365 days later: finding clarity through reflecting on the past year
As another year comes to an end, it’s natural for us to look back and reflect on the past 365 days. For many of us, it has been a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows, challenges and triumphs. As I sit down with a cup of Lady Grey tea with a spoonful of my favourite wildflower honey and look at the state of my desk, I can’t help but think about how much has changed in my life since this time last year. I never thought, in my widest dreams, where my journey would have taken me too and what I would have learnt along the way, which has taught me valuable lessons and brought me a newfound sense of clarity. In this blog post, I want to share my journey of self-publishing and how it has helped me gain perspective on the past year.
A Year in Retrospect: What Happened?
In the blink of an eye, 365 days have come and gone. Looking back on the past year, I am struck by the incredible journey I have been on. It has been a year filled with unexpected twists and turns, moments of joy and moments of despair. Through it all, I have grown and evolved in ways I never could have imagined. I won’t lie there have been moments where I have doubted myself beyond belief as to whether I am worthy to be classed as a writer or even an author and there have been moments where my mental health has suffered and I have had to recognise these moments and allow myself so time for me, and there have been moments when I have wanted to throw the towel in and walk away from it all. But I haven’t. I have dug deep, wiped the tears away and dusted myself off. One foot forward. As Mary Kay Ash once said, “You can eat a whole elephant, if you take one bite at a time.” Being faced with the mammoth task of self-publishing is just like an elephant. One bite at a time.
One of the most significant events of the year was self-publishing my first book. This experience allowed me to tap into finding my own voice with the world and sharing my experience good and bad, in the hope that it might help just one person in the future. Sitting down and writing the manuscript, also allowed me to gain clarity on my own life lessons and to being the healing process of childhood trauma I suffered.
The process of writing, editing, and designing my book was a labour of love, and seeing it come to life was both humbling and exhilarating.
But the journey didn’t end with the publication of one book, I went on to finally bring my children’s book series to live. Along the way, I encountered countless challenges, setbacks, and moments of self-doubt and many many more. However, these experiences only served to strengthen my resolve and fuel my determination to keep pushing forward.
Looking back on the past year, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned. It has been a year of growth, both personally and professionally. Through the ups and downs, I have learned the importance of perseverance, resilience, and self-belief. Having spent years being told I didn’t have a voice, I am now finding that I can voice my own experiences through my books and if it stops just one person feeling the way I have done for years, then that is worth it for me.
As I reflect on the past year, I am reminded of the power of imagination and the impact that storytelling can have. Writing my first book allowed me to share my experiences and perspectives, and in doing so, I hope to inspire and connect with others. It has also taught me the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion, both in literature and in life and how, if we as a human race are to evolve more, we need to embrace diversity and inclusion before anything else.
Writing my first book and children’s books series, it has allowed me to embrace different perspectives and share stories that promote empathy and understanding. I realised that changing mindsets starts with small steps, like the words we choose to write and the characters we choose to create. It’s through these stories that we can shape a more inclusive and accepting society.
Another important lesson I learned was the importance of embracing change and adapting to new circumstances. This year forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and confront unexpected challenges. It taught me resilience and the ability to bounce back stronger. I learned that growth happens when we push ourselves beyond what we thought was possible.
In addition to these lessons, I also gained a newfound appreciation for the power of storytelling, especially in children’s books. Through my writing journey, I realised the impact that these stories can have on young minds. They have the power to shape the future and foster empathy, kindness, and acceptance. It’s a responsibility that I am honoured to take on.
Reflecting on the past year has been an enlightening experience. Through introspection and self-awareness, I have found a newfound clarity that has fuelled my growth and personal development. The act of looking back and analysing my experiences has allowed me to gain valuable insights and understand the choices and decisions that led me to where I am today.
Reflection has given me the opportunity to examine my thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours, and identify areas for improvement. It has challenged me to question my assumptions and biases and open my mind to new perspectives and possibilities.
Applying Past Experiences to Future Goals: The Road Ahead
As I look towards the future, I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement. The past year has taught me so much about myself and the world around me, and I am eager to apply those experiences to my future goals and aspirations. Armed with the lessons I’ve learned and the wisdom I’ve gained, I am ready to tackle new challenges and embark on new adventures.
One of my main takeaways from this past year is the importance of perseverance and resilience. I have learned that setbacks and failures are just opportunities for growth and learning. With each obstacle I faced, I discovered a newfound strength within myself to overcome and keep moving forward.
In addition, I have learned the power of connection and community. The support and encouragement I received from fellow writers, artists, and readers have been invaluable. It has reminded me of the importance of collaboration and lifting each other up. Moving forward, I want to continue fostering those connections and finding ways to give back to the creative community.
Lastly, the journey of self-publishing my books has taught me the significance of storytelling and the impact it can have. I want to continue writing stories that inspire, empower, and promote inclusivity. I hope to use my voice and platform to bring about positive change and create a more compassionate and understanding world.