2020, The Year of Anime, Adaptation, and Angst // wrap-up + reflections

December 27, 2020

Happy Sunday!

Finally, finally, we've reached the end of this crazy year. It feels like it passed in a snap, but also January was approximately six million years ago. XD

This might sound weird, but I've actually been really excited to write this wrap-up. 2020's been such a strange and hard year, but to me that's all the more reason to document it. And at the end of this decade, I want to look back and remember 2020 and everything I learned.

why am I planning a decade reflection blog post already. help.

Anyways, this is going to get long - as they always do. It'll be a lot more reflective since I want to get my honest thoughts down. So feel free to skim. This post could get interesting. XD

When I thought back on my favorite stories of 2020, a lot of things came to mind. Surprisingly, though, I had a hard time thinking of books. It's strange, because I know I read a lot of amazing books this year. 100 Days of Sunlight was definitely my favorite read. I also really loved the Lockwood and Co. series and Blank Mastermind, both of which I'm planning to reread in 2021.

But my favorite stories of 2020 weren't books. They were anime.

Wow, that feels odd to type. Last year, I had barely watched any anime. I thought it was weird and not my type of content, and the few episodes of My Hero Academia I'd watched hadn't overly impressed me.

And . . . yeah, I still think anime's weird. XD But I was SO wrong in thinking that anime wasn't up my alley. I loved nearly every single show I watched this year.

My Hero Academia gave me the motivation to get through my spring semester and even do a little exercise sometimes. ;) Your Lie in April made me laugh and cry and realize just how much I value music and my friendships. Fullmetal Alchemist quickly became my second-favorite TV show of all time, and I'm not kidding when I say the ending was unlike anything I've ever seen before.

There are so many other examples: A Silent Voice, Attack on Titan, even Death Note . . . all of them, in some way, literally changed my life.

Even the fandoms of some of these shows were so mind-blowing. I got into the Villain Deku side of the My Hero Academia fandom, and while I only regret watching some of the animatics, it gave me inspiration to write a villain origin story and introduced me to some of my favorite songs ever.

Speaking of songs, I also found my favorite genre of music through anime: J-pop. I listened to a LOT of music this year, and 92% of it was j-pop.

In short: Anime introduced me to amazing characters and songs, blew my mind with every show, and gave me some of the best memories of 2020. <3

And if it's all right with you guys, I'd like to talk more about anime and fandoms next year. Let me know in the comments if that's something you want to see. :D

In terms of writing this year . . . man, I don't know. It's been a weird writing year, to be sure. I entered into a love-hate relationship with the Inhumans, which I'm now back to writing again, this time with substantial edits set in place. XD It's been . . . an interesting time. But I think I'm finally on a better path with this story, and I'm so, so glad for it.

Other writing feats of 2020:

- finishing the first draft of Project Chaos, which made me cry XD

- writing down six thousand story ideas and never acting on any of them

- forgetting to write down another six thousand story ideas (specifically on Christmas) and dying inside

- getting published on Havok again! :D

- getting published in a Havok anthology!! *still mind-blown*

- procrastinating

- more procrastinating

- yeah. it's very sad. BUT my goal for 2021 is to take my writing way more seriously and make a conscious effort to do it every day. We'll see how it goes.

Honestly, you all made 2020 amazing. I met so many of you this year and got to know a lot more of you better. <3 <3 You all are the best community of writers and readers I could ask for. :D

And you really liked some of my posts. As of the end of this year, the Get To Know Me Tag - Writer's Edition was my top post, which is kind of strange, seeing as that was one of my very first posts. *shrugs* Another really old post you liked was my Seven Characters with Great Redemption Arcs post. 

how are all these old posts getting so much traffic??? can someone explain please??

This year, 79 of you followed me, and you viewed my blog almost 50,000 times. 


Seriously, thank you so much. You are all amazing, kind, beautiful people. <3 <3

*cue the rambles*

I was going to wrap up everything that happened this year, but we all know 2020 has been a TRIP, and that task just felt so overwhelming. 

I was reading through my 2020 journal entries to try and gather my thoughts, and to my surprise, recurring themes kept popping up. I was astounded at how I saw God work in my life this year. He answered my prayers in ways I didn't even think possible. 

I also saw a huge theme of self-reflecting. I started journaling a lot more frequently, and I documented the different lifestyle experiments I tried and the things I tried to make me more productive. While most of these backfired in embarrassing ways, it really helped me figure out how I tick.

And I tick in very time-wasting ways.

