Another year has come and gone, and with the end of 2018 comes the annual highlights reel. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for two years!

I won’t lie, the past two years have been one big ol’ learning curve for me. When I decided to launch an author platform back in 2016, I spent almost a month obsessively researching every little detail. What should an author website look like? When should I tweet? Why was it imperative that I get a Google+ account? I was consumed with the desire to do everything right on the first try.

I’ve changed my approach over and over again in the past two years. My only regret is not letting myself just be myself sooner. Blogging used to be the most stressful thing in the world. I had to score a perfect 100 on the Flesch test every time. My grammar had to be impeccable. And jokes? Goodness, no, jokes were for people who weren’t ~serious~ about building an author platform.

If I may be real with you for a moment: Author platforms don’t happen overnight. Nor will you wake up one morning and realise that you’re no longer afraid to share your work online. It’s a gradual thing, and even when you study really hard beforehand, you’re still going to have to learn some things along the way.

Now, on to the good stuff.

Some of my 2018 highlights were:

I FINISHED LADY OF DAEMONS. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT

I switched from Twitter to Instagram. Even though Twitter was stressing me out big-time, I felt like I had to stay on it because I have almost a thousand followers and I’m trying to build a platform. But last July, I realised that the only way to keep myself sane was to nope the eff away from Twitter. I started posting on Instagram daily I’m a lot happier. I actually like hanging out on Instagram. (And I just broke the 1,000 follower mark!! Hooray!!)

Saundra Mitchell said she thought my book sounded awesome.  This technically happened at the very end of 2017, but it was so close to the new year that I’ve decided it counts as a 2018 win. And I am STILL SCREAMING

I finalised the outline for The Final Days and drafted half of it. NaNoWriMo was good to me this year, even though I didn’t technically win it.

I got to go to YALC for the first time. The Young Adult Literature Conference was a great time, from meeting up with Internet friends to going to panels to buying £5 books to briefly seeing Jason Momoa when he wandered away from the comic con that was taking place on the floor below us. I can confirm that he glistens in real life.

I bought enough books to fill one shelf. The minute I squeezed that last book into place, I finally felt like my flat was a home.

I wrote some pretty h*cking good blog posts. Highlights included writing fanfiction, pen names, how Lady of Daemons has evolved since draft one, dealing with writerly envy, the links between hobbies and writing, creating a curated writing playlist, writerly self-confidence, why writers should use foils, and – of course – more kickass YA heroines.

I met my Goodreads goal. Eight books read in one year. I know there are people out there reading three hundred a year, but for 2018 Ruby, eight books might as well have been three hundred. I’ve been the busiest bee.

(oh and also I got my master’s degree and got engaged and married but you know whatever)

2019 Goals

Help to host the best h*cking Throne of Glass readathon ever. I and five other fabulous bookstagrammers are hosting a big ol’ readathon on Goodreads in January 2019. You should totally join us.

Query Lady of Daemons. I’m starting in January 2019, armed with nothing but gumption and a dream. And a polished novel, a spreadsheet of agents, a query letter formula given to me by a panel of lit agents, a spreadsheet modeled after Marissa Meyer’s, and a bizarre-yet-intriguing comp (The Secret Garden meets Venom, and yes, that is the best way I can think to comp Lady of Daemons).

Reach 2,500 followers on Instagram. I just passed the 1k mark this December and I am filled with joy and quasi-maniacal glee. I can’t say it enough – I LOVE INSTAGRAM, and I think it’s a great fit for both me and my books.

Read 12 books. There are eight books in the Throne of Glass series, so if I don’t meet this goal…well, that would just be sad.

Power through The Final DaysI can’t function if I’m not working on a novel in some capacity, so when I go into the query trenches with Lady of Daemons, I’ll be sure to bring The Final Days along with me. It’s half-drafted at this point; I’d like to have it more or less done in eighteen months.

What are you proud to have done in 2018? What are you grateful for? What are you looking forward to in the coming year?