Nearly 17 Spectacular and Not-So Spectacular Things about 2017

In case you haven’t noticed, everyone’s feeling nostalgic about 2017. The end of the year is only 12 days away, maybe 8 by the time this is published. Before we can all hype about 2018, it’s pretty much required that you have to mention great and not-so great things about this past year.

I don’t even remember my expectations for 2017. Does anyone? I’ll have to read some of my older blog posts *cringe*

Now that I’ve searched my blog, I’ve discovered some interesting things about myself.

My 2017 goals were non-existent. I had a reading list. That’s it. Wow. That was too easy to do.

Read more books in 2017? Done.

2017 great things

  • Lord of the Rings
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • All the Light We Cannot See

And I finished that list by mid-March! *high-five*

Yeah, ended up adding alot of books. I also discovered Goodreads has reading challenges, but that super short list was the original goal. 


2017 helped me narrow down what I want to blog about. Earlier this year, I kind of blogged randomly.

Trump made me mad? Hammer out a post. <And Trump makes me frustrated ALOT. SO LOTS OF MATERIAL. (But also, lots of headaches) 

Someone start a a twitter war? I might write about that. Learned something cool in a class? Blog about that.

Pretty random.

And the timing was random? No schedule. Just write at least 4 posts a month. Which was great, but not great? Because those 4 posts never went together. Just random thoughts.

After I came back from China <a very exciting part of 2017, btw> Anyway, I came back in the summer. And decided to refocus my blog.

What do I love? Books! Anything else? Writing!

Let’s only talk about that. We’ll post twice a week. And keep those posts focused on books & writing.

Blogging is now 1000x better. 


Basically, the best inspiration ever. And motivation to keep blogging. Because I’ve stumbled across the sweetest people in the blogging community.

May @foreverandeverly inspired me to start book blogging. Cause she had the coolest monthly wrap-ups. And I thought – I wish I could do that. (yes, a monthly wrap up inspired a entire book blog)

Cait @paperfury is basically the Queen of Bookish Life. BUT she’s also super funny & relatable

Hannah @hannahheath keeps me on my toes with her writing posts. I read them every Friday.

Also, Sara Bessey. Her optimism and sharp witted faith are so encouraging.

Right after Christmas last year, I decided to try out bookstagram. In case you’re living without bookstagram, it’s an instagram account solely dedicated to books.

Bookish photography. Very aesthetic & pretty.

I learned some things pretty quick

  • No clue how to do this
  • My photos are really terrible
  • Hashtags are important???

It was rough – but my account has gotten better! Though I still flounder at taking pictures.

My photo sessions go something like this….

Sun, come out! Nope, go behind those clouds. Now I really need more light! 

While I wasn’t sure about keeping my bookstagram for the long run, I’ve discovered I just really love books + insta. The bookstagram community are such fun & committed readers. I’ve made great friends and discovered new authors and books.

2017 has been fantastic year for writing. I started off the year with around 50k on my first draft.
I was determined to finish it before the semester ended. And sacrificed A TON to do that.

No Friday night parties, or Saturdays off campus. Many late nights writing. Every spare moment writing.

During finals, I typed out the last words for the 130k word draft. WOW. It’s done.

^Every writer, ever, after finishing their first draft^

But not really done? Because EDITING.

I waited a bit before I sent the draft to an editor. Allowed myself a small brain break. (& raised some money) We’ve been working through it slowly since then.

BUT I can’t stop writing new stuff. In between edits, I’m typing out a completely different story.

I plotted this story out in December – and hope to finish writing it in early 2018!

Also, be on the lookout, because I’ll be posting an update on this WIP VERY SOON! 

 china trip

This was most definitely the BIGGEST highlight of 2017! I spent a month in China – a week in Beijing and 3 weeks in Shanghai.

China is spectacular. I learned so, so much. Chinese history is intricate and amazing.

I loved visiting the Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven. I kept thinking – I need to write a book.
And I know just what book I’d love to write. The story of Empress Cixi.

If you don’t know anything about her, just glance through her wikipedia page. And someday I might have a book you can read!

^me, sitting in a guard tower on the Great Wall^

Maybe this isn’t a really big deal?* But I learned how to make a very good Iced Chai Latte. It’s really, really good.

And I got a coffee pot for my room. So now I make all sorts of scrumptious coffee drinks. And Chai lattes.

*Of course, this is a big deal. Life runs on caffeine! 

This semester, I took Reporting for Broadcast. Which meant I had to do a ton of video stories! Also, radio stories.

