different kinds of tickets…
December’s winner was the lovely Judy Burrell, and she scored herself a pair of movie tickets to her local theatre, a $10 iBooks/Amazon voucher, a signed copy of Rogue, a signed copy of Winter, and also a signed swag pack full of book marks, posters, post cards and wristbands.
Judy, if you’re reading this, congrats, girl!
If you would like to enter to be a part of my monthly newsletter lottery, you can sign up right here.
Lastly, I’m going to be starting a very, very awesome instagram comic strip of scenes from my books as well. You guys are NOT going to believe how amazing these illustrations are. I hope I’ll be posting the first series of stills at the end of the month as they’re just being finalized right now, but seriously, if you’re not on instagram or you’re not following me, please get your butt on the app and do so because they are so, so good. My username is @calliehartauthor. You can tell I’m excited about that, right?
Alright, I guess I’d better get back to the grind. I really love taking time out to sit and write these posts. I’m going to make sure I carve out more time for then this year. I guess you could say it’s one of my new year’s resolutions 😉 I’m not typically a fan of those, but in this particular case I think it’s fitting.
Happy New Year, you wonderful, beautiful people. If you are new year’s resolution kinds of people, hit me up in the comments below and let me know what yours are. I wanna see some weird and wonderful stuff down there, guys!
Don’t look back. You’re not going that way!