I came across a blog post today on the Brevity site, by Allison K. Williams, asking about one’s writing year: what did you manage to accomplish? The novelty was the positive angle: not what did you promise yourself to do, and not get done, a set of questions I’m already too familiar with. Rather, what were you able to do? Looking at that, what are your goals for 2018?

Big Plans for my writing year

I took the whole year off, thinking I’d be a Big Time Famous Author Person at the end of it. But I’ve mostly flopped about on the poop deck of my perceived failures. However, looking at my year of work from Brevity’s/Williams’ more positive angle, I did some very good things, indeed:

  • Got something published for the first time
  • Wrote up to and past 100 blog posts on this site
  • Submitted to a dozen literary magazines and another dozen literary agents
  • Got interest from a literary agent
  • Met an amazing artist who drew a cover for my novel
  • Made a writing friend through a Mslexia course: she’s writing about English women pilots during WWII, like my Great Aunt Virginia in the U.S.
  • Took online Uni courses in writing, writing weekly and reading and critiquing classmates’ work
  • Wrote stories weekly in Spanish, and made friends in a writing class in Madrid
  • Took improv classes, which to me is the physical equivalent of writing
  • Was long-listed for a book prize, and short-listed for an opening chapter prize
  • Acted in an actual live play in Spanish
  • Read a lot – including old favorites but with my new writers’ eyes
  • Wrote to innumerable prompts and participated in flash fiction contests
  • Updated my website and wrote funky new bios for myself as author and as evaluator
  • Wrote a 50,400-word novella for National Novel Writing Month starring a misfit family of superheroes
  • Quit my job, moved to a new country – *twice*, started learning French, began marketing myself as a freelancer, and snuggled up to my partner (under the impression that a couple can, under the right circumstances, share not just a planet but a hemisphere, a time zone, a zip code, and even an apartment)

As it turns out

Turns out, these all count. (Who knew?) I’m a writer, and I’m lots of other things, besides. Without noticing it, I did quite a lot in 2017 despite often feeling like I was a slacker of epic proportions. Somehow, I kept moving forward, and 2018 promises to be more of the same, in writing as in other parts of my life.

From my French podcast today: Il ne te reste plus qu’à tirer un trait sur ton passé, et aller de l’avant. There’s nothing for it but to draw a line over your past, and keep moving.

Next week, something on 2018. It’ll be good to put it in words. A la prochaine!

(Me and Ramon at the Medina, Tunis, 2017)