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In Which Denial is Just a River, Really {2021 Wrapup & 2022 Goals}

by Kellyn Roth |
January 3, 2022

Dear 2021,

First of all, how dare you?

Okay, but more seriously … I AM IN DENIAL. IT IS NOT 2022!

I always feel a little gobsmacked by the new year, but this time, it feels doubly so.

2021 was a wild year. Like, I always say that, but this time, it is so true. I have always had hopes and expectations (see my 2021 beginning post) for the beginning of the year. To quote last year’s post:

My expectations are based on reality. On things that I see (I mean, foresight is a thing). I can’t see my hopes; I don’t know how they could happen or if they could happen. I’m afraid to believe they would happen!

I actually am going to address some of my hopes for 2021 and how they went later in this post, because I did vaguely type some out.

2021 was a crazy year for me. I mean, I got married! Not only did I get married, but I had no clue I was going to get married until like … April. Of course the actual wedding happened in August. I was crazy busy all summer, and then August and September were crazy, then since then I’ve been bored out of my mind. So yeah.

I’ve moved out of my parents’ house, had job shifts, gotten used to being married, and … well, it’s been crazy but overall pretty good after some adjustments.

Let’s talk about 2021!

My 2021 Goal Wrapup

  • Finish my synopsis, outline, and write my second project for the YWW Author program.
    • Kind of. I did everything but finish writing it, as I put it on hold to get married.
  • Edit The Duke’s Twin.
    • Check. Not too hard to do!
  • Launch my “pop-up” business for Author and get my first paying customer.
    • Check. Launched – and ended up closing again.
  • Finish At Her Fingertips and Beyond Her Calling.
  • Exercise, exercise, and exercise some more.
    • Kind of. Ehhh … I did part of the year, and not the other part of it. 😛
  • Spend serious time in prayer.
    • Check. I have gotten a lot better about praying one way and another. It was really a hard challenge, but I did it!
  • Keep a careful tab on my spending.
    • Check. In part because of my marriage, this was easier, but I also didn’t save as much as I’d like.

My Year in Writing

  • I started My Fair Marchioness, an Author Conservatory project, earlier in the year with 23,983 words, but I didn’t finish it.
  • I wrote The Duke’s Firstborn (aka The Duchess Imperative) at 25,721 in September.
  • For NaNoWriMo, I wrote After Our Castle and A Prayer Unanswered with 124,450. I finished A Prayer Unanswered with an additional 27,637 words.
  • I edited: At Her Fingertips, Beyond Her Calling, A Prayer Unanswered, The Duke’s Twin, The Duke’s Firstborn (aka The Duchess Imperative), Souls Astray, and The Lady of the Vineyard.
  • I also outlined four projects with the Author Conservatory, which I may share about at a later date! Oh, and I outlined and planned for a lot of personal projects. So yay!
  • Despite the fact that I got married and edited dozens of projects, I still managed to only write 50k or so less than last year. My total word count for 2021 is 201,791. This is not including thousands and thousands of words added to At Her Fingertips, Beyond Her Calling, etc.

