2021 Year Review
Read this on galpod.com.
We’ve been fortunate to be able to visit our family this year. I know many people weren’t so lucky. It’s been chaotic. My mum now has seven grandchildren, and we all gathered to celebrate her birthday. It was… interesting. We also gathered, two days later, in larger numbers, to remember my dad. More on that, perhaps in the new year. We met friends and family and ate SO MUCH FOOD. In between, I’ve managed to think a bit about this crazy year we’ve all had. So I decided to put some of these thoughts into a post.
Definitely my biggest accomplishment this year is sending out The Mommy Manual. I’ve been working on it for a while now, and to finally send it out is a bit like sending my 12-year-old to Secondary School: scary, but necessary.
Sending stuff out means rejection. That’s just how this business works. And no matter how thick your skin is, or how many times I tell myself that this is how this business works, rejection still hurts. The voice in the back of my head (which sounds a lot like my Grandma) says, “See? I told you you’re a bad writer. Who did you think you were, Silvia Plath?” So, the biggest challenge for me has been (and will be throughout next year) to keep writing despite this voice in the back of my head. Because it’s still what I want to do.
Time Well Spent
Reading. I love reading so much, I want to spend all my time doing it. I love being whisked to other worlds. I’ve challenged myself this year to read 45 books, and I’ve almost made it. But, hey, 42/45 is 93% and for me that’s A+.
The moment I realised, around June, that this pandemic is going to become endemic and that this is what our life looks like now. This is when I stopped trying to fight it and just accepted that plans will change, surges will happen, and we might have to get vaccinated every six months from now on. Obviously, I can’t ignore the virus (our holiday travel was definitely affected), and I don’t think we should. But in terms of trying to go back to normal, I think we’re past that. This is the new normal, and we just have to deal with it as best we can.
I mostly kept my meditation, and to be honest, it’s a lifesaver. Even when my entire day is upside down because we now have to go to Israel or because we all have positive PCR tests or because the builders decided today is the day they are painting my office, meditating even for a few minutes had grounded me and kept me going. I do what I can when I can, but meditating every day is my sacred time. Writing every weekday is a close second.
Out of my Comfort Zone
Sending out my baby into the big bad world (AKA agents). As opposed to many people (sarcasm font, seriously), I don’t like failing. I take it badly. It affects my self-esteem. I’m working on developing a thicker skin, but let me reiterate: rejection sucks.
Theme for 2022
Perseverance. These rejections, this pandemic, this voice in the back of my head, none of these will stop me from writing. I’ll keep writing my new story (which I officially started), I’ll keep sending my short stories to competitions and magazines, and I’ll keep writing new ones. I had calculated that if I write about 400 words every workday I should have a complete novel after a year (251 working days in a year). Yes, I’ve had some lapses, but I also had some days in which the words poured out of me. So on balance, if I keep at it, I should at least make progress.
This year I want to finish the new novel I’m working on. I’m only beginning, and I still need to work on the plot and the characters and the research I’ve been doing has been feeding into them. I plan to have a full first draft by the end of 2022. Other short stories and poems will be written as and when the muse provides them. If I’ve sat down every workday to write, I’ve done my part.
In terms of personal intention, we have one last transition year. Generally, this year we had a year of transitions: moving to a new home, my son starting secondary school. My daughter is starting secondary school in 2022, and we still need to figure out which one she’ll be going to. But other than that, I’m hoping this year will be a settling-in year, a habit-building year. I want to keep active (yoga, running/biking) and to keep creating in every way I can: music, drawings, cooking, writing.
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