The Elephant in the Room
As with everyone, Covid-19 cast a shadow over my 2020. No doubt, I was luckier and more privileged than most. I stayed healthy, had no break in employment, and no tragedy struck close to home. But that’s not to say things were perfect. The social isolation from working from home and following safety guidelines took a mental toll. Not seeing family, friends, and work colleagues for most of the year caused a constant sense of anxiety and unease. In this state, I struggled to stay focused and productive, and I didn’t always succeed.
Also, having my writing space became my 9-5 workspace meant staying in that seat to write took monumental motivation. Motivation I often did not feel. So, in general, I missed many of the goals I set for myself. But instead of seeing it as a failure, I’m trying to celebrate my accomplishments and move forward with the things I’ve learned along the way.
- Self-care is a project in itself. If my mental or physical wellbeing requires some down-time, I’m not really failing in my goals.
- When it comes to writing, my priority is writing. Blogging, newsletters, and social media are secondary, and if there isn’t time to work on them, that’s okay.
- Set goals that do not require outside factors for completion (i.e. publication). It should also be feasible to complete them in the time I allot for them.
- No matter how good I am at setting goals, I’ll always be overly ambitious, so I should forgive myself if I don’t complete all of them.
This year fell short of what I hoped for but still had a few things worth celebrating.
- Received my first invite to an anthology. (This was a real career benchmark and happened sooner than I expected!)
- Published 2 short stories in paid markets.
- Completed a rough draft of a novel.
- Launched a brand new website.
- Started and maintained a fitness program.
- Read 49 books. (This is less than last year and less than what I aimed for, but it also doesn’t include the many fiction magazines read.)
I’m going into 2021 with a lot planned and hoped for. I currently have more short stories submitted to anthologies and magazines than ever before. I also have a good number of stories that only need a final push to get them completed. These include several to be sent out to publishers as well as my latest serialized story on Wattpad. Speaking of Wattpad, I plan to finally revisit The Things We Bury Series and start reposting Book 3. But rewrite for my novel in progress worries me the most. Novels can be unwieldy, time-consuming affairs and getting this one through to the next stage will be my biggest challenge for 2021