My Year in Media

  • I only read about 57 books this year, and I think at least 10 of them were just my own books (which are on Goodreads), which I’ve written, edited, etc.
  • However, I did read some fiction, and some of those weren’t rereads! A few that stood out were The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham (10/10 recommended), Forget Me Not by Sarah M. Eden (more like fluff but still fun), The Heart’s Charge by Karen Witemeyer (excellent story!), Winning the Gentleman by Kristi Ann Hunter, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (which I am ashamed I never read before; it’s glorious). I also enjoyed A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis because apparently I love even the incomprehensible.
  • A few books I was less-than-thrilled with (including linked reviews because I still need to write reviews for most of my positive ones but I spit out bad reviews like a rotten bite of apple): You Who?, Marrying Miss Milton, and To Marry An Earl.
  • I reread quite a bit this year, and like I said, I also added several of my own novels to Goodreads. This year, I was ruthless with the “DNF” (did not finish) button. I just didn’t have time for a book I wasn’t going to enjoy thoroughly.
  • As far as movies go, I saw Black Widow in theaters, Encanto recently (there is no LGBT+ stuff in it so everyone shhh), and then rewatched a lot of TV shows and movies. I also saw The Atonement (not rec’d because of content but my gosh I’m broken) for the first time. I watched the TV show Victoria (still crossing my fingers that they’ll make more!) and learned a lot about Victorian history that I hadn’t known since I never have much paid attention to anything between 1820 and 1855 before this year, at least in England. Oh, and I watched Scrubs (a TV show – still not sure what I think of it but boy, did I ever binge it). So that was interesting.
  • I rewatched Chuck, Community, The Mentalist, parts of Psych, Downton Abbey, The Office, a lot of Parks & Recreation, All Hail King Julien, Gilmore Girls, The Andy Griffith Show, parts of Perry Mason, a lot of The Paradise, and … yeah, basically, I’m alone in the apartment all day, and I NEED some background noise or I’ll go crazy. I also am at least halfway through Poldark with my brother (cannot get into it but we keep trying).
  • For music … I don’t have Spotify, so how would I know? But I did listen to a lot of Taylor Swift (evermore stan), some Sea Shanties (My Son John is a whole vibe – I mean, can you hate the British but quietly?), a lot of nostalgic music, and of course more Hamilton and Six and a lot of country music.

2021 Hopes Wrapup

To quote and respond to last year’s post:

  • That I’ll find a way to move out or at least develop a new trajectory for my life that feels a bit more structured/less self-contained.
    • I mean … yes? I’m 100% on a new trajectory.
  • That I’ll legitimately learn and grow as a person in Christ.
    • I feel like I have. It’s hard for me to be the judge of that, but other than Christ, no one really can be the judge of that.
  • That I’ll be able to spend more time with my friends, particularly Bailey, and that we’ll be encouraging to each other.
    • Ehhhh … in the first three quarters, yes. In the last, no. But I’m working on getting back to seeing friends!
  • That I’ll develop new friendships – or at least stability in the friendships I have.
    • I feel like this has happened more or less. I still want to work on it, though.
  • That Americans will begin to grow a pair and stand up for what is right.
    • I think more people are, but just not enough. 🙁
  • That people all over the world will turn to God in the fray.
    • I’m hoping this is happened. I’ve seen some changes …
  • That God will extend grace to my country, even if we don’t deserve it.
    • We’ll see.
  • That I’ll look back at 2021 and go, “Wow, I really filled that year well!”
    • I think I can!

The Story of 2021

  • 2021 started with me feeling beaten by 2020 in some ways … and in others, just kind of sad.
  • In the first months, my depression came back full force.
  • I determined to be a better friend – but had several big conflicts and several major disappointments. They eventually resolved themselves, but I felt dispirited by them, nonetheless.
  • Late snows, puppies, and adventures with Bailey highlighted my early 2021. I also had some fun times with a couple other friends.
  • But I still remember often feeling hopeless and friendless. I kept a prayer journal through about April where I wrote a total of 104,813 words to God, and there’s a lot of angst there.
  • Of course, in March 2021, I started dating Matthew Langdon. We were engaged at the end of May, and we got married in August. It was nuts, frankly speaking, but so far it’s been fine.
  • One of my goals for 2022 blogging/Instagram posts is actually to talk more about my marriage on here, and elsewhere, because I feel like I’ve figured out enough that self-isolating is no longer necessary. That may seem ridiculous, as it’s only been slightly longer than four months, but you know. I feel settled. I can talk.
  • I definitely had a number of points in 2021 where I felt hopeless and lost. Right now, though I still wish some things had happened that didn’t, I feel like I have a fairly positive trajectory. That may be because I exercised today, though. (Let’s just say that my depression decreases when I take care of my body by about 50%. Who knew?)
  • In October, I ran out of state funding (it’s more complicated than that but …) and am no longer working with Matthias. Which was tough. Tougher than I expected. Especially since I have these lovely spiraling thoughts while I’m alone.
  • However … I also got so much done in November and October of this year. Like, half of my word count from the year was from November and December. That’s insane. I’ve written two novels and edited like four.
  • I’m actually not beating myself up as much as I used to. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe after years of doing so, God finally got through to me on how ridiculous it is to constantly abuse and discredit the human being He created! I mean, I’m not just my sins. Christ redeemed me. There’s more to me now than that, through His grace.

