2020 is nearing the end and, like most probably are, I will be glad to see the back of it.
I know 2021 isn’t going to erase personal loss or soothe everything that’s unfolded, but I am hoping I can go into the next year with a greater awareness of the things I’m thankful for, what I want to achieve, and how I can work on improving myself.
So, as more of a note to myself than anything, I’d like to rattle on about what I’ve been grateful for this year, and what I hope to see come to light in 2021.
In 2019 I started writing again after abandoning my work for a few years, and in 2020 I decided I would try and get some work accepted for publication. I had no goal in mind, only to submit something and hopefully get an acceptance somewhere – and in March, I did! A flash piece of mine was accepted for publication over on CafeLit.
I was over the moon about it, and with that – I decided I’d try and build up my social media platforms a bit more. Since then, I’ve met a whole bunch of other talented authors and people I would happily refer to as my friends. I also joined a writing-focused discord server and, again, met a lot of talented people and got some brilliant feedback from them, too.
In July, I got my first short story published in a women’s horror anthology by Kandisha Press! And also found out recently I made it into their next volume, too, publishing in February of next year. And in this final month, I had a flash piece accepted in All Worlds Wayfarers online magazine for speculative fiction!
It may not seem like much at all compared to others, but I will tell you this much – at the beginning of 2020 I was absolutely clueless. I made so many errors when submitting stories, in terms of both taste, editing, missing cover letters, formatting, and I dread to think of what else. I chickened out of opportunities because I didn’t feel good enough or well known enough. I didn’t submit half as much as I wanted to because I let myself get downtrodden or was too scared to ask questions and didn’t want to look stupid. I doubted my own style and talent to the point of nearly deleting all my social media and my writing files multiple times throughout the year. But I made progress and I didn’t try and disappear.
I got some pieces published. I wrote consistently through this entire year, even despite what was going on in my life. I won NaNoWriMo2020 and drafted an entire 80k novel in a month. I drafted and began editing a novella. I’ve completed around 50 short stories, flash pieces, and poetry pieces combined. I’ve taken part in writing prompt challenges. I read 32 books. I lost some weight and got healthier this year (goodbye 65lbs!) I started drawing a little bit again. I’ve built confidence in giving others feedback. This is the first year I’ve felt like I’ve been able to manage my mental health without any aids, which I haven’t done since my teens. I have done a lot despite how garbage 2020 has been.
In 2021, I want to keep improving myself, whether it be with writing, my hobbies, or my own sense of self. I want to support others more. Read more. Write more. And to not hold myself back out of fear.
Thank you to everyone that’s made 2020 a little more bearable. I am hyper-aware that I’m not the best at holding conversations and I can seem like hard work to keep up with – but please know I really am grateful for those who have gone out of their way to chat with me and support me this year.
So, with that said – I wish you all a Happy New Year!