Tuesday, 2 January 2018

2017 - A Year in Review


A year ago, for the first time in many years, I made some New Year's resolutions. Time to look back and see what I have accomplished.

Some of the  five main points to my original plan for 2017 - all related to writing -  worked better than others. The year certainly had its surprises in store and instead of just the writing, I changed my priorities to the following:


My health had a way of getting in the way last year, leaving either my body or my mind in no state to focus on anything creative and there were days when I wasn't certain I could cope with the pain or the mental pressure my collection of problems left me with. But I rolled with it and allowed the guilt-free down-time. I needed my body to be in shape, and if it needed the rest, so be it.

So, my body very much became a priority and towards the second half of 2017 we not only found a treatment that worked, but also the cause of some of my other problems and since then things have mostly moved uphill. I'm exercising a lot more too and thanks to friends who regularly challenge me to reach my step goal, I got to see a lot more of Edinburgh than I used to, which meant I see beauty I may have otherwhise missed and I get to indulge my inner photographer.


I still managed to make writing a priority and while writing a new draft I work with a very manageable goal of 200 words a day. It's not a lot, but it keeps the creative waters flowing. And I did manage to write a novel and even edit it to a level I'm not completely horrified with it, though I more than once considered offering the whole 85k words as a sacrifice to the firey gods of inspiration.
I'm glad I didn't. I'm currently giving it a read on my Kindle, looking at it more with a reader's eye than that of a writer and it turns out, it's not all bad. After that, I think it is time for my first proof reader to cast his critical eye over it so it can be improved.

Even better, I've started jutting down notes for a new novel. I intend to challenge myself with this one and deviate from my usual YA/fantasy genre. Instead, I hope to create a supernatural mystery in the style of David Mitchell's Slade House, only on a smaller scale. I've always enjoyed mysteries and I love it when a writer gets it just right - revealing enough to keep the reader interested, but not so much as to have them solve the puzzle too soon. I guess I'll soon find out how good I am at that.

I have also been putting together ideas that will allow me to write short stories in the universe in which my main fantasy epic is set. I haven't been able to write the second part of said epic because I feel like I don't have enough of a grasp of the place, so writing short prequels of sorts will hopefully help me understand the ins and out as well as the general feeling of that world a lot better.

I have been daring in 2017 and sent my writing into various competitions. Unfortunately, I have not won anything, but I did get longlisted for publication with a flash fiction piece, which made me very happy.


In 2017, I also went back to crafting after I had taken a 1.5 year break. I forgot how much I enjoyed making craft books. It's a time consuming hobby and each book, between all the folding, gluing, pressing, and sewing, will take several days to make, but I love the finished results. In October, during a visit to Austria, I had a long morning of crafting with grandma and added paper baubles to my repertoire and while the whole thing is supposed to stay a hobby, something to help me relax in the evenings, I have decided to set up shop in November. Dragonquill Papercrafts is now live on Etsy. At the moment deliveries are only to the UK, but I'm hoping to expand that to other countries in the future.


I think of all the things this blog has probably suffered the most neglect this year.  While Gizmo and Lola are still a constant source of joy in my life, their Bunecdotes fell a bit by the wayside. I am currently pondering whether or not to continue with the odd story from their lives, but I think I will mostly stick to reviews in the coming year, with the odd personal post thrown in. It will make updates rather less regular than I would like, but since I barely succeeded in keeping them regular in this past yar, I think it will be better that way. Quality over quantity, right? At least that's what I'll be aspiring to.

Thank you all for a wonderful 2017! May 2018 be even better. :)

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