The Twenty-Something Series: 2017 all wrapped up

This year has been quite a crazy one - in this post, I share a few of my highlights!

2017 is almost over, which means it's time for a recap post looking over the year and what I've been up to.

And in all honesty, it's been kind of a crazy one - on the book front as well as in everyday life. In this post, I'm going to share a few of my highlights from the year.

I quit a job I hated

If you're familiar with this post on my blog, you'll know about this already. I took a graduate job starting September 2016 in financial audit, but it wasn't for me and all it did was make me miserable. By this time last year, I was already filling in applications for new jobs.

And finally, in April of this year, I'd handed in my resignation and left the job. Honest to God - best decision ever. I've got exactly zero regrets.

I got to do some freelance social media work

I love reading up on Pinterest about all things social media, and was able to work with an IT company for a few months while I was between full-time jobs to manage their social media for them. Which I loved, and was totally awesome.

I finished a new book with my agent

My agent sent me back edits on my newest novel, which I managed to do a final push with over the summer and finish up, sending back to my agent. I'm so happy I've actually managed to get this one ready to move forward, because it's been something I've had on the back burner for a long while now.

I started a job I love

Another graduate job I started this September, this one was in IT and is placement-based, so I get to rotate around areas. So far, I've even managed to work on a project out in Germany. It's so different to where I was with my old job by this time last year - I genuinely love it and enjoy what I do, and I'm so excited about my job.

I travelled alone

I've counted, and I've been on a plane 21 times this year. I think that must be some kind of record for me. And for the very first time in twenty two years of my life, I flew alone. I know that's not a big deal to most people, but I've just never flown anywhere without family or friends and travelled completely solo. It's only been back and forth Newcastle and Bristol or to Germany and back, but even so - it felt like kind of a milestone for me, so it makes the list.

I started learning a new language

My German leaves a bit (okay, a LOT) to be desired, but it's enough for me to mostly understand signs, order food, and ask someone to speak in English because my German is not very good. While my spoken German isn't very confident however, I can understand a decent amount, picking up most of what people are saying if ever my team chat between themselves in German. Which I feel is pretty damn cool.

I gave my blog a total revamp

Anybody who's followed my blog from previous years will have recognised this. I kept trying to work on my Tumblr, improve it somehow, but it was only April this year (when I quit my old job!) that I moved to Blogger. 

I spent hours moving all of my old blog posts over, setting up new automation so it'd still post on Tumblr and Twitter and all that jazz, creating new images, and pulling it all together. The actual blog posts may have been a bit patchy, but I feel way happier with the blog now. I even got it its own domain name. I'm so much more proud of it now. And hopefully you guys don't think it's too shabby, either!

I've done so much writing

Alright, so a good portion of that writing has been fanfic (only one of which I've posted online under a totally different pseudonym) - but that's totally about 140,000 words. I posted a new Christmas short story on Wattpad. I kicked off writing a new book this summer (currently at the 20k mark) and then about two weeks ago, decided to write another new book - which I've worked on a lot lately, and is creeping up to 25k words already, and is one I've actually talked to my agent about because I'd like to see it published. Hopefully. Fingers crossed, right?

I moved away from home - properly, and now think of myself as a (mostly) fully-functioning adult

When I started my new job, my first placement was (*is) in Durham. Which is only about a six hour drive from my family back in South Wales, so like, just down the road...

I lived away from home when I was at uni, but Exeter was about an hour and a half away from home, and I'd be home for several weeks at a time over Easter and summer and Christmas. And I lived with other people, in student accommodation. My old job was in Cardiff, so I saved money by moving back home and just commuting in, which was easy enough.

This was very, very different. I was moving to basically the other end of the country by myself. I had to organise things like paying council tax, reading the gas and electricity meter, changing the address on my driver's license. It was a big deal. Especially since this is like... it. I've moved away from home. It's not like uni terms, where I'd be moving back. I am now an independent adult! With my own Christmas decorations and all!

Oh, and no big deal, but I got to fly out to Cape Town and see the movie of my book being made

For those of you who don't know - my first novel The Kissing Booth is being turned into a movie. And not just any movie: a Netflix Original. We sold the rights to UK-based production company Komixx shortly after the book was first published in late 2012, and this year it finally started to happen.

Back in February, my dad and I flew out to Cape Town for a week (that was all I could get off work) to see it being filmed. Which was utterly, truly, completely phenomenal - and I'll do a post soon(ish) with more about the trip. But seeing my story come to life? Seeing my characters right there in flesh and blood and so perfect? Seeing my name on the script and having a chair with my name on and seeing hundreds of people gathered all because of something I did when I was 15/16 years old?


Like I said: it's been kind of a crazy one. Here's to next year being just as awesome, huh?

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