Saturday, December 30, 2017

There. I think I screamed enough for everyone reading this post. If not, feel free to scream with me in the comments. I'm happy with how 2017 went. Obviously it had it's ups and downs... but that's just life for ya. Overall it was an improvement from 2016, and I'm feeling good about where I am in life. So, success! :P

And before we enter the craziness of 2018... here's one last look back at this year. :D
pictures in this post are an assortment from 2017
Ahh, writing. Writing this year has been a journey. A roller coaster type journey, with all of it's ups and downs and twisty loop-de-loops. I shifted my focus from my desert fantasy duology, to my heart's novel, Where Shadows Lie. It's always sad to shelve a project... but I'm confident I made the right decision and I'm ridiculously excited about moving forward.

I wrote two books this year -- my superhero novel, and the prequel to Where Shadows Lie. *celebrates* Both of them were for NaNo events (because NaNo + I = best friends), and after I wrote the first drafts, I made them into real-life copies! (except I'm still waiting for my superhero book to arrive. I ordered it a month ago... so I think it went missing in the mail. Or fell into a portal and land in the fires of Mt. Doom. Either or. (UPDATE: now as I'm editing this post, the book has arrived! so it made it out of Mt. Doom. Huzzah!))

After adding up the ending word counts of those two books + flash fiction + rewrites, the total words written this year came to 200,000. A little less than normal, as you can see below, but I'm happy with the outcome. :D
2014: 123,000
2015: 240,000
2016: 222,000
2017: 200,000
total: 785,000.
That means I'm 215,000 words away from writing one million words. UM. WHAT. (poor noodle fingers) I know I spend a lot of time writing, but... it's weird to actually think about how much energy and thought and emotion I've poured into my novels over the years. *mind explodes*

Oh and hey -- speaking of writing and stories, I posted two flash fictions on the blog this year! I read over them again before putting the links in this post, and I'm really happy with how they turned out. I wrote a sci-fi retelling of the pied piper, and then a tale about the dreaded "NaNoWriMo Beast." (the last one is more comical than serious. xD)

When I wasn't writing, I was editing! (and plotting... and procrastinating... but mostly editing.) In the beginning of the year I worked hard on my desert fantasy duology, but once I shelved that for the time being, I spent the rest of the time editing Where Shadows Lie. I CANNOT WAIT FOR JANUARY TO COME SO I CAN START EDITING AGAIN. << That's a big statement coming from the person who would usually choose to watch paint dry rather than edit. But I'm really pumped to dive into the third draft of this story!

I'm hoping to end this year with a total of 60 books. (I'm at 58... ALMOST THERE!) It's slightly disappointing since my original goal was one hundred. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Last year I whizzed through 120 books, and it was hard for me to even hit half of that this year. *sniff* Oh well. 

Below are my five star reads of 2017! There are only five... but that's because I've grown strict about how I rate books. I used to give out five stars to most of the books I read, but then that "high rating" becomes rather meaningless.

The majority of the books I read were fantasy, which came as no surprise to me. But I did read about equal amounts of sci-fi and contemporary? I'm starting to really like contemporary novels, because they're able to take the perspective of a beautiful story from the ordinary world.

There weren't a huge amount of bookish posts that appeared on the blog this year, but the one I did write turned out to be one of my most popular ones: Why I Would Be A Horrible Book Character. (I'm tempted to do a part two eventually, because it's just so easy to come up with reasons why I would never survive in fantasy novels. For example: the obvious lack of pizza. xD)

And now comes the big question: how many books do I shoot for in my 2018 Goodreads challenge? To which I immediately answer: I DON'T KNOWWW! But after a bit of thinking, I might need to set it for under sixty books. *cue the tears* I'm thinking about fifty-two, because that would equal to a book a week! We'll see -- I'll update you as I ponder on that a bit more. :P

YAY FOR BLOGGING. It's a huge part of my life, and I'm so thankful for it. Sure, it's hard and sometimes I run out of inspiration for posts and I stare at that screen, the clock ticking past midnight. I don't like the hard parts of blogging but yet I do, because blogging has taught me so much. It's taught me how to work toward a deadline and how to continually find ways to grow in my craft.

Aside from the work, blogging has brought me immense amounts of joy. ALL THE BLOGGING BUDDIES. Dude, that's what is so fun about the blogosphere. I get so happy interacting with people who can relate to me that are halfway around the world. Ugh, I wish there was a way to teleport to meet you all for Christmas because THAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING EVER.

