A Year Of Creativity
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2018 Goals & January TBR

Hey everyone! It has been a while since I’ve posted on the blog and I’d like to start by apologizing. I became unexpectedly busy for the last two months of the year and there was a lot for me to get done.

But now it’s January 2018, a time for people to reflect and make plans for themselves over the next year. As someone who always seeks ways of self-improvement, I find New Years Resolutions to be an exciting time because I make goals in alignment with who I want to become by the end of the year.

Whilst I’m thrilled to finally have 2018 here, I first want to take the opportunity to reflect upon 2017 because it was one of the most challenging years of my life.

2017 review

2017 was an interesting year, to say the least. There were so many positives to 2017 but also many negatives to balance it out. If I were to give my 2017 a rating, it would be 3/5 stars.

I felt empowered through this year. Although, there were times where I felt depressed and the real-world events that occurred were some of the most shocking I had ever seen in my life. It taught us that peace and unity were words that we must strive to achieve.

Another word that I personally finally felt was acceptance. I came out as bisexual this year! I became more confident in myself and the warmth and love I received from everyone was immense. However, I hope in a world in the future, people won’t have to come out and that straight is no longer the assumed sexuality. And that’s the tea.

In 2017, I also became more aware of the need for diverse literature and wrote an entire blog post on the subject, which I do hope to touch upon this year as well. There is a serious lack of representation of bisexuals and other marginalized groups in literature. I’m currently writing a research report on diverse literature for school and once I’ve finished that, I hope to share my findings with you all as well.

I failed miserably at my Goodreads Reading Challenge, with a small number of books to my name that I read during that year. I attribute that mostly to the year-wide slump I had felt.

However, there were some fantastic books I had read during 2017 and my favourite book of the year was

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

Strange the Dreamer cover

To sum up my feelings about this book, the prose is beautiful and whimsical, and the characters are unforgettable. If you’d like to read my review of Strange the Dreamer, you can click here to do so.

Contrastingly, I succeeded a lot in writing during this year. I finished the first draft of A Mirror of Smoke, my YA fantasy novel about queer teens finding their place in the world whilst defending what they love against their enemies.

I also wrote and scrapped a partial draft of The Dream Prince. It’s another YA fantasy novel which is a Sleeping Beauty reimagining with a prince discovering a prophecy defining his life is in fact false. This then launches him on a journey of both self-discovery and treachery as he looks to awaken the prince of his country’s rival kingdom. Why did I scrap the draft, you ask? I did it for the good of the novel, I’ll be writing from the start with some improvements that I feel are necessary.

In 2017, I also started Fictional Fates, this blog and Instagram account and I haven’t looked back since! The communities and friends that I have met through running Fictional Fates have been so welcoming and warm and I feel lucky enough to know all my friends. From me to you,

A BIG MASSIVE THANK YOU WITH HUGS

Now that we’ve gone through 2017, let’s look towards the future to 2018!

I’ve defined two words for what 2018 will hopefully mean to me:

creativity and opportunity

I want to be as creative as possible in 2018, through my writing and through my journaling as well. I also want to take up watercolour painting as well to make my journaling much more satisfying. Maybe I’ll also delve into digital art and figure out how to do calligraphy on a computer. (Unless I save for an iPad Pro)

Opportunity is also one of my main keywords of this year. Taking the words from a tweet I wrote before the new year: I hope for 2018 to be a year filled with opportunities. I want to finish my novel and acquire an agent; to get an internship at a publishing house over the summer; to go to Uni and work my way towards a degree. I want to get the opportunity to live a fulfilling life.

There are so many things that I want to accomplish this year because I am an overachiever, haha! I’ve managed to organise my goals into sections which will help my brain process each one.

READING GOALS

I’ve joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge once again and this year, I’ve decided to go for a slightly lower goal than last year’s 100 books. My goal is a grand total of:

75 BOOKS

(that’s about 6 and a ¼ books per month)

I’ve already started on it and I’m making my way through my first book of the year. I’m so excited to be doing another challenge and I’ll soon have my Goodreads Reading Challenge page updated for 2018!

I’m going to keep myself motivated by having a few buddy reads throughout the year with some friends and also participating in as many readathons as I possibly can! I hope to publish a lot of good reviews for you to view as well.

