This year has been a mixed year. As the clock ticks towards midnight and a new start, I'm reluctant to join in what has always seemed to me a weirdly sentimental emotion that sweeps the world - reflecting on each and everything that happened to them this year. At the same time, I like the idea of turning over a new leaf and putting things behind me.
The highlights of this year, for me, have included publication - my short story appeared in an anthology at the end of November.
I went sailing for a week in August, which was a great experience, as was spending nine days in France and trying to learn the language. Both of these were slightly mixed, because they had their ups and downs and by the end of the former I was desperate for a shower, by the end of the latter desperate for a computer, English speakers, and vegetarian food!
I went on tour to Italy with my orchestra, and made some great friends. I also took up ballet in February, and then went en pointe in September, both things I've been wanting to do for a while. It was great to finally wear those satin shoes!
I passed a bunch of exams, including my Maths and French qualifications and some music and dance exams. That's always a good thing, although actually taking them is never fun.
I wrote three novels this year, and edited another to within an inch of its life. I also entered a couple of competitions - one of them submitting a synopsis at nine o'clock this evening, so still waiting for news - and learned to face a rejection, ha ha.
I managed to avoid any major injuries. My shin splints that so plagued me last year were hardly present, and I didn't tear any ligaments this time, either!
The low points of 2011 have included some very difficult friendship issues, and all the things that being young and hormonal has to offer ;) There have been questions I couldn't answer and emotions I didn't want to face, and all the angst that goes along with being 15.
They've also included the loss of a member of our church, who is sorely missed.
I haven't enjoyed the arguments I've had, nor have I enjoyed having to face facts, realise they were my fault, and apologise. I haven't enjoyed having to apologise when it wasn't my fault, either.
I haven't enjoyed studying Additional Maths and walking into the mock exam realising I knew how to answer precisely 5% of the paper - leaving the remaining 95% blank didn't seem like a good plan, but I had no choice! I also didn't enjoy Science modules, coursework for languages and History, the joys of Science In The News, and all the other exams.
I haven't enjoyed having my Twitter account hacked, though it was luckily brief, or the fact that sometimes when I spend hours making content for YouTube or whatever it seems to go unnoticed. I have, however, greatly enjoyed talking to new people on the internet and interacting with whole new communities!
This year, I plan to be a nicer person, and I've put a few measures in place to help that. It's not a case of an abstract goal - I have specific ways in which I hope to be nice.
I plan to be more proactive with my writing, whether that's competitions, query letters and submissions, or editing and indie publishing.
I plan to be more active on Protagonize, to improve at ballet, to practise my instruments, and to be bold and step out. I plan to give priority to my school work in the hope of passing exams and I plan to go for walks regularly and learn to appreciate fresh air in a way that this year, I really didn't.
I'm going to leave this here. Overall, it looks like 2011 has been quite a good year, and in many ways it was better than 2010. Some things were worse, but mostly it was better.
And so I want to ask you - what have been the highlights of this year for you? And what were the low points? And what do you plan to do in this year coming up?