I know I’ve been a bit reticent in posting recently, but I’m sure I had some legitimate excuse at the time.
But there is no excuse for not taking to time to wish everyone a fantastic end of year break – so Merry Christmas for those who celebrate it, Happy Holidays for those who don’t, and for those who celebrate something else entirely, I hope it’s a pleasant celebration.
I’ve actually been holding off on posting because there is a little bit of news. I’m having (or have possibly had) my first ever short story published (by someone other than me on my website, that is)!
It isn’t anything major from an industry perspective – its my University’s literary journal Idiom 23, Issue 28 – but it feels pretty massive to me. It’s the first time that I’ve had a story accepted, and that kind of feels like validation. Its a bit of a weird one, as being a distance student, I actually don’t know if it’s been published yet or not (its hardcopy, regional only). Still, if you had asked me in mid-November how my writing had gone this year, I probably would have winced, mumbled something that sounded amazingly similar to an excuse of some kind, and found something very interesting to look at on the other side of the room.
In truth, my novel manuscripts have gone nowhere, NaNoWriMo was a great stinking mess for me this year, and even my last two Furious Fiction stories have not been up to the standard I expect of myself. Which is why sitting down and taking stock is important – instead of focussing on what I haven’t done, it allows for a focus on what has been done, and that is something that can be built on.
So, the ‘things’.
- Got to read a bunch of new authors as an Aurealis Horror judge
- Moved back to Canberra and reconnected with my old writing group
- Made it to the So You Want To Be A Writer live event
- FINALLY got back to Conflux – and dragged a mate along too, who went 3 for 3 with pitching!
- Completed 12 Furious Fiction short stories
- I got straight HDs for my Master of Letters subjects
- Got The Safe Place accepted by Idiom 23
- Wrote my first Novella draft, thanks to a Camp NaNoWriMo led by Sandy Barker
- Oh, back to Conflux, ran my first ever panel!
- Edited a bunch of novels and landed my first freelance editing gig
- Got invited to join a research group on Space Ethics, specifically looking through the lens of science fiction
- And probably the most important thing. . . . . started submitting again. Its been a while.
There are a few other things I’m excited about as well – I’m on a couple of committees, I spoke to a potential advisor for a potential 2021 PhD enrolment, and I’ve had some really good indications about another story being accepted (nothing concrete, but enough to get a little excited). Considering 2019 felt like a pretty trash year for the most part, that gives a little perspective.
So while this is a short one, I guess the main take away is that I know I’m not the only one who always feels like they haven’t done enough, or because goals haven’t been met, personal worth is somehow less. Spoiler: it’s not.
Its one of the reasons I always do these ‘taking stock’ exercises after what I consider to be a ‘bad’ year. By looking at things to build on rather than playing catch up with unachieved goals, the path is always looking forward and is based on what you’ve already achieved. It was something taught to me before I ever started writing, but with the weird anxieties that writing seems to bring with it, its been a huge help.
The other huge help has been looking forward. Regardless of how 2020 turns out, I’m pretty excited to be going to WorldCon/CoNZealand next year, and even more excited to be heading to Wellington with my partner, Roz. She won’t be attending the CoNZealand events, but we have a few other things planned, like a banquet at Hobbiton.
So I don’t have much else to add to this. It’s probably not short by most standards, but for me its not too bad. As I said though, the big take away is that if 2019 feels like its been a rubbish year, and for some people it might have been for reasons completely outside of their control, remember that we aren’t defined by random goals made almost a year ago. . . .and I can’t wait to get to Hobbiton!