WRITING GOALS

I hope to get a lot done during 2018 in terms of writing. My first goal is to finish the new first draft of The Dream Prince and then edit it furiously. I’ll also be doing edits on A Mirror of Smoke this year as well, with a possible rewrite with the changes that I’ve made so far. Both stories are close to my heart and I cannot wait until the day I get to share them with you. The response to both stories have been so overwhelming, and I sincerely thank you for all the faith that you have in my writing!

I think that 2018 will be a year of caffeine and passionate writing. If I get the opportunity to as well, I hope to at least plan and develop and maybe write a first draft of one of my other ideas. This’ll probably be during NaNoWriMo however.

If the cards play in my favour as well, I’m striving to get an agent before the end of this year with one of my novels. I haven’t decided which one yet, although I’m leaning more towards The Dream Prince. But, fingers crossed!

SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS

I’ve had such a wonderful past few months both on this blog and on my Instagram. I even recently managed to reach 1000 followers on my Twitter account which I was extremely happy about! My main goal for 2018 is to continue growing my audiences on both Instagram, Twitter and my blog, gaining more followers and hopefully expand into new areas on each platform.

On Instagram, I want to change up my feed and hopefully get a camera and take nicer pictures. I also want to showcase more of my writing and bullet journaling on Instagram too. Looking at other bookstagrammers and saving pictures for inspiration has become a new hobby of mine and the ideas I have are awesome!

Over on this blog, I want to try and post more consistently and get more reviews out on here and more bookish talks about diversity and other fun stuff. Once I’m a bit more organised, I want to start posting writing discussions, some posts on bullet journaling and even some posts on bookish merchandise as well. Maybe I’ll even try and collaborate with other bloggers with guest posts and readathons, that would be awesome!

I also want to update my blog posts with my new style of images and headers, which you’re seeing in this post! Let me know what you think!

LIFE GOALS

My main goal is to take care of myself and become more organised! I’m a sincere lover of the bullet journal and it has helped me immensely in becoming more organised in my life. However, there’s still a few things that must be done which shall be wrapped up very soon!

I’m getting new bookshelves and shelving in my bedroom, so all my storage space shall be complete. Then after a few more room décor placements, I shall have my dream creative space!

I have a lot of plans for 2018 and I cannot wait to get through them all. But, I want to take the final part of this post to concentrate on January and what I’m going to be reading!

I plan to read 7 books over the course of this month, all of which I’m thrilled about reading! Below, you can find a list containing their Goodreads links too!

  • One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
    I’ve been planning to read the sequel to Three Dark Crowns for months, but I haven’t gotten around to it. This month, I will.
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
    I’ve heard so many good things about this and I received it as a Christmas present from my sister!
  • Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
    Again, I’ve heard tremendous things about this. Plus, I’ve heard this has AMAZING bisexual representation which I live for if it’s good. This Owlcrate exclusive cover also makes me swoon as well 😮
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
    I’m currently reading this, and it is SO GOOD so far. It’s an Evil Queen reimagining which I picked up because I thought it might help inspire some stuff for The Dream Prince.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
    Again, it’s a novel that I’ve been planning to read for months and didn’t get around to. However, I’m looking forward to seeing Wonder Woman kick butt and plus, it’s written by LEIGH BARDUGO.
  • Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
    My most recent purchase. I thought I’d continue my superhero kick with Batman and as it’s the shortest book of this month, I think it’ll be a one day read hopefully.
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
    My second Marie Lu book of the month! It’s another novel that I’ve been wanting to read but didn’t get to. But, this month will be the month that I experience the world of Warcross!

To everyone who’s reading this, I hope you have a spectacular 2018 and that you make many happy memories this year! <3

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What are some of your goals for this year? Tell me about them down below! <3

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Comments

  • Nicole Junk

    January 13, 2018 at 4:21 am
    Reply

    I have read all of the books on your January TBR! (except Batman; it's coming in my January LitJoy Crate!) I would love to hear your thoughts on Wild Beauty. I DNFed that one. 2017 sounds like it was a great year for you! I hope 2018 is amazing!

    • Joel Rochester
      to Nicole Junk

      January 14, 2018 at 9:57 pm
      Reply

      Ooh, I hope you'll enjoy Batman when it arrives to you, Nicole! As for Wild Beauty, I'll definitely let you know what I think!