For the majority of the year I kept up fairly well with visiting blogs and commenting and all that fun stuff... but I have failed miserably with that since NaNoWriMo began. *cringe* Like, I have close to a hundred unread posts kind of miserably. So I'll have to catch up on all of your lovely blogs in the new year. :D

I'm excited to see where blogging takes me in 2018, and the new people I'll meet through it. <3

Some of my most popular posts: editing encouragementfive reasons to participate in camp nanowrimo


Last year, 2016, was a year of change, and 2018 will be the same way. So 2017 was a nice "break" in between all the new things thrown at me. It was a year of enjoying where I am in life and trying to look forward at what's to come.

I posted about my "new findings of 2017," which captures some of the random fun of this year. And did anyone else enjoy Spotify's end of the year stats? (no big surprise seeing that Twenty One Pilots is my top artist. I don't that'll change anytime soon. xD)

Instead of boring you all with endless paragraphs, I'll list the top couple highlights of each month. Just to keep it short and simple. :P

JANUARY || bullet journaling, trying to stay steady with my new resolutions
FEBRUARY || twenty one pilots concert (AHHH), southwest vacation, Goodreads released their reread option!
MARCH || turned seventeen
APRIL || failed camp nano, went through a major writing burnout, but also had an awesome writing retreat
MAY || break from writing, finished eleventh grade
JUNE || started my senior year of school in order to graduate early, MYWW conference, finished my Camp NaNo novel
JULY || spider-man homecoming, began edits for Where Shadows Lie, got the idea for my superhero novel, finally finding the joy in writing again
AUGUST: lots of rewriting (on paper), three year blog anniversarydear senior year
SEPTEMBER || lots more editing, lovely, relaxing vacation
OCTOBER || halfway done with school, #nanoprep, about my superhero novel
NOVEMBER || nanowrimo (duh), painted my room, infinity wars trailer
DECEMBER || break from writing, christmas craziness, began watching the Marvel movies chronologically

Thank you for being with me on this journey. I can't wait to see what 2018 brings for all of us. <3

katie grace

what were your top three highlights of 2017?


  1. Girl, your novel must be reaaaalllllyyy good (I NEED TO READ IT), because I can't think of anyone who can't wait to edit! Haha, I guess that's a good thing! Have fun editing!

    Even if it's fewer than you'd originally hoped for, congrats on the 58 books! I'd said this month was going to be my reading month? It didn't happen :P BUT. I got the Out of Time trilogy for Christmas, SO THAT WAS EXCITING.

    There seriously needs to be a way to teleport around the world and meet all the bloggers! That would be...like wow.

    My biggest highlights were starting my blog, publishing my book, and winning NaNoWriMo!

    1. Heh, my passion and excitement for it certainly doesn't translate to how amazing it is. I WISH. But I'll keep working at it so I can make it epic. xD

      OH MY GOODNESS REALLY??? YESSS. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL YOU READ THEM! You need to flail about them to me and keep me updated as you go through all the twists and heartbreaks. o.o

      Oh my gosh, those are some pretty amazing highlights. So proud of all that you accomplished this year, Riley! :D

    2. I will definitely keep you updated! Can’t have too many people to flail about books with!

      Thank you so much!! I hope you have a blessed 2017, Katie!!

  2. What are your secrets for reading so much in a year?! I set a goal of 21 books and I still think that's a lot!

    Congrats on an awesome year! I hope your edits go well! Editing can be both exhausting and exciting at the same time.

    Please do write a second-parter to the 'why I would be a horrible book character'. That would be awesome!

    1. HA, I don't know. :P I'm very thankful for a couple vacations I went on, since I binge-read during those times.

      *makes note* I will be brainstorming ideas then, mwahaha...

  3. I am in awe of how much you've written. That's intense. Seriously intense. Also, yay for being excited about editing!

    I sympathize with the "why am I not reading as much as I want" thing, though I managed to hit a bit closer to my goal. With the reading challenge- do what you gotta do. 52 is a good number. So is 60, if you like tens. *shrugs* For me, though, it's less about the reading challenge and more about having a convenient grid of books to screenshot for blog posts.

    Anyway. Sounds like you had a good year; I'm glad!

    1. Ha, I like your honesty with the reading goal thing. BUT IT'S SO TRUE. I hate when I have an odd number of books for a monthly wrap-up. Ugh. xD

      I hope your year was awesome too, Sarah. <3

  4. Congrats on your writing goals! And I also think you did well on your reading goals! Though I do understand how you would want to read #allthe books

    I completed my reading challenge of 55 books and I also started to finish off my story. I also started beta reading for someone but thank God that they are such a nice person because I. Am. Sloooow.

