Friday, December 30, 2016

Year in Review: 2016

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas break, spending time with family and friends, eating, drinking, celebrating! Did you get a visit from Santa?

As the year 2016 draws to a close, it's normal for us to look back and reflect on how the past 12 months have been. Did we make progress with our goals? Did we achieve anything significant? Did we grow in our personal lives? Did we learn some important lessons? And are we grateful for everything we received, and hopeful for the coming year? I hope you can draw up a list of things that you are grateful for, and things that you're definitely looking forward to in the new year.

My 2016 has definitely been eventful. Apart from world events (Brexit, US Elections, high profile celebrity deaths, economic uncertainties, etc), there has been a lot going on in my personal life and in my work. I have grown and evolved, and so has my business. My family and I took the risk of relocating to Lagos, and that meant I had to embrace some changes, and I'm glad I did. It meant that I had to be flexible, I had to be adaptable, and I had to be open to new opportunities that I couldn't have expected before. But that's a good thing. Like my mentors say, nothing good happens by staying in your comfort zone. You have to jump!

So, here's a quick summary of what I've been up to this year:

1) At the beginning of 2016, I wanted to write and publish a new collection of Flash Fiction. I have actually been working on that, but it's taken a slightly different turn. I submitted some of the stories to Brittle Paper, and we have decided to wait until January to release them.

It's going to be an eight-week flash fiction series, titled 
"Memoirs of a Lagos Wedding Planner" and it's going to be awesome! So stay tuned for that - the posts will be published on every Friday, and then when the series is finished, there'll be an ebook with more of the stories. I'll definitely keep you posted.

2) I launched a set of Creative Writing Courses in 2016, targeted at different groups. There's my 6-Week Creative Writing Course for beginners (both classroom based and self-study) with a new session starting in February 2017, there's a Creative Writing Course for Teenagers which I will be taking to secondary schools as an After-School Club activity, and there's a Creative Writing Club for Kids that I started running on Saturdays, the sessions will resume on the 14th of January. There are plans for a virtual club as well, for kids who are outside Lagos. 

Here's a testimonial that I received from one of the attendees of my Creative Writing Course: "Tolu is very knowledgeable about the creative writing process. If you do not know where and how to start your writing. I recommend you pass to through her program."


3) In March, I set up the free 100-Day Novel Writing Challenge which was great fun, and it helped many of the participants to get into the habit of committed writing for 100 days! Many people were able to make progress with their works-in-progress, and one author has even published the book she wrote during the challenge! I'm going to run the challenge again in March 2017, so if you're interested, sign up and get ready!

4) I have tweaked all my Coaching Programmes for Aspiring Authors based on the feedback I've received, and made them more impactful. Check out 12 Weeks to Your First Draft if you want to write a novel, Aspiring to Actual Author if you want to write non-fiction, and Idea to Published Book if you want to get your book written and published within six months.

5) I made some changes to my Publishing Services too. This year, I created and launched The Self-Publishing Course, and I've streamlined the Accomplish Press Self-Publishing Packages, I removed some of the services that were expensive and unnecessary, so that I could focus on the things that actually help and bring value to my clients during the publishing process.

6) I've put my Self-Study courses on Teachable. You can access the Creative Writing Course and Self-Publishing Course on my Teachable site here.

7) I created my Facebook writing community and we now have over 500 members! You're of course welcome to join us, if you haven't already.
8) I was recently notified that I have been named as one of 100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers under 40 by the Nigerian Writers Awards for the year 2016.  I'm so humbled and excited! You can read about the award here, as well as discover who the other writers are.

That's a wrap! Now, looking forward to 2017, no New Year Resolutions here, but I have lots of goals and things lined up to achieve.

I know it may sound like a cliche, but I'm grateful for all of you in my community. I'm grateful that you found me, and you've stuck with me for this long. I'm thankful for you allowing me to write to you, and communicate with you. I'm glad to be of service to you, helping you to accomplish your writing and publishing dreams. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to make an impact in your lives, no matter how little. And I'm looking forward to celebrating more of your successes in 2017!

Thank you and Happy New Year in advance!

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