2013 was the year I signed a contract with a publishing house I had only ever dreamed of writing for, Forever Romance. I signed with a book that I am so incredibly proud of, and that will forever hold a HUGE part of my heart, FACADE. I released more books with Entangled Publishing and for the first time in my life, walked into a Barnes and Noble and saw my book on the shelf, OUT OF PLAY. It was even sweeter because it's a book I wrote with my dear friend, Jolene Perry. FACADE made it into Target this year too. I travelled more than I ever have, and met some of the most incredible readers in the world. They humbled me and to this day nothing compares to the feeling of someone telling me that one of my books meant something to them. I wrote RUSH, a story that I'm honored to have been able to tell. Alec and Brandon are my favorite couple I've ever written. When I think of the definition of love, it's them I see. My family and I went on what was honestly our first real family vacation. I've been blessed and been able to do things for my children and my husband that I've never been able to do. Reading over this list I realize how very lucky I am.
But if there is one thing I've learned, it's that nothing is a guarantee. This world is ever changing and tastes are ever changing. People change. You can have the most beautiful day today and wake up tomorrow to a huge blow you never expected. You can be on top of the world today and feel like you're getting kicked in the gut tomorrow. Nothing is a guarantee, except maybe change and uncertainty. I've lost people important to me and hugged a close friend while she dealt with loss. I've had to reevaluate my plan, and reclimb mountains I thought I had already conquered.
So this is what I decided to do. Learn from those losses and life changes. Try not to focus on the negative but to see how I can turn it into a positive, or at least remind myself of the lessons I learned or of the happy memories I had.
I've learned that there are some pretty incredible people in this world--that I'm lucky enough to call some pretty incredible people my friends and I don't know what I would do without them. Whether it's time on the phone, reading my crazy emails, listening to me obsess about things, or even just randomly visiting a friends blog and reading something kind they wrote about me or the world in general. These people make me smile daily and they're always there when I need them.
I've learned that there will always be people who like me, and people who don't. People who love me, and people who don't. People who like things I do, and people who never will. That's life and that's okay. All I can do is be who I am and try to make that person the best damn girl I can be.
I've learned that being proud of what I do is more important than numbers. I can only be the best me that I know how to be (holy rhymes). Working hard and putting effort into things I believe in is all I can do. I don't have control over the rest. That's a tough one for me--admitting that I don't have control over certain things that affect me. But I don't. None of us do, and accepting that has taken a huge weight off my chest.
My goals for 2014:
To remember everything I learned and experienced in 2013.
Accept defeats with the same grace and dignity as "wins" and the other way around.
To make sure I'm there for my friends the way they are for me.
To take extra time with my family because my kids are growing up way too fast. My girls and my husband are all pretty damn special.
To continue to interact with readers because they mean so much to me.
To continue to work hard, and to be proud of what I do. To hopefully tell stories that mean something and also give entertainment.
To try and focus on the positive.
To continue to work with the amazing people that I do.
To write a YA, submit it, and for David Levithan to edit it. (I almost didn't add this one but it's true so I'm sharing it! I would love to work with him at some point in my career.)
There are more but if I keep going we're going to be here all day. I'm sure you guys have either stopped reading already or are thinking, Okay, Nyrae! That's enough! LOL.
Looking forward to sharing more books, love, laughter, friendship, Facebook messages, Tweets, book signings, and everything else with you all in 2014.