I’m not going to lie, I feel like kicking the dust from 2023 off my feet.
It’s not that it was a terrible year. More of a stretching, pulling, molding, and loaded with big life changes kind of year. And it’s not that I hated 2023, but I’m ready to settle in and put into action all the life-changing lessons I learned. This is what I plan to share with you today in this blog.
Last year pulled me out of my comfort zone and into a different way of living. Honestly, I’m grateful for that. Because of this past year’s many transitions, I’m ready for a new chance to do things better. Much better.
What I’ve learned
In truth, I can’t and I haven't. Over the past couple of years, I ran out of steam and lost my sense of creativity and joy. This past year, I’ve been able to find my way back. But, the journey has been wrought with many challenges and changes in how I see things.
Change blew in with the fall season
Up until recently, I came to realize how I only nurtured the talents that were sure to earn some kind of living. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I made the decision based on what I felt was safe. As a result, I’ve limited my growth greatly.
Once again, I let the responsibility of earning my way fall on my shoulders. Yes, I have to work. Yes, I have to make wise decisions. And yes, I even have to take risks. However, I do not have to do this alone.
Now, I finally feel like I’m back on the right track. As I dealt with the big life changes that Summer and Autumn brought to our lives, I learned to give up trying to control everything and opened my arms to the possibilities waiting for me.
The Lord does promise to lead us along straight paths if we’ll let Him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6
A Clearer Vision for 2024
Here it is… the point of this first of many posts to come.
What’s ahead for Castle Creations? Will I ever finish the last book of the Phoenix series? Will there be more books after that? Or will this author fade off into the mist and give up completely?
The short answer is YES, YES, and NEVER! I was created to tell stories! Not just with words, but pictures as well.
Right now, I’m revising all three books of the Phoenix series.
Because in my rush, I made some dumb mistakes. So, I’ve pulled all the print books for now. I’m reading the first two books and fixing mistakes. This is a good thing because I’ve found a serious plot problem with book three that will need to be dealt with.
Phoenix is my #1 goal for this first quarter. I will revise, recover, and release them again with a bonus story that I will give away to all of my newsletter subscribers. (hint, hint)
Improving my Art Skills is a second priority.
I’m spending more time getting back into drawing, painting, and making fun things. Art was one of the talents I dropped that the Lord has asked me to pick back up. I want to illustrate children’s stories that are taking up space on my computer. I have several. Along with this goal, I have some more fun plans I’m working on, but I’ll have to share them later.
Lastly, another important goal I have is to improve my engagement with you, dear readers.
Yes, I’ve been quiet on social media and I haven’t kept up with sending out newsletters. I want to blog more and eventually, I’m going to work toward making videos.
Mainly, I want to change how I relate to the people in my life, which includes all of you. I want to be more present, encouraging, and inspiring you to find your path, to live your best life, and to find happiness in this dark world.
I’m not one to make resolutions, but I do like to set a vision for what I want. We need to have a vision of where we hope to go if we want to know how to get there, right?
My 2024 Vision Board
What’s funny is, as I sought for pictures of things I wanted, I picked a lot of what I already had. I just want it better.
Better relationships with my family.
Better care of my home, making it a cozy and comfy place for us and a welcoming place for guests.
Better care of my business and use of my talents.
My words (I had two) for this year are Nurture and Revitalize.
Nurture what gifts I’ve been given.
Revitalize… give things new life. My books. My home. My relationships.
Do you have a vision for this coming year? Or, do you look for a word to help drive you through the coming months? If so, share in the comments below.
And if you haven’t already, sign up for Castle’s Story World Newsletter. I’ll be offering fun stuff each month, along with giving more detailed updates on what’s happening around the Story World. Also, I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook and Instagram for weekly bits of fun and inspiration.
I need your encouragement to help me stay on track and so that I remember that my stories are for you, to bless and inspire you along your own life’s journey. And yes, to just have a fun read. I’m eager to get back to more lighthearted stories in the future.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year and extraordinary 2024!
Author & Artist Jackie Castle