  • Nicole Junk

    January 13, 2018 at 4:21 am
    Reply

    I have read all of the books on your January TBR! (except Batman; it's coming in my January LitJoy Crate!) I would love to hear your thoughts on Wild Beauty. I DNFed that one. 2017 sounds like it was a great year for you! I hope 2018 is amazing!

    • Joel Rochester
      to Nicole Junk

      January 14, 2018 at 9:57 pm
      Reply

      Ooh, I hope you'll enjoy Batman when it arrives to you, Nicole! As for Wild Beauty, I'll definitely let you know what I think!

  • Lisanne

    January 12, 2018 at 10:29 am
    Reply

    Great post! I literally just found your blog, but I'm definitely going to follow you! Hope you have a magnificent 2018. As for my goals, I want to be more creative, start bullet journaling, work harder on my blogs and social media and get a job.

    • Joel Rochester
      to Lisanne

      January 14, 2018 at 9:40 pm
      Reply

      I hope you have an awesome 2018 too, Lisanne! I think I might look to start publishing a few posts on bullet journaling sometime soon as well for readers and writers so you might be interested in that! Good luck on working on the blogs and getting a job too, you've got this!

  • Lisanne

    January 12, 2018 at 10:29 am
    Reply

    Great post! I literally just found your blog, but I'm definitely going to follow you! Hope you have a magnificent 2018. As for my goals, I want to be more creative, start bullet journaling, work harder on my blogs and social media and get a job.

    • Joel Rochester
      to Lisanne

      January 14, 2018 at 9:40 pm
      Reply

      I hope you have an awesome 2018 too, Lisanne! I think I might look to start publishing a few posts on bullet journaling sometime soon as well for readers and writers so you might be interested in that! Good luck on working on the blogs and getting a job too, you've got this!

  • Norrie

    January 10, 2018 at 9:47 am
    Reply

    Good luck with the TBR! P.S. love your jumper <3 :)

  • Norrie

    January 10, 2018 at 9:47 am
    Reply

    Good luck with the TBR! P.S. love your jumper <3 :)

  • Lauren Stewart

    January 9, 2018 at 8:22 pm
    Reply

    Good luck with your TBR pile! I've read 'Warcross' myself and I really liked it!

  • Lauren Stewart

    January 9, 2018 at 8:22 pm
    Reply

    Good luck with your TBR pile! I've read 'Warcross' myself and I really liked it!

  • thebookprophet

    January 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm
    Reply

    Ha! I love how you rated the year like you would a book :D Congratulations on coming out as well! I hope that you end up having a wonderful 2018 where you finish this new draft (your book sounds SO GOOD) and get yourself an agent. I wish you the best of luck

  • thebookprophet

    January 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm
    Reply

    Ha! I love how you rated the year like you would a book :D Congratulations on coming out as well! I hope that you end up having a wonderful 2018 where you finish this new draft (your book sounds SO GOOD) and get yourself an agent. I wish you the best of luck

  • invisibleinink

    January 9, 2018 at 1:42 pm
    Reply

    I loved this blog post! (those pics tho - so pleasant and cozy!) As an aspiring writer myself, I really admire your dedication and can't wait to read your work! I pretty much started jumping up and down like crazy at the mention of 'Warcross', because DO I LOVE THIS BOOK. I really hope you like it! (P.S. I'm from bookstagram - @invisible.in.ink - and I absolutely love your account!)

    • Joel Rochester
      to invisibleinink

      January 14, 2018 at 9:36 pm
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Angel! I think being dedicated is only one step towards the goal, you also need motivation and time which I'm mustering up at the moment! IN TERMS OF WARCROSS, I AM SO EXCITED!

  • invisibleinink

    January 9, 2018 at 1:42 pm
    Reply

    I loved this blog post! (those pics tho - so pleasant and cozy!) As an aspiring writer myself, I really admire your dedication and can't wait to read your work! I pretty much started jumping up and down like crazy at the mention of 'Warcross', because DO I LOVE THIS BOOK. I really hope you like it! (P.S. I'm from bookstagram - @invisible.in.ink - and I absolutely love your account!)

    • Joel Rochester
      to invisibleinink

      January 14, 2018 at 9:36 pm
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Angel! I think being dedicated is only one step towards the goal, you also need motivation and time which I'm mustering up at the moment! IN TERMS OF WARCROSS, I AM SO EXCITED!