    1. Oh my goodness CONGRATS for reading that many books! And I feel ya there. I'm one of the worst beta readers. x.x

  5. Don't worry, Katie! I only read 35/70 books, so...yeah, just a tip: Senior spring / college freshman fall will be a super busy year. Set a reasonable goal.

    1. Heh, thanks for the warning. I'm wondering if it'll even be possible to hit 52 books. WE'LL SEE. xD

      I'm glad you survived your busy year!


    *clears throat* anyway.... I'M SO GLAD YOU LOVE YOUR NOVEL. It's the best feeling when you're excited to edit it and work on it. I really hope progress keeps going well for you there :D

    Wow, that's a lot of listening hours on Spotify! I only have Pandora, but there is a station that has 900 hours on it (I've had it for about three years though).

    Congrats on all you've accomplished this year! I love following your blog and I hope you have an awesome New Years! <3

    1. DUDE 900 HOURS IS A LOT. o.o Like... a lot. I'm impressed. Is this a writing station or just a fun one?

      Thank you, Audrey. <3

  7. I can't believe you're gonna graduate early from hs!!!! I'm so happy for you, are you planning to go on college afterwards or take a break from school (You'd reach 1 million words fosure)

    Top 3 things in 2k17 for me would be publishing my first book on Amazon, then selling it on paperback!!!! That was a crazy process and I can't believe all the positive vibe I got from my church family going into this:) (It's in French, hence the lack of links haha. And then the third thing would be to get my first job! The testimony around this is so surreal, God was at work on this one :D

    Congrats on all those words and novels this year!! I WANNA READ THEM ALL😭😭😭😂😂

    1. I'm not going to college right away. Once I graduate I'll be working full time (provided I find a job), which is going to be insane. Ugh, I don't know how I'll be able to write. x.x

      EEEP. I wish it was in English. *sniff* But that's so awesome. <3 <3

  8. DUDE THAT IS A LOT OF WORDS. It sounds like you had a good year: busy but a 'normal' kind. I was shooting for 150 books this year, but between junior year and senior year, I only got 120 (which is completely fine, since my goal has been 120 now for three years XD).

    Happy new year, Katie!

    1. "only got" 120. HA. xD Do you have a couple of favorites from the 120?

    2. dude but you WROTE tho. I just read XD

      a couple...more like twenty?
      top ones are-
      White Sand, Red Menace by Ellen Klages (this is a sequel; both books are really good, about WWII)
      Good Enough by Paula Yoo (contemporary about high school/college/music)
      Both books by Harper Lee
      All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

    3. Oooh I haven't heard about the first two so I'll definitely check them out. *nodnod*

  9. I'm so glad you were able to do a lot of writing (and editing)!
    I did a sadly small amount of writing this year... next year I am going to do a LOT more writing, at least that's my goal!
    Heehee; I really enjoyed Spotify's wrap-up. I got all three qustions in the quiz-part.
    Btw; since my blog is private, if you'd be interested, could you give me your email so I can invite you to it? Just so you can take a look and decide if you'd like to read it. I'm not trying to force it on you or promote it really, its just that its hard to let people know a private blog exists without telling them about it... so if you'd like to check it out, I'll need your email to invite you.

    I really enjoyed your year-end wrap-up! thank you for sharing. <3

    1. Ooh, who was your most-played artist for Spotify?

      Yeah, I'll check it out! katiegraceauthor(at)gmail(dot)com. :)

      Thanks for reading throughout this year, Kendra!

  10. WOAH KATIE!!! Way to go on your writing! *fist bump* That's A LOT of words.
    I'm trying to graduate early too. I finished all my subjects except English and a writing course I'm taking, but I'm hoping to be finished 12th grade by February.

    2017 was an AWESOME year for me too!
    My top three highlights were:
    I. I started my blog on January 7, 2017. So I'll be having my one year blogiversary celebration really soon!
    II. I got my own car *happy dance* (his name is Richard xD)
    III. I got my first "nice" camera after waiting years for one!

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this post, Katie! And I hope 2018 brings you lots of new adventures, new possibilities, and pizza!

    - Maddy | littlebitofsunshineweb.blogspot.com

    1. Oh my gosh, that's AMAZING. Dude, I'm so impressed! I'll be finishing around the end of February... but nothing before. You're insane!

      Wow, lots of big highlights for you this year. I'll have to visit your blog on your blogoversary and sprinkle some confetti around. xD

      Thank you! :D

  11. Spotify wrapped was my favorite, but like you, I wasn't surprised by my stats either. It's not like I don't know what my favorite music is, lol. : - )

    my three highlights of 2017 were:

    - my first ever NaNoWriMo
    - watching more movies than I ever have before
    - starting a blog + making internet friends : )

    Happy 2018!!