I feel like I have a lot more to say about 2021, but let’s move on to 2022 anyway. Despite my denial, it is here, and I must address it!

2022 Hopes & Expectations

2022 has some awesome things coming down the line! I’m hoping to go to at least one writing retreat – and in addition, if it happens, I’ll go to a writing conference (West Coast Christian Writers). Or I may just attend online.

I’m also excited for Year 2 of the Author Conservatory program! We have a lot of fun critique coming up, and y’all know I love critique. Also, the business side looks super fun this year! Oh, and I want to work on outlining a bunch of fun projects while I have the opportunity.

By the end of 2022, I’ll either be on the way to having a baby or be dealing with doctor appointments. Both of which are big things – one good, one not so good.

We’ll see what happens. We’re also looking for a house to rent. Once we do that, we could potentially have a dog (namely, Bonnie), which I would really appreciate.

I’m hoping to spend more time outside, spend more time with friends and family, and be more helpful to other people. At least, that’s the end goal.

My 2022 Goals

  • Publish Beyond Her Calling (January), A Prayer Unanswered (July), and After Our Castle (October). This will mean my first six novels in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy are launched!
  • Relaunch the Kees & Colliers series with new covers.
  • Attend writing events! I have at least one planned.
  • Wherever possible, prioritize physical health (exercising, eating, etc.), using my bullet journal to keep track.
  • Write the McAllen Brothers series.
  • Get a job! Whether this is pursuing an old job, if the opportunity presents itself, or taking on a new one, I need to earn income in some way.

I’ll probably add more goals later, but for now, those are the main ones! As I mentioned, I was a bit sideswiped by this year, and I’m not prepared.

However, I have time. There’s no need for anything to hurry!

2022 Word of the Year

I don’t usually do a word of the year, but last year, I chose “persevere,” which I really liked, and now I’m going to do it again because, even though I kind of think it’s weird, I want to do it. Besides, I like to link it to a Bible verse (last year was Hebrews 10:35-36) which I think try to work through as the year progresses!

My 2022 word of year is:


(Past tense, because I already am sustained!)

My verse:

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. (Psalm 119:116)

So, we begin the year!




What did you do in 2021? What do you want to do in 2022? SAY SOMETHING TO CONVINCE ME THE TIME HAS ACTUALLY PASSED BECAUSE I CAN’T ACCEPT IT!

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9 Responses

  1. Not even gonna attempt to comment on everything cause this would be a blog post but boy am I glad I read this this morning! I took time to read the reviews and enjoyed it way too much, lol!

    It’s hard for me to see how time has passed so quickly even though I’m currently being kicked in the stomach with proof that it has passed. Quite literally. Baby likes to make her presence known ?

    I look forward to keeping up with more of my subscriptions this year! Can’t wait to see what 2022 has to offer, it’s gonna be a wild ride!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! I was rushing up to the deadline to get it out, so when I published it, I was like, “Whew … not sure if that’s any good.”

      LOL, yeah, I am a it sideswiped by how much time has passed! I just can’t seem to get my head wrapped around it.

      I know! Here’s to wild rides – I can never be happy without them! 😉

  2. Okay, I could totally comment only fifty things right now, but YOU’RE WRITITING ABOUT THE MCALLEN BROTHERS AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME? EEEYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And I am SOOO glad you enjoyed The Mistletoe Countess!!

    And I am so crazy excited for BHC, APU, AOC, and the Kees and Colliers!!! What a busy year 2022 will be!

    1. I AM! I just haven’t actually written it yet, soooo! Not really too much to announce other than the fact that it IS happening!


      I know! It’s gonna be crazy but fun!

      1. YAY! Hey, going to is good enough for me! This is gonna be EPIC!!!
        Indeed!! So excited to be a part of it all! <333

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