  • EmzyDalsvida

    January 9, 2018 at 1:46 am
    Reply

    Like you said at the beginning, my 2017, too, has been filled with many drastic ups and downs. I lost people and I found others. I realised what having other people in my life means to me and how special my family are to me. I realised I need to show people that I care and love them because no day is better than today to tell someone that they are important to you. I need to also focus on myself. I am excited to start Uni, also and I hope to get more creative in my writing. During Nano I joined a discord group of people who discussed the lack of gender diversity in writing like you just did there and I have really been listening to them and you. I have started writing again recently and have plans to introduce diverse characters in my current writings. I wasn't comfortable enough to ask the discord people how I could go about writing about these things since I have no clue xD and I've since left the group anyway... so um yeah. Aaaaaanyway, I would love to see what you say on the matter though and am eager to learn. […] Read MoreLike you said at the beginning, my 2017, too, has been filled with many drastic ups and downs. I lost people and I found others. I realised what having other people in my life means to me and how special my family are to me. I realised I need to show people that I care and love them because no day is better than today to tell someone that they are important to you. I need to also focus on myself. I am excited to start Uni, also and I hope to get more creative in my writing. During Nano I joined a discord group of people who discussed the lack of gender diversity in writing like you just did there and I have really been listening to them and you. I have started writing again recently and have plans to introduce diverse characters in my current writings. I wasn't comfortable enough to ask the discord people how I could go about writing about these things since I have no clue xD and I've since left the group anyway... so um yeah. Aaaaaanyway, I would love to see what you say on the matter though and am eager to learn. It isn't something that I come into contact with in my day to day life. I want to write it as real and as natural as possible because I too hate the fact that people should feel the need to make an announcement about their sexuality or gender change and seek acceptance because of the predisposed assumptions society has. I have hopes for the future though as it is an ever changing and challenging world. Times will always move on and one must have patience and motivation. I am glad you are moving on and pushing yourself to be the greatest you can be. And let's be honest that is pretty great amiright amiright Read Less

    • Joel Rochester
      to EmzyDalsvida

      January 14, 2018 at 9:34 pm
      Reply

      Emily, I agree with you that 2017 made me realise that I need to share more love with people and show how much they mean to me. And, going to University this year is going to be a bit scary but I'm hoping that I'll be able to power through it and adjust accordingly. In terms of your fears about introducing diverse characters into your novel, I'd definitely recommend doing some research into the marginalizations you'd like to present. I found that http://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/ provides one of the best places for advice on writing people of colour. I hope that you'll be just as motivated as I am to become the greatest you can be because you are pretty awesome and you should be able to pursue whatever you want to in life! We need to catch up sometime, haha!

  • EmzyDalsvida

    January 9, 2018 at 1:46 am
    Reply

    Like you said at the beginning, my 2017, too, has been filled with many drastic ups and downs. I lost people and I found others. I realised what having other people in my life means to me and how special my family are to me. I realised I need to show people that I care and love them because no day is better than today to tell someone that they are important to you. I need to also focus on myself. I am excited to start Uni, also and I hope to get more creative in my writing. During Nano I joined a discord group of people who discussed the lack of gender diversity in writing like you just did there and I have really been listening to them and you. I have started writing again recently and have plans to introduce diverse characters in my current writings. I wasn't comfortable enough to ask the discord people how I could go about writing about these things since I have no clue xD and I've since left the group anyway... so um yeah. Aaaaaanyway, I would love to see what you say on the matter though and am eager to learn. […] Read MoreLike you said at the beginning, my 2017, too, has been filled with many drastic ups and downs. I lost people and I found others. I realised what having other people in my life means to me and how special my family are to me. I realised I need to show people that I care and love them because no day is better than today to tell someone that they are important to you. I need to also focus on myself. I am excited to start Uni, also and I hope to get more creative in my writing. During Nano I joined a discord group of people who discussed the lack of gender diversity in writing like you just did there and I have really been listening to them and you. I have started writing again recently and have plans to introduce diverse characters in my current writings. I wasn't comfortable enough to ask the discord people how I could go about writing about these things since I have no clue xD and I've since left the group anyway... so um yeah. Aaaaaanyway, I would love to see what you say on the matter though and am eager to learn. It isn't something that I come into contact with in my day to day life. I want to write it as real and as natural as possible because I too hate the fact that people should feel the need to make an announcement about their sexuality or gender change and seek acceptance because of the predisposed assumptions society has. I have hopes for the future though as it is an ever changing and challenging world. Times will always move on and one must have patience and motivation. I am glad you are moving on and pushing yourself to be the greatest you can be. And let's be honest that is pretty great amiright amiright Read Less

