Can you believe this year is nearly over?

Well friends, there are about a million trillion posts to be found on the internet this week, wishing you a happy new year, and here I am adding to the pile. But I just couldn’t let this moment pass without saying THANK YOU for this incredible year.

I recently wrote down all the awesome things I did/happened to me over the last 12 months and the list was WAY longer than I thought it would be. Was 2022 always comfortable? Definitely not. But growth almost never is, and I’d lost sight of all the growth that took place this year. If you’re feeling like the year was a never ending slog, go write down all the good things that happened—I bet you’ll surprise yourself.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the list:

  1. I had my biggest book release EVER (Blood Bond!)
  2. I spoke two conferences: Geek Girl Con and Chicago Spring Fling (which was one of my 2022 goals–next year’s goal is to speak at 3!)
  3. I attended Chicago Spring Fling (and saw a new city in the process!)
  4. Signed books at Spring Fling (my first book signing in YEARS!)
  5. Traveled to New Orleans (it was amazing!)
  6. My family took a trip to San Diego and it was so excellent
  7. I attended two writers retreats with my writer group
  8. Saw Hamilton!
  9. Went to DisneyWorld TWICE! April and October. (Who gets to do that shit??)
  10. Had a weekend getaway with my sisters that was so much fun (and we’re doing it again next year!)

See? Not too shabby. On top of all that, I can feel how much I’ve grown as a writer this year, in my craft, mindset, and business. 2022 was hard, but it was fruitful.

One of my big ah-ha moments of the year was realizing that the thing I value most when I have extra income/money to spare is giving it to the people and organizations I care about. Small things like picking up the tab at dinner, all the way to big things like donating to my fave charity. I love that shit. So I set the intention back in September to donate 10% of my total author income to two organizations that are near and dear to my heart.

The first donation I made was to CLOVES Syndrome Community. For those of you who don’t know, my daughter has an incredibly rare condition called CLOVES Syndrome. About 1000 people worldwide have this condition, and because of CSC we’ve been able to meet and get to know some of them! CSC is a huge source of connection, hope, and education in my family’s life, and I feel beyond grateful to have been able to donate $1000 to them in the middle of December.

The second donation I’m making is to Unite Against Book Bans! I’ll be donating about $500 to them, AS WELL AS the dollar value of all my royalties for books sold in the month of December. That means, if you’re reading this on the day it posts (12/29/22), there is still a little time left to help increase my donation! All book sales count—books sold across all online retailers, all formats (ebook or paperback), even paperbacks sold through my website! For more details, including why this organization is so special to me, check out my post from a couple of weeks back.

As I close out this year and reflect on all I’ve accomplished, I can’t help but look forward to next year and get excited for all I have planned. So thank you for being here, for being you, and for sticking around—because this year might be done, but I’m just getting started. ♥️

Wishing you a 2023 of peace, wherein all your dreams come true.

Elle

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