2020's Top Nine (According to Me)
It's that time of year again! We're all seeing three by three grids pop up in our Instagram feeds as people share their 'Best Nine' or 'Top Nine' from the past three hundred and sixty-five days. It's also the time of year when I question which one is the official term. If you've yet to experience this, let me elucidate: your best/top nine (seriously, can someone please confirm which one it is? I always see both) are typically the nine Instagram posts from your account that have been liked the most times this year.
I like to do things a little differently. As a business owner, analyzing which of my posts performed best from a metrics standpoint can be a great tool for improving the way I use social media, but when it comes to looking back on my year from a personal and celebratory standpoint, I much prefer to choose the photos that mean the most to me. That's the Top Nine I share with everyone: the one made of moments that stand out most to me and give me the greatest sense of accomplishment and joy when I look at them, whether or not I posted them at the right time or with the right hashtags to beat the algorithm.
Even if you love sharing your most-liked posts (it can be a great way to celebrate business insights you've gained or the support your followers have shown you!), I always also recommend people try out selecting their own personal Top Nine too. It's a really refreshing experience to scroll your social media and forget about likes or comments to simply focus on moments that make you feel good. That's one of the reasons I love using Instagram so much; to me, it's more than a business tool. It's a record of who I am and where I've been, and I love taking a few moments to really appreciate it as such.
So without further ado, here's my self-selected Top Nine of 2020:
And here's a little explanation for why I picked each photo (left to right, top row to bottom row):
I released my eighth novel, Glass Half Full. Both the hero and heroine perform slam poetry, and it was my first time including original poetry in a book!
My girlfriend and I went from being in an international long-distance relationship to being in an international long-distance relationship during a global pandemic. We struggled, we adjusted as best we could, and we struggled some more, but in the end, our relationship is stronger than ever, and I couldn't be more grateful to have such an amazing partner in my life.
I made lots of pole dance progress and achieved some ~sick~ new moves! I also got some ~sick~ new boots. I probably also overused the word ~sick~.
Another girlfriend post! Back in June, we celebrated one year together! For a relationship that wasn't ever supposed to be more than a vacation fling, we sure surprised ourselves by ending up where we are now. To be honest, though, I knew insanely quickly that we were the real deal.
I released my ninth novel, One for the Road! This was such a fun friends to lovers story to write, and it features characters who are very dear to my heart (and to the hearts of Barflies fans!)
I overcame a lot of mental and self-esteem blocks about where I am in my author career and where I want to be. 2020 was also the year I started therapy, and it's been a big part of my progress. I'm still struggling with a lot of the unhealthy/unhelpful ways I think about myself and my work, but when I look at photos like this one, I remember how much I have to be proud of.
I completed a pole dance teacher training program and started a teaching internship at my studio! This has been an absolute dream come true, and I can't wait to start leading classes of my own in 2021.
I completed my F/F reading challenge for 2020, where I pledged to read and post about one F/F romance a month all year. The F/F genre is so important to me, and I would love to see it become a bigger and more included part of the romance community overall. This was my way of contributing to that cause, and I'm looking forward to doing more to normalize F/F in the romance world in 2021.
I wrote my TENTH (!!!) novel, When the Lights Come On, which is due for publication on January 7th. This book was the hardest to write of any yet. Harnessing all the creativity needed to write a novel during the pandemic was a struggle of the realest variety. There were many times when I felt like I was broken and honestly wondered if I had it in me to complete a book again, but after months of starting and restarting and restarting again, I gave Youssef and Paige the story they deserve. I can't think of a better way to start 2021 than by sharing this book with my readers.
If you try making your own self-selected Top Nine, I would absolutely love to hear about it! Feel free to reach out or shoutout @katiaroseauthor on the 'Gram. Here's to a year of many more amazing moments for all of us!