    • Joel Rochester
      to EmzyDalsvida

      January 14, 2018 at 9:34 pm
      Reply

      Emily, I agree with you that 2017 made me realise that I need to share more love with people and show how much they mean to me. And, going to University this year is going to be a bit scary but I'm hoping that I'll be able to power through it and adjust accordingly. In terms of your fears about introducing diverse characters into your novel, I'd definitely recommend doing some research into the marginalizations you'd like to present. I found that http://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/ provides one of the best places for advice on writing people of colour. I hope that you'll be just as motivated as I am to become the greatest you can be because you are pretty awesome and you should be able to pursue whatever you want to in life! We need to catch up sometime, haha!

  • Emily (@biblio.faerie on Instagram)

    January 9, 2018 at 12:35 am
    Reply

    I really enjoyed this blog post, and wish you all the best with your goals. So many of these books are on my TBR for this year as well ????????. My main goals for the year are to relax and make more time to enjoy reading.

    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Emily and I bet these books are going to be awesome so let me know if you read any before me! Your goals are definitely admirable and I might take them on myself in some shape or form. I hope your year ahead is awesome!

  • Emily (@biblio.faerie on Instagram)

    January 9, 2018 at 12:35 am
    Reply

    I really enjoyed this blog post, and wish you all the best with your goals. So many of these books are on my TBR for this year as well ????????. My main goals for the year are to relax and make more time to enjoy reading.

    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Emily and I bet these books are going to be awesome so let me know if you read any before me! Your goals are definitely admirable and I might take them on myself in some shape or form. I hope your year ahead is awesome!

  • Mathieu

    January 9, 2018 at 12:27 am
    Reply

    Hey! Coming from Instagram (@mathcrln). I’ve been following you for a while now because of Clara (@thebookwormofnotredame) and you’re so inspiring : by the way you think and see the world but mostly by the way you depict it (write). I hope you’ll have a great year and will achieve all of your goals. ????

    • Joel Rochester
      to Mathieu

      January 14, 2018 at 9:25 pm
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Mathieu! I hope that your year will be filled with happiness and opportunity

  • Mathieu

    January 9, 2018 at 12:27 am
    Reply

    Hey! Coming from Instagram (@mathcrln). I’ve been following you for a while now because of Clara (@thebookwormofnotredame) and you’re so inspiring : by the way you think and see the world but mostly by the way you depict it (write). I hope you’ll have a great year and will achieve all of your goals. ????

    • Joel Rochester
      to Mathieu

      January 14, 2018 at 9:25 pm
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Mathieu! I hope that your year will be filled with happiness and opportunity

  • @anaveragereader

    January 8, 2018 at 11:39 pm
    Reply

    I enjoyed reading your blog post (it’s actually the first book one I’ve read). The layout is absolutely gorgeous. Good luck on going through you TBR!

  • @anaveragereader

    January 8, 2018 at 11:39 pm
    Reply

    I enjoyed reading your blog post (it’s actually the first book one I’ve read). The layout is absolutely gorgeous. Good luck on going through you TBR!

  • Charley

    January 8, 2018 at 11:12 pm
    Reply

    I can't wait to see where you are headed in 2018! I'm planning on reading Wild Beauty, too! It looks AMAZING!!

    • Joel Rochester
      to Charley

      January 8, 2018 at 11:21 pm
      Reply

      Charley! If you read Wild Beauty before me, tell me what you think because I am looking forward to it! Thank you :D

  • Charley

    January 8, 2018 at 11:12 pm
    Reply

    I can't wait to see where you are headed in 2018! I'm planning on reading Wild Beauty, too! It looks AMAZING!!

    • Joel Rochester
      to Charley

      January 8, 2018 at 11:21 pm
      Reply

      Charley! If you read Wild Beauty before me, tell me what you think because I am looking forward to it! Thank you :D

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Hey friends! I’m Joel, the main writer here at Fictional Fates. I’m a reader and writer who advocates for more diversity in literature.

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