Dear 2020 Self,

a necessary, post-2020 reflection & celebration of self

Let's get this out of the way.


2020 was hard. You set a whole lotta goals. Some of them you reached. Others - not so much. But, guess what? You still DID that.


In January 2020, you made writing a priority and decided to take your future as a storyteller more seriously. You built your website/blog and crafted an intentional plan to grow your gift and your audience (see 2020 goals below).



You set five bold (and kinda aggressive, if we’re being honest) goals for everything you wanted to accomplish in 2020. And, in full transparency, you pretty much missed the mark on almost all of them.


To date, 587 people have either liked or followed your public writer’s page on Facebook. Not quite the 1K+ followers you projected. Additionally, you anticipated gaining 350 subscribers to your blog. Well, you ended the year with a staggering 67 subscribers. And, funnily enough - you know that 3 to 6 month time limit you gave yourself? Yeah, it took you 12 months to do all of that.


But the victory wasn’t in meeting your goals. The victory was going after them.

You see, because you decided to bet on yourself and believe in the gift God poured into you from the time you were in your mother’s womb, you not only landed a publisher but you also signed a book deal for an adult speculative fiction/fantasy trilogy series a mere 6 months into your journey!


Sit with that for a moment. On July 4th, 2020, you signed your first book deal (for 3 books, at that) after more than 11 rejections in 2020 alone. Not to mention the countless rejections you accumulated in 2018 and 2019 combined.


After that, your productivity on your blog seriously waned. As a matter of fact, you didn’t write another piece for the last 5 months of 2020. But you know what you focused on instead? Writing the 2nd book of your series - which you finished (the first draft of) before your target deadline.


And, even though your content production slowed dramatically, your voice, point of view, and work grew and traveled immensely. One of your original think pieces was viewed over 460 times. You were invited to do a live conversation with a beloved creative colleague to talk about your writing. And you even wrote an op-Ed featured in the local paper this year.


Not to mention, you’ve gotten much clearer on what you want to share with the world. Because of your willingness to put yourself out there, though you’ve failed and flopped repeatedly, you’ve found a sweet spot in your storytelling at the intersection of personal narrative, public theology, and wholistic justice.


Sis, I’m deeply proud of you.


Not because of what you accomplished (though all of it is pretty amazing). But because of what you uncovered. About yourself. About life. About God. About love and relationships. About white supremacy and misogyny. About all the vulnerable things you had the courage enough to write out loud.

Heck, I didn’t even discuss your day job and all the other gigs you had this year (during an entire pandemic going on outside). In the middle of navigating a full time career in philanthropy, launching a coffee startup with your husband, and doing ministry, you’ve managed to go to therapy and put your wholeness first, consistently, too. Take a bow for that!


And. I have to mention that just before 2020 closed, you figured out the next storytelling project you will undertake in 2021 (many prayers as you try your hand at non-fiction/memoir based writing). That’s exciting!


So. Regardless of what did or did not happen for you this year, more than enough happened in you. And that’s all I’ve ever hoped for you.


My charge to you is this: keep writing the work your soul must have. It will be the saving grace for you and countless others if you abide in that purpose.


Thank you for being everything you are. Thank you for pursuing the parts of yourself you abandoned when you didn’t yet know yourself the way you do now. Thank you for finding God in yourself and loving her fiercely (nod to Ntozake Shange).


Signed,

An Assured, Black woman


P.S. to learn more about my forthcoming trilogy, Dreamkeepers, click on the banner below.





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email me: hello[at]shantellhhill.com | © 2020 by SHHill.