Once upon a time, when I was in university, 2012 was going to be the year. It was going to be my year and start living my dream, somehow, despite anxiety issues and a history with culture shock. I visited my best friend for the first time and got to see Amy again and, oh yeah, my dentist ruined my plans and I put everything I’d been working on and dreaming of on hold because I cannot adult and deal with dental issues at the same time.
As my friends know: dental things upset me at best. Please do not offer advice or share stories or aught unless I’ve specifically asked you to do so. Also, if discussion of dental things upset or trigger you, be warned that the first paragraph below the cut discusses it in some detail. If you want to avoid it altogether, SKIP TO THE NEXT BIT IN ALL CAPS.
When I was younger, I had braces. Stuff went horribly wrong. My orthodontist’s response to learning who my dentist was when I was growing was this knowing “Aaaaah”, I think, which was quickly followed by (emphasis mine) “If he’d sent you to a dentist like he was supposed to do with teeth positioned like yours, there’s a decent chance you wouldn’t need jaw surgery to fix your teeth today”. So. 2012 and 2013 have been the years of dealing with the braces and fixing the teeth and preparing for 2014 where there shall be jaw surgery of doom. I still don’t want it. At all. But my options were kind of limited to “Jaw surgery that lets me keep my teeth” and “lose all my teeth before I’m 30”. So. Y’know. I am a mite miffed at my old dentist. (Even if he’s dead.)
IF DENTAL THINGS UPSET YOU, IT IS SAFE TO READ FROM THE PARAGRAPH BELOW ONWARDS.
So my grand plans to kick off the post-university life I wanted have failed to materialise. But, as a bonus, I get to spend more time doing prep work and figuring out what I want and working on my anxiety during job interviews and such. It also means I can add another year to my current job tally on my CV. (This would be more awesome if I actually wanted to be a teacher.) It also means I get to continue working on decluttering what I own and want to take with me when I do get to move on with my life. 2013 saw me have loads of fun decluttering. It feels wonderful and my only regret is that I live in a tiny nowhere place that doesn’t have a lot of options for recycling old things. I would’ve preferred to sell most of my books, to be honest, but I’d have to travel to a bigger town and it’d cost me far, far more than the books’d be worth and internet selling isn’t a road I want to go down.
Writing-wise, 2013 also saw me venture into publishing my works. I spent most of the year working on Feather by Feather and Other Stories and getting that ready for publication. It took, I admit, a lot longer than I’d like to get it out, but I’m really proud of the result and I hope everyone who reads it will enjoy it and that the people I worked with to produce it — all of them good friends — look back on the project with a smile. I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked and had been aiming for, but the year was incredibly valuable as a stepping stone and a learning tool. Losing touch with my nearest and dearest writing circle took a big toll on my abilities and my life shifting focus from getting my adult, working life going to sorting my health issues and the related worries over being a fraud/big baby because I know how much worse my issues could be. (Stupid jaw surgery.) So 2013 was as much about putting out my debut collection the way I’d wanted to as it was about relearning everything I thought I knew about how I work and what I’m capable of as a writer.
I am nowhere near done learning, but I’m hoping I can use what I’ve learned already to good use and improve on it in 2014, even with the surgery thing and the fear of that finally starting to hit and potentially taking out more chunks of what I’m capable of doing. December has, so far, also seen me trying to plan my 2014 year in terms of writing, which requires knowing what I can and cannot do within a given time period. I’m aiming for another release in late autumn/early winter, but I have no idea what the surgery will do to my schedule. I may go into frantic “Work on all the things” mode or I may be out of commission for a few months. I have no idea.
What I do know is that 2014 will continue the trend of learning about myself and my new writing processes and needs. I do know that I aim to have at least one more publication ready and I do know that print book editions will still have to wait, probably at least until mid-2015. I do know that 2014 is going to have some very rough patches in it and I have no ability to predict what they’ll do. I am deeply grateful to my parents for being awesomely supportive the past few years.
And… that was most of my 2013 and some of what I’m looking at going into 2014. 2013 saw me finish up one project and start a fair amount of new ones. 2014 will aim at finishing one of the new projects, editing up one of the larger items on that backlist, and working out how to prioritise the rest of the backlist. It feels ambitious, but then I also feel frazzled and overwhelmed by life in general, so that’s no surprise. My goal for 2014 is to finish and publish the entirely new novel(la). The editing project… will depend on how it goes, I’m afraid. It’ll be either late 2014 or 2015, but that’s as much of an estimate as I’m willing to give.
In 2014 I also want to try and work on my blogging a bit. This year I’ve been swinging back and forth a little between periods where I post a fair amount (such as this month) and periods where I haven’t really been posting at all. I’d like to try and balance it out better and just blog more in general. I’d like to work up to actually discussing some of my projects in some detail again. What I’ll be editing should be good for that once I’ve got it underway somewhat, but the new project I’ll be staying quiet about still. The friend I’m writing it for will have first dibs on it and I hope to make it a pleasant surprise. ^-^ I also want to keep up talking about my interests in a little more detail like I have been this month and stop worrying about length so much.
2014 will also see several games and books that I’ve been looking forward to getting released, so I’ll be looking forward to exploring those as well. It’ll be a year of equal parts excitement, fear, and sheer determination. And 2015 will be mine. It will be my year at last. (Right?) But 2014 first. New projects! New year! New opportunities! And so I slowly embark upon the road to getting my life in order and where I want it. Step the first: finish that novel(la) and get it published. Step the second: deal with massive big scary thing of doom that looms roughly in the latter half of the year. That about sums it up.
Who wants to throw questions and blog topics for 2014 my way, so I can work on and schedule a few more posts a couple of months in advance?