Well, it’s been an interesting few months. Sorry that I’ve been so absent. When I was writing daily, I was really happy and enjoying it so much. I miss the practice of it, even if it’s not all publishable even in a low-stakes way.
I found November really tough.
It was tough because we went back into national lockdown in England, which was so weird because it really didn’t change anything about how I’ve been living my life. I am immensely blessed to have a job that I can do from my living room, and an employer that’s been pretty switched on to the challenges of this weird life as we now know it. I have access to a car, so I can click and collect my shopping. I have access to the online-retailer-that-I’m-trying-to-use-less-but-convenience, so lightbulbs and craft materials and hair scissors (yes) get delivered. But, it got dark and it got cold. I think sunset is now before 4pm. That, paired with like, some low-grade latent anxiety, and a bit of a lack of exercise, and the constant churn of waiting to see what the next set of rules is going to be… not lovely.
Honestly, I think the mutability of the rules, and that we are still here is part of the problem – I can manage a set and forget, and I think that’s largely what tier 3 feels like to me now, but living in a persistent “what’ll happen next” feeling just sucks maaaaan.
I’ve been very conscious of my mental health, which is good. Last time I was in a bit of a low place, I wanted to A-type it hard, and be the best at recovering from anxiety. I wanted a gold star in therapy too, please. Yes, I really hear myself. I’m so funny. I think the things I’ve been doing well for my mental health is saying to myself “yoh, this sucks, you’re feeling down, why not write (longhand) some brain nonsense, so it’s out there?”. And I do it, and mostly that helps quite a lot. If you’re struggling with *gestures wildly* all this, I’d recommend giving the word-vomit approach a try as part of your plan. I also know that I can just go for a cold air walk (very good for the emotions) or get a snuggle from my human.
On the writing front, I feel a bit crappy that I set out on another SWEEPING DECLARATION goal (looking at you, poem a day in November!), seemingly without taking into account that like, it’d be the second or third sweeping goal of the YEAR. Yes, I’m a bit of a muppet. I’ve got a course that I’m trying to get through (the same Computer Science one, yes) that I’m not going to quite get done by the end of the year, but I’m making steady progress on. Once that’s done, I’m going to pick up my novel, which is sitting poor and neglected in my Scrivener… Sorry book, I’ll come back! I miss you! (even though you’re riddled with errors I’m going to hate revising one day).
I got my renewal email for my wordpress site the other day, and yes, I am planning on continuing in the new year. More blogs, more book reviews, more writing updates, and hopefully, when the vaccine trickles down to the less at-risk population, more adventures. I am incredibly proud of the writing work I’ve done this year. It’s been a helluva year. Sherbet.
I’m aiming to do some reflection and come back to thinking through some goals for reading, writing and creating for the new year soon. But like, I need to learn from what I’ve been writing now. Probably at the top of the list is to be kind to myself, and when life gets tough for either controllable reasons, big life reasons, or even big global nonsense, not to beat myself up for failing to be, like, the super shiny person I really want to project in the world. Being less bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is okay for periods of life. I will work hard on making my goals not sweeping-declaration-ish. I am slowly letting go of wanting to be a published author by the time I’m 30. Brandon Sanderson (fantasy author extraordinaire) talks about how when he published at 30ish, he was lumped in with Christopher Paolini – published at 15, because he was just so young. So there is still hope. Slowly learning these important skills and perspectives on life… slowly.
Lots of love