Countdown to a New Year, December 22: CB Lee
From December 20 through December 31, Binge on Books will be hosting a series of posts each day counting down to the new year. Joined by authors, publishers, and fellow bloggers, this series will focus on takeaways from 2017 and what we can look forward to in 2018. Think the biggest, longest, most book-filled reflection of the past year and the hopes and dreams for the new one all wrapped into one: that’s Binge on Books’ Countdown to a New Year. Come see what your favorite members of the book world have to say about the past year and what’s up next for them in the year to come!
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2017 seems to at once have passed by in the blink of an eye and also to have dragged on, day by day, at a snail’s pace. Much of this is due to how I’ve woken up each morning to some new horror enacted by those in power and the fear that everyday, things are getting worse.
And yet this year I also saw everyday people who spoke out against injustice, people who took comfort in each other and what brings them joy, people who encouraged others to take care of themselves, people who looked after one another.
The book community is an amazing one– readers and writers and bloggers and people in publishing and people creating endlessly and the feeling of excitement and support and hope for things to get better– in publishing and in our world at large. It is in books and in this community that has gotten me through 2017 and gives me strength for 2018 and beyond.
A few things that helped me this year and I hope helps you:
Do something everyday that brings you joy. Whether it’s eating your favorite candy or rereading a favorite book, or even sitting and doing nothing for awhile. For the longest time I would always guilt myself about how little I’d gotten done that day, or how behind I am in my work or that I don’t need this extra piece of chocolate. I would also feel guilty about celebrating any achievements or accomplishments, especially in this year of bleak news, but it is so easy to get burnt out in the day-to-day barrage of calling reps and trying to navigate the day that celebrating any joy and sharing it can brighten not just your day, but a friend or a stranger’s. I love seeing moments of joy in others, too, and definitely seeing amazing book news for friends have brightened my day so many times this year.
You don’t have to do it alone. One of the hardest things to do is to ask for help. For me, I know I am that worst at this, because I always thought it was a mark of personal failure if you didn’t know how to do something or couldn’t figure it out on your own. But whatever endeavor you’re going through, whether it’s writing a book or trying to tell a friend something important, asking someone for help or even just chatting about what you’re going through can be a huge support.
Turn mountains into molehills. One of the biggest things I learned while writing novels is that setting out to do one can be a huge, daunting task. “Just write a book,” I’ll tell myself, and it seems like this massive undertaking– and it is. But setting a huge goal like that can make it difficult to even start; what I’ve learned is that setting small goals like “write a romantic scene” or “write a discovery scene” or “let’s do some backstory on Emma here” are tasks that are bite-size and a clear sense of when you’ve accomplished them.
Wishing you all the best in 2018!
CB Lee is a hiking enthusiast and the author of Not Your Sidekick and Not Your Villain. She likes cozy socks and you can find her on twitter at @author_cblee, Instagram at @cblee_cblee or visit her at http://cb-lee.com.
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Sparrow by Sarah Moon
Three Sides of A Heart anthology
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
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Meet Cute Anthology
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All We Can Do is Wait by Richard Lawson
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