    1. YAY FOR MOVIES. What were some of your favorite??? I really discovered that I love movies this year. It's such a powerful and awesome form of storytelling.

    2. Oh, there were so many. :) I posted a thread of them on my Twitter, so if you want you can look there. Just a couple were:
      - Signs
      - Lion
      - Cinderella Man

      Right?!?! The best part was getting to analyze the plot and structure, which only helps me as a writer, ha.


  12. It's so hard to believe it's time for wrap-up posts already! I'm glad you had a "break" year - I certainly did not, I think that was everything before 2015. :P
    Three highlights of 2017...getting married, going on 3 cool trips (Vancouver, honeymoon, and Mexico), and publishing my first book!

    1. Whaaat. Okay, you've had a CRAZY year. Getting married? Traveling? PUBLISHING?! *faints for your sake* I'm pretty sure you need to take a seven year nap now. Wow. o.o

    And with a beautiful post as usual o.o it's fun to see all you've accomplished this year! And to think I've known you for about a year now o.o

    ONLY FIVE FIVE STAR BOOKS? I relate though bc I'm picky about five star ratings too. I read about *squints* oh 15+ five star books?? Idk ...

    My top three highlights are ...
    1. Starting my blog,
    2. Moving to the West Coast, and
    3. *thinks hard* actually starting to write seriously maybe??



    1. LISA! *glomps* I've missed you! ^.^

      Goodness, everyone has these GIANT highlights! o.o How are you liking your new home? Are you getting adjusted okay?

      HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'm so excited to see what 2018 brings for you. :D

    2. I quite like my new place!! ^.^ The house itself is rather small ... the scenery! The mountains! The bridges! The pretty town! The big city atmosphere! Ahh it's so cool :D

  14. all your writing goals...wow. congratulations! you had a very successful 2017 :)

  15. AHH I can't believe it's the last day of 2017. o.o That is SO crazy.
    It's been a pretty good year. It's hard to pick three highlights, but if I had to choose... 1: I think I've grown more in my relationship with God this year than I ever have. I've learned more about needing Him above all else. 2: I got a job. This is NOT always a highlight, lol, because some days I'd rather do anything but get up and go to work. But besides just getting used to working and making my own money, I've met so many fun people and been in on so many inside jokes. Sharing crazy busy days and dealing with crazy customers together really brings you closer to a person. xD 3: I started singing again... sort of. I stopped singing in church when I was about ten, and this year I was determined to get back into it. I haven't done a solo or anything, but I'm excited to see where this goes.
    And now for the NON highlight of my year... that would be my Goodreads goal. I'm not even going to elaborate, because it's so sad. xD I think I'm going to set my goal for 50 in 2018. It won't be so daunting to reach, and if I read more than 50 books, that's awesome too. :D


      I agree with you about the job thing. Sometimes it's not fun (like taking out the trash in -35 degree weather, ew), but it's a great learning experience and a chance to connect with people. I'm glad your enjoying it for most of the time. :D

      Well I had to lower my Goodreads goal, so you're not alone in that non-highlight. *patpat* xD

  16. I missed your blog, even if it hasn't been THAT long since you posted. <3 And it sounds like you had a great year! It's so good that you found your writing joy again after burnout. My year was a whirlwind--at times challenging but also packed with major highlights and steppingstones. I hope 2018 is an AWESOME year for you, Katie!!!

    1. Aww, I've missed being around in the blogosphere! I hope your 2018 is one of the best, Tracey! <3

  17. Okay, you've written A LOT. Go you!!!!

    Also, 2018!! When did that happen? I could have sworn it was just 2012. Time is crazy, man.

    1. RIGHT? I was only a wee little twelve year old in 2012. *mind explodes* IT'S SO CRAZY TO THINK ABOUT.

  18. Oh goodness, your year sounds like it was AMAZING!!! You actually got to see Twenty One Pilots LIVE?????? OH MY WORD!!!! *begins squealing frantically in excitement*

    I can totally understand the writing burnout thing! That's definitely something I've struggled with this year, but am working on overcoming. (I'm hoping my January Hiatus helps with that, actually... XD) And EEP, your story ideas are just SO PERFECT HALP! And that is so cool how you actually have physical copies of your books now!!!! Hopefully I'll get there someday, but I probably have to finish this darn story first... XD

    Also, I couldn't help but notice that CRESS IS IN THAT PHOTO UP AND THERE AND ASDFGHJKL!!!!! I LOVE THE LUNAR CHRONICLES!!!! *begins squealing again*

    1. YESSS. I DID. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER AND I ALMOST START CRYING WHENEVER I THINK ABOUT IT. That might've been the best night of my life. It was just so fun. :D

      Aww, YOU'LL GET THERE. I BELIEVE IN YOU. Writing burnouts are hard to overcome, so just take your time. The passion will return. <3

      EEP. LUNAR CHRONICLES! Which one is your favorite book?

