2017: The Year of Shit

love 'em shoot 'em front coverSeriously, this year has been crap, on a personal level as well as a political level.

I lost my best friend, separated from my partner, moved house and city, started a new job, left that job, started another new job (as a freelancer, ARGH), had a few family stresses, and I miss my cat. I’ve had a nice wallop of depression, anxiety and insecurity as well as imposter syndrome, and frankly, I’m feeling pretty shit about it all. On a wider level, current events are scaring me; I feel like the world is spiralling out of control, and everyone seems so bloody horrible. It’s hard for me to understand the sheer level of hatred that seems to be the norm, and the wilful destruction of so much of the world just seems insane. I’ve had to back away from the news for the sake of my sanity, even though I want to do something – I just don’t know what’s going to help.

On the writing front, it’s been pretty shit too. I halted NaNoWriMo as the book I wanted to write wasn’t ready to be written; I’ve shelved No Man’s Land after twenty failed subs; there’s been a delay in publishing the next GreenSky book thanks to factors outside my control; and I haven’t been able to write the books that are sitting in my head, or even the short stories that I’d love to get out there.

But *takes a deep breath* that isn’t everything. I know it isn’t.

I’ve got a lovely new home, and an incredibly supportive family. I’ve landed on my feet with a job and time to just recover; even with the double wallop of depression and life, I’ve still been blogging, talking to people and managing to work. I’m reconnecting with old friends and working on making new ones. I’ve been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, started yoga, found a kitten and gave him to a good home, read a bunch-load of really good books, and I’m still doing new things, little by little.

empty skies and sunlight front coverAnd on the writing front, Empty Skies and Sunlight was published, along with several short stories. I’ve edited one anthology (Terra Nullius, out next year) and assisted with more edits, proofreads and beta-reads than I can count. I’ve signed a three-novella deal under another name (no, I’m not going to tell you about that under this one, sorry!) and written & edited those novellas, and I’ve had several short stories published, both under this name and the other.  I haven’t got as far as I wanted to, but I’ve kept going. I’ve kept writing.

I’m feeling incredibly lost right now, and incredibly low. I can’t find my path; I’m just wandering, unsure of what to write or what to do. I feel like I’m making constant wrong decisions, and I’m still filtering through everything that’s happened in the past few years. I’m watching the world burn and trying to find something to do to let people know that not everyone thinks like the headlines, and that there are people who disagree with the current trend of events, but I feel like one tiny voice in the mass and I’m not strong enough to get heard. I’m scared for the future, both my own and the wider world; I’m trying to piece back together everything that I want to keep, without knowing exactly what’s going to help me in the future.

But I’m going to make plans for 2018. I’m going to spend a few months just getting myself back on my feet, pushing myself forward. I don’t know if it’s the right direction, but at least it will be a direction. And that’s all I can do.

I’ve had a Year of Shit, but I’ve got through it alive. I’ve taken it one day at a time, and I’ve reached the end. That is the biggest thing I’ve achieved this year. I’ve got to the end.

I’m going to do a post in a bit about my aims for 2018; at least if I put them down, then I might work on them!