I’ve been studying journalism for 3 years, and it was GREAT to finally be able to do reporting. Even added WBJU Reporter to my twitter bio. <And if it’s in your twitter bio, it’s really official>

Other odds and ends

  • Deleted Snapchat. LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER without it.
  • Visited NYC a second time & worked 6 weeks in Philadelphia.
  • Stopped following a ton of political people on Twitter & FB.
  • Blog + Insta hiatus this fall. That was super helpful.
  • AND now I’m a college senior!

SO much great stuff happened this year, it’s almost easy to ignore the bad. But you really can’t, not when some of it was majorly NOT GREAT.

BIGGEST not great thing. I just want to never, ever hear about politics again.
Especially when people constantly call stuff #fakenews ???!!!!

I have this little rant, because I make my living from news? Well, kind of. I’m in school, studying how to do news. And it’s not FAKE. Grrrh,,,,just stop. STOP.

^Me walking away from politics^

Really, I can’t walk away from politics. Because news is all about politics. But I do want to walk away from useless arguments. And stupid, discriminatory politicians.

But I don’t want to depress anyone, so that’s enough about the mess that is 2017 politics. It’s DONE! We’re almost to 2018 and MIDTERM ELECTIONS. We’ll get a second chance, guys!

Also, sorry to non-American readers. If you’re from Canada, France, Australia, or Austria, you’re doing pretty great. #jealous

Good news! Politics is practically my only ‘not great’ thing from 2017. The year has been fairly fantastic! Could I have saved more money and made better grades? Probably, but I’ve got 2018 to do that. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Also, I didn’t go to a book con this year. I really wanted to go to YALLFest but I just didn’t make it. But NEXT YEAR!

And now you can probably guess at least 3 of my 2018 goals. Which that post is coming next week or in January! Depends on my creativity Christmas week.

Also, if you noticed, I did publish this post early. I’m road tripping to New Mexico tomorrow and can’t blog and drive at the same time. 

lets chat

How was your 2017? Biggest great event?

Are you done with 2017 politics, too? Or are you super lucky and live outside the US? 

Did you go to bookcon in 2017? Anything you plan on doing better in 2018?












  1. Jennifer Garey
    December 22, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments this year! I hope 2018 is just as great for you! 🙂

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      December 24, 2017 / 3:09 pm

      I hope 2018 is fantastic for you, too!

  2. Annie Xia
    December 24, 2017 / 11:52 am

    I never knew China had an empress!! When I asked my dad if he knew her, he said something along the lines of: of course I know her. She’s very famous. 2017 was a good year! Hm, one of the biggest great events is definitely blogging. Also: it is SO COOL that you studying journalism. Are there any posts on your blog you can send me to that talk about what it’s like?

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      December 24, 2017 / 3:06 pm

      Ah, that’s so cool that we both get to learn about the Empress! I loved chatting to some friends in Beijing about her & hear their opinions. When I was 13 or so I read The Imperial Woman by Pearl S Buck. Most of what I know about the Empress comes from that book. But that was a long time ago, and i learned so much from my Chinese hosts.

      I don’t have posts about what it’s specifically like studying Journalism. I did write one post last spring on Fake News & writing opinions vs facts.
      That was an interesting post, because we’d just been learning how important it is not to use adjectives and adverbs in news articles. Nouns and verbs convey facts while adj, & adv. are opinion words.
      I might write something on my major soon, I’ll have to think through questions people have about journalism. I think the news is a really misunderstood good. I kind of get ranty about it, haha!

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Annie Xia
        December 26, 2017 / 12:40 am

        Yes, it is!! Ooh, was The Imperial Woman a good book?
        Okay, I will definitely check that post out. I was wondering because I’m super interested in possibly studying journalism, but I know I wouldn’t want to cover the news.
        I would love to read a post about that! Haha, ranting is very therapeutic.
        Ahh, you’re so welcome!!

        • December 26, 2017 / 1:24 pm

          So, it’s been a very long time since I read imperial woman. Like 10 years? I loved it, but I don’t know if there was anything biased? It was published in the 1940s, so I don’t know how it would be viewed today, you know?

          So, I’m writing a post on how my love for writing and books works out with my journalism major. I’ll publish it sometime in January & I hope it will be helpful!

  3. December 25, 2017 / 4:59 am

    Wow, it seems like you had an eventful year! Congratulations on finishing your draft, that’s such an incredible accomplishment and I can’t wait to hear more about it all 🙂
    And China, wow, that must have been a fantastic and unforgettable trip for sure.
    I hope you will have a great end of the year and great 2018, Elizabeth!! xx

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      December 25, 2017 / 11:56 am

      You too, Marie! Hope your New Year is fantastic!

      And China is pretty amazing, I’m so glad I was able to visit.

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