    2. OH MY WORD!!!! You, sir, are a very lucky duckling!!!!! XD

      Aww, thank you so much!! I kinda needed to hear someone say that, actually... It's hard to believe in something that's taking forever. XD YES!!! I'm so excited because the inspirations have been flooding in over the past couple days and I've actually been ENJOYING writing this book, which is something that's a little hard for me to do, lately... XD

      Oh goodness... I don't know how to pick! I THINK, though, that I would have to pick either Cress or Winter. They're my favorite two heroines in the series, and those books were (in my opinion) the best two out of all of them. XD Do you have a favorite???

  19. EEP YES 2017 IS OVER. O-O That's equally exciting and also WHOA HOW DID THAT HAPPEN.

    I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MANY WORDS YOU'VE WRITTEN. Almost 1 million. o-o That's crazy insane. I kinda wish I'd been keeping track of my yearly word count for longer than just this year. xP

    1. RIGHT IT'S SO INSANE. o.o And I bet you could estimate the number of words you've written with all of your first drafts?

  20. I'm so glad I found your blog! I can't wait to hear about how your 2018 goes. :)

    1. And I'm so glad that I've met you through it, Ashlee! ^.^ <3

  21. My brothers wedding in July, going to Eight Days Of Hope in July,I started my other Instagram account for my photography!

    1. Wow, you had a crazy July. o.o Sounds like you've had an awesome year. :D Also... what is Eight Days of Hope?

  22. Goodness, I still can't believe 2017 is over... O_O Like, how. XD

    GAH I just finished Eliza and Her Monsters and it was SO WONDERFULLY AMAZING. I wish there hadn't been as much swearing as there was. :\ But I still loved it so pieces!

    I hope you have a wonderful 2018, Katie!! ^_^

    1. WASN'T IT AMAZING?!?! I know, I wish the same thing. I hate how hard it is to find a YA book without language. Still, it was a beautiful story. I might have to buy it and then black-marker it out. XD

  23. So many words! You really inspire me to write more! Good job!

    1. I wish you the best of luck with writing this year, Skye!

  24. Your wrap-up posts make me so happy xD I can't even believe how much you read and write each year!! It makes me feel better that our numbers were closer this year xD I think I read 40 books (instead of 50) and I'm thinking I only wrote around 100k? Who knows. :P ALSO your super limited 5 stars thing is inspiring. I feel like I need to get better about that cause not all my 5 stars are on quite the same plain of awesome.

    Anyway! I hope 2018 is a great year for both of us xD SO many possiblities

    1. Hey, your numbers are AWESOME. And your first drafts are very well organized compared to mine, so there's that. :P

      I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings for you. I'm hoping that it brings BtA to me. ;)

  25. Whoa dude the amount you've written and read is seriously amazing! Glad you had a good year. Loved this post!
    My year was...a bit of a mess. The first and second halves of the year feel so separate they could be years of their own since I was so focused on my first semester of college in the second half of the year. I don't know if I have three *major* highlights, but three nice things that happened were
    1. Did well in all my classes (with the exception of Prob & Stats, in which I barely made a C. That may sound bad, but I struggle a lot with math so I'm happy with it.)
    2. Listened to about 160 new musicals for no real reason except that I adore musical theatre and wanted to be familiar with more shows.
    3. I started figuring out how to do some digital art and actually finished several projects.

    Anyway, I hope your 2018 is as awesome as your 2017! Good luck with all your goals!
    (Wow I'm kinda late haha that's what I get for not checking my email all week)

    1. Aww. That's how I felt about 2016. 2016 was a mess for me. xD

      Wow, but you did accomplish a lot of things in 2017. 160 MUSICALS??! I... wow. That's a bunch of musicals. O.O And art projects?? Oh my goodness, I didn't know you were into art! You should totally send me pictures of some of your projects if you're willing to share. :D

      Have an epic 2018, Erika! I hope it's lovely for you. <3

    2. Thanks!
      Also sure yeah I'll email you!

  26. YOU ARE THE QUEEN OF DOING ALL THE THINGS!!!! Forever in awe of you.

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