As mentioned (many, many times), 2017 was definitely a rough year for me. From what I’ve seen, the same can be said for most people. Looking back on the year in broad review feels like one long stretch of mediocre to bad to okay in varying levels.
In some ways, saying so (for me in particular) feels kind of disingenuous, because all things considered, I’ve been very lucky. No major health disasters for me and my loved ones, I’m not living anywhere that got hit by natural disasters (beyond the smoke that hit Washington state from the forest fires around us), and even as far as the political climate, I’ve been safe. My parents, living in Texas, are safe. Other than some anxiety — which honestly is just always a mild thing — I haven’t encountered anything awful or weird.
But I don’t live in a vacuum, either. None of us do. And it’s been scary and unsettling to try and keep up with the news. Even when things are fine for me at my personal level, there’s a definite sense of oh boy, what’s been screwed over today on the national level?
To be honest, that’s a big part of why I’ve had trouble getting myself back onto twitter. A lot of my unfiltered news comes filtered from there, so while I’ve been reading when I can, participating feels incredibly daunting. That in turn feels pretty discouraging for my personal goals. You can’t throw a metaphorical rock on the internet without finding advice columns talking about how useful twitter is for authors and how it is THE platform for those who want to be in the writing community. Which obviously I do, but even after two years, I’m still trying to figure out how to properly participate. I’m genuinely envious and admiring both of the people who can do this regularly. I hope I can get myself to eventually emulate them.
On the plus side, I think I’ve managed to start pulling myself out of the hole I was in when the November 2016 election happened. I’m nowhere near the same levels I was before then — see above for political climate fears — but I’m no longer quite at my lowest point anymore. There are still nights where writing is the most difficult thing in the world, but I’ve managed to find a way to muddle through, even if it’s only in putting down a lot of directionless yelling about the world.
But there were some other highlights!
In November I had a short story released, about a man who wants to be a knight and finds a rather roundabout way of accomplishing his goal.
I also have a new novel that is now out for preorder! This is the story I submitted shortly after the 2016 election, but I still feel quite good about it. My editor has been nothing but kind and encouraging, my betas have given positive feedback, and my girlfriend has told me she thinks it’s one of my best. I’m excited for that! (I guess technically this is 2018 stuff, but as far as a 2017 review goes, the preorder still counts. The edits are happening in 2017!)
In October I also started writing a short 1000-word story a week, posted in 200-word chunks a day on my tumblr. Some of these are obviously better than others, but I’ve been enjoying the challenge. There’s been one a week since the first week of October, which means I’ve done twelve of them so far. I’m taking this next week off, but when the new year starts, I’ll be rolling in on that again.
And honestly, working on those short stories has given me a little more confidence and desire to try doing some other more serial type work. I don’t think it would be daily, not like I’m doing them now, but perhaps weekly. Perhaps monthly? I’d really like to try doing a serial story for 2018 in some capacity, so I’ve been idly brainstorming ideas for that.
My loved ones are doing relatively well, too; there are some minor hiccups and health problems as happens, but my parents, my girlfriend, my other best friend, and my cat are all healthy. We’re all muddling through together, which is far more preferable than going alone.
Tomorrow I’m gonna take some time to relax and be glad for my loved ones, and the day after that (thank you, four-day weekend!) I’ll review this review, and I’ll start making my plans for the next year.
I hope that whatever beliefs you might have, if you’re reading this, you have a good and happy and safe 2018.