• Ana Ashley

New Year's Day reflections




We're at the start of a new year, so naturally it's the perfect time to reflect on the year that has just passed as well as looking forward.

What did we accomplish? What promises will we make to ourselves?


I always struggle to look back and see my achievements. I usually turn up for my monthly meeting with my manager and tell her I've done nothing, and then sit there while she lists everything I've done. I'm the kind of person that thrives on looking forward. Give me a planner and some ideas and I'll make it all happen, but as soon as it's done I'm ready to move on.


It's actually a surprise that I've only realized yesterday that we're starting a new decade, so for once I will look back a little before I share my plans for the future.


The start of the last decade was full of potential for me, but not in a million years would I had imagined how the decade would end.


This is what's happened in 10 years:

- 3 jobs in the same company including the promotion I worked for for years

- Finished my Psychology degree and completed a post graduate certification

- Met the BF - after 6 months of online chatting he talked me into meeting. I decided to keep him so the joke's on him!

- Moved home 6 times - the last one two years ago when after 7 years of long distance I moved in with the boyfriend (we still haven't killed each other)

- Qualified as coach for the company I work for

- Became an aunt to the cutest human ever

- Published my first book in December 2017.

- I've also lost a fair few family members

- Bought a home


What was the best part of this decade?

Apart from meeting the boyfriend, seeing my sister get married and then having my niece, and all the other personal stuff, the best part of this decade is hands down my writing.


I'm Portuguese so community is important to me. I lost that when I moved to the UK on my own, and even when my sister joined me and our family grew I never really got the same sense of belonging.

That is what this community has given me. A safe place, a home where I can be myself without judgement, and especially an outlet for my creativity.


In the last two years since I published Made in New York I've made so many friendships. I've learned so much about people and about myself too. I never thought I'd ever write one book let alone publish six and two free shorts, and as the new year starts I have so much to look forward.


What's happening in 2020?

- I'll be at ShiMMer in February and then the UK Meet in September

- I'm attending the PAGE author conference in Atlanta in April

- I'm taking a year-long career break from April

- I'm turning 40 in November

- I'm spending the summer in Portugal - the longest I'll have spent there in 19 years.


All that is great but I bet what you really want to know is what's coming up with my writing.

I have ambitious publishing goals for 2020 but I'm confident that I have the drive and support to achieve them.


Those are my reflections and hopes for the new year.

I can't finish this post without mentioning my gratitude for every reader who takes a chance on my writing, for every time a reader takes that extra step to write a review, for the awesome engagement from everyone on my Facebook reader group and for all the readers who aren't on social media but who get in touch through email. I love you and I'm more grateful than you'll ever know!


I also need to mention the authors and friends who have encouraged me to carry on, even when I had my doubts, the ones who helped when I was at a crossroad, and a thanks in advance for all of those who will have to put up with me in the future.


Whatever your plans are for 2020, and even if you don't have any plans, please believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Whether you know what your dreams are, or they haven't come to you yet, don't let anyone tell you you can't make them come true.


Be the rainbow on someone's rainy day, be the green light at someone's crossroads, but remember, you can be your own rainbow and you can pick the color or your lights - make them disco if it makes you smile.


Lot's of love and awesomeness for 2020!


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