Words & More Words

This Romance Writer’s Life…

The Year in Review & a Look Ahead to 2018


This year has gone unbelievably fast. I know as you get older time seems to speed up, but this is ridiculous!

Every year, at Thanksgiving, my hubby and I sit at our kitchen island prepping the stuffing, listening to "Alice's Restaurant," and we always comment on how the last time we chopped up chestnuts seems like it were yesterday. A year feels like months, hours like minutes (unless you're at work, I suppose, where time sometimes seems to stand still, LOL).

I look back at some of the goals I set for myself for 2017, and have to admit I'm disappointed I didn't stay focused enough to achieve many of them.

But, rather than obsess over what I didn't get to in these measly 12 months (like finish my novel), I thought I'd end the year looking back at one goal I did achieve (even when I "phoned it in") and, of course, make a few resolutions.

12 Months of Blogging

This was part of my business plan as a writer and really the only thing that stuck. I mean, how hard is it to find twelve topics to write about? Funny enough, pretty dang hard! But here are links to all the topics (and a few comments) from my blog this year.


January - Hello 2017

I start off the year with a few resolutions to write, read, share knowledge and blog. I did spend a lot of time writing, but I still haven't made the progress I wanted. However, I was able to finally flush out the third act in my outline for Tame My Racing Heart, so I can finish the book. 

I had a goal to read 24 books. I read 19. Most were for pleasure. The books I loved this year were "All In (Only One Night #1)" by Simona Ahrnstedt, "Hollywood Dirt" by Alessandra Torre, "The Collector" by Nora Roberts, and "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie. But the BEST book of all (followed by the HBO mini-series) was "Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty. So, so good.

February - What About Love?

I discuss the history of the romance novel, and a few movies whose love stories have affected me.

March - Is It Just Blind Luck?

The key to becoming a published author is shared in this blog. It even includes some words of wisdom from a revered author who has several publications under his belt. 

April - 20 Years, 2 Decades, 10 Bienniums, 4 Lustrums

An obsession with a band I played on the air in college radio led me to twenty years with a man who is my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and my husband. 


May - A Nod to Non-Moms

A continuation of April's blog, sort of. I talk about losing my mom seventeen years ago and the moment when I made a decision that changed the course of my future. 

June - What I Learned about Myself While Reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Read this on the plane to and from Charlotte (a business trip I took, that ended with a Nascar race aka research for my novel). I created my own "12 Commandments" per the author's suggestion. It's also where I call myself out on the excuses I make, thus sabotaging myself from hitting my goals.

July - Ernie in the Sandbox...My Very First Story

How a puppet from Sesame Street encouraged my imagination, and led to a lifetime of stories about cute boys and love.

August - TMRH

I will admit this was a month I cheated a little by taking an excerpt from my work-in-progress and using it as a topic. It's one of my favorite scenes from TMRH (Gray and his mom talk about edibles, LOL) and I'd been working diligently on the weekends trying to make progress on the outline. August was a month where I tried to spend more time writing and less time procrastinating.

September - Back to "School"

My notebook obsession is in the spotlight here. I can't help myself when I see a cute notebook. Most of them I don't even write in! The words have to really be important for me to put them down in these blank pages. Some people have a purse obsession (ok, I do too) but really it's the notebook that brings me joy.

October - Location, Location, Location

A trip into the city (where I work every day and spend some of my evenings in too) inspired me. Chicago has been the backdrop for many of my stories. Here I reminisce about the mystery of the city when I was younger, and tease the plot of my next novel.


November - Superstar (Not Me, Just the Name of my Story, But Also Me)

I took a break from my novel to participate in NaNoWriMo, and this is the result of that endeavor. Although it's unfinished, it was a story I'd been wanting to get out for years and will be something I go back to eventually. Based on Jesus Christ Superstar (without the religious connotation), this is a modern day story about betrayal and stardom.

December - you're reading it!

2018 Goals

Really, one goal...

Be F***ing Awesome!

Really, that's it.

I made a deal with myself. Anything I attempt to tackle in 2018 falls under the "awesome umbrella." Even if I attempt to do absolutely nothing. LOL.

BTW, that's a trick...the second I made that deal with myself, I was inspired and motivated and actually did stuff. So, if rule #1 of my 10 Commandments is "don't sweat the small shit," I will be able to achieve great things this year because I'm not obsessing over the unimportant stuff.

Hope everyone can do the same and Be F***ing Awesome too!

Happy new year!

Kelly DuffComment