So that's why my phrase for 2021 is to live intentionally

I have to start taking opportunities when they come, listen to my gut, and stop wasting my time. Because if 2020's taught me anything, we only have a limited time to enjoy what we have and make an impact.

Well, in a few days, 2020'll be over. I can't even begin to imagine what will happen next year. I know that things won't automatically get better once the New Year arrives. 

But I can't wait. 

And at the risk of jinxing it all . . . bring it on, 2021.

just kidding, please come in quietly and don't make a fuss

-Nicole <3

How was your year? Do you have any goals for 2021? How are you spending your last days of 2020? Let's talk before the year ends!

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  1. YOU PUT IT PERFECTLY. January DOES feel like forever ago, yet somehow this year has flown by?? It really makes no sense. xD I still say we're all caught up in some kind of time warp.


    "And I tick in very time-wasting ways." Very relatable. xDD "Live intentionally" is a great word for the new year, and though I've never really "chosen" a word or phrase for a year, that one is always in the back of my mind. It's so important to me to spend my time intentionally and make it count... yet I don't do it nearly enough. Let's make 2021 our year! *confetti*


    1. At this point, time is just confusing me. And I support your time warp theory 100% - it's the only way any of this makes sense. XD

      THANK YOUUUUU, AND THE SAME TO YOU - I'M SO PROUD OF ALL YOUR PUBLICATIONS!!! Getting published with you was honestly one of the best parts of this year!!! <3 <3

      XD XD Amen to that! I've been thinking about making my time count a LOT the past year or two, so I really need to focus on it. We can do it this year!! *confetti* I hope you have an amazing New Year, Emily! <3

  2. It's cool that your favorite stories this year were anime! I haven't explored that genre at all, really, but after hearing how much you love it, I intend to do so at some point. :)

    Congrats on getting published in a Havok anthology!

    I can't help you on why your old posts get so many views...that happens to me, too, and it's kind of weird. XD

    I hope 2021 is even better for you than 2020 was!

    1. It's not for everyone, definitely, but I hope you at least give it a shot! (I've actually been considering writing a post of anime recs, because anime can get #weird at times XD so if you want to see that I'd be down :D)

      Aw, thank you!!! <3

      *shrugs* Who knows, honestly XD

      Thank you, and same to you! I hope you have a great 2021! :)

  3. AND that's what 2020 feels like :P

    It's so awesome that you read Blank Mastermind (*walks around feeling proud of myself for no reason whatsoever*) and that you got to enjoy anime--*not so subtly makes references to Haikyuu!! which will definitely change your life if you watch it* and that you got PUBLISHED *mindblown*

    I feel like a lot of us don't give ourselves enough credit for what we got accomplished this year because of how much time we all wasted (because we are ALL guilty of that, no doubt!), but you did pretty darn amazing, Nicole <3 Here's to another blessed year!

    1. AMEN to that ;)

      You should be proud of yourself, your campaigning convinced me, in part, to read it :D (and OKAY I AM GOING TO TRY IT THIS YEAR, I PROMISE, OKAY). Honestly, I'm still mindblower about it. It doesn't seem real XD

      You've got a fair point there - we should definitely start looking at what we DID do, rather than what we didn't do! And aw, thank you - I hope you have a blessed year as well! <3

  4. aw love this post! i can't believe it's almost 2021....it's been such a crazy long year, but it also feels like the year has flown by. ♥️

    aw congrats on getting published!! ♥️

    1. Thank you, Allison! I can't believe it either - I thought it was still March XD

      And aw, thank you so much!!! <3 <3

  5. Okay, first of all, I love this post title. That just needed to be said.
    Second of all, YOU GOT PUBLISHED IN A HAVOK ANTHOLOGY AND FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF PROJECT CHAOS, YAYYYY! I procrastinated a lot this year, too. I try not to, but it's hard.
    LOCKWOOD AND CO., yayyyy! *squeals* I LOVE THOSE BOOKS.
    And, yay, anime! I've seen a few Studio Ghibli movies, but I haven't watched much anime aside from that. I want to, though!
    You got a lot accomplished this year! Good job. Let's hope 2021 is better than 2020.

    1. Haha, thank you - it was the post title 2020 deserved XD
      YES I DIDDDD!!!! I feel you on that procrastination. It's so easy to fall into . . . hopefully next year we'll both get better!
      Ooo, what Studio Ghibli movies have you seen? I've only seen two, but I've heard amazing things about them!
      Aw, thank you, and I hope your 2021 is amazing! <3

  6. I'm so happy you found some fandoms that helped you through the year! Stories really are just so important and powerful. <3 And now you're making me want to try more anime! I've been meaning for YEARS to give some a try but somehow I never get around to it... Maybe 2021 will be the year. ;D

    And SO SO many congrats on getting published with Havok! EEP. I'm just so thrilled and proud of you!

    Live intentionally--that is an absolutely beautiful phrase to live by for the next year. I love it! I, too, have done a LOT of self-reflecting this year. It's been a hard year, but a year of growth too, and for that I am thankful. We have such a good God and He has shown His faithfulness time and time again this year through it all!

    Thank you so much for sharing your year with us and all your thoughts. I do so pray you have a beautiful 2021, dear Nicole! *hugs*

    1. Stories are SO powerful, I completely agree! And YES, you should totally try it this year! I'm so interested to see what you think of it. ;D

      THANK YOU!!! And a big congratulations to you, too - your Havok story this year was fantastic!

      Amen to all of that! While this year was hard, it also allowed us to grow and adapt in beautiful ways. And God has definitely helped us a lot this year!

      Aw, thank YOU for all your encouragement and kind words this year. I hope you have an amazing 2021 as well! <3 *hugs back*

  7. Live intentionally, I love that! Anime can get you through a lot.
    Congrats on Havok!!

    1. Yay, I'm glad! And I completely agree, it can be such a helper in tough times.
      Aw, thank you!!! <3

  8. The title of this post? #accurate

    You got a story published!!! That is so amazing, WAY TO GO!!!

    Dude, I feel that we are so alike and I really relate to your struggles with wasting time and procrastinating (INFP problems XD). You're not alone, but you're shall inspiring me to be better. Thank you. <3

    Here's to a great 2021!!!!

    1. Haha, thank you, although I kind of wish it wasn't accurate XD

      Aw, THANK YOU!!! <3 <3

      Oof, yes, INFP problems are all too real. XD And aw, I'm glad I could help along that journey. We can do this!!! <3

      Amen to that - I hope you have a very happy New Year!!!

  9. That's awesome that anime changed your life. They definitely can be so powerful and thought-provoking. Haha, yes, they are so weird but cool. The only animes I have watched on this list are A Silent Voice and Your Lie in April.
    Also you read 100 days of Sunlight. *cries* I really need to read that book. Everything I heard about it sounds amazing.
    Wow. You got published! In what anthology? Also you finished the draft of Project Chaos, which is honestly incredible. I think you did a very good job with writing this year. *checks date* Yes, I can still say that. XD I really hope that you will get to achieve even more in 2021!
    Wow, that's so cool that people love your old posts! Also, I don't think I have read those posts yet, but they sound really awesome and I should.
    I love your reflections. Live intentionally is an awesome goal!

    1. I definitely agree - they can be so weird, but so powerful. Ooo, what did you think of A Silent Voice? :D
      YOU SHOULD - it's one of my all-time favorite books. It's very inspiring and happy.
      Yes, I did!! I'm in the Havok: Stories that Sing anthology (though under a different name XD) Aw, thank you! Sadly, I can't say "this year" in regard to 2020 anymore, but I hope you achieve a lot in 2021 too!
      Haha, I'm so conflicted about that . . . I had no idea what I was doing in any of them. XD XD
      <3 <3 I hope you have an amazing 2021!

    2. To be honest, I didn't know what to make of A Silent Voice. I enjoyed it. but it was kinda of weird sometimes? It also dealt with heavy topics and the way it did it was really interesting. So overall I quite liked it. I guess I just didn't really expect anything that happened in it, which is always a good thing with me, but anime has this way of making you unsure of whether you like it or hate it.
      I think I would have included it in my list on my yearly wrap-up but I watched it in 2019 so I couldn't.

    3. Ahhhh *nods* that makes sense! Anime can be weird in that "do I like this or hate this?" way. But I'm glad that you liked it! (I honestly didn't expect anything in the movie either XD)

  10. Your wrapup was beautiful! <3 I so need to start watching Anime... ;p

    Congrats on your writing accomplishments!!! ^_^ That's awesome you were published!!!

    Here's to a blessed and brighter 2021! <3

    1. Aw, thank you!! <3 and yessss, if you get the chance, you should give it a try!

      THANK YOU!!!! I still can't believe it, honestly!

      I hope you have an amazing and blessed 2021 too, Jen! <3 <3


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