Reflections & Resolutions
I want to write a little bit about 2017 and my thoughts for 2018. I’m not really sure where to start. It seems this year has passed in the blink of an eye. So much has happened, and I feel like I know where I want my life to go now. Although, I think I already knew last year. I just didn’t dare put it into thoughts and risk the pain of failure.
Last year was one of extremes. There were moments I truly believed I could do this thing called writing. There were moments I received incredible recognition and support. There were also times I couldn’t even think about sitting at my computer. The thought of what was on the other side of it scared me too much.
I guess the only way to explain all of the is to go into a little more detail. I’ve mentioned before I’m a member of an online writing group. This group pretty much saved my life back in May 2015, when my husband persuaded me to sign up to them. I made some wonderful friends through this group, and many of them, I still talk to regularly. I have loved being a part of this group. I was honoured to have a story and a poem chosen to be part of their annual anthology. There are over one million members with incredible portfolios, and they chose two of my items to include. I was blown away with this.
Every year, there is an awards ceremony called The Quills. This is the big event on the website. It’s genuinely like the Oscars of this writing group. People nominate in numerous categories, like Best Short Story, Best Medium Length Structured Poem, Best Drama/Emotional. There are all kinds of categories. To be nominated is a massive honour. So, when I received a few nominations last year, I felt myself very lucky.
The night of the awards ceremony, a live broadcast takes place. It’s so exciting. I can’t tell you. So, last year the online airwaves were buzzing with people guessing the results. I won two Honourable Mentions and three Quill Awards. Including Best Portfolio, which is like the Best Film equivalent. Stunned. I think that sums up how I felt. Stunned that I won anything, but Best Portfolio? I spent the following week thinking about it, shaking my head in disbelief. When the result was announced, my initial reaction was pure—slightly hysterical—joy. Then, I cried. I cried for all those years I spent believing I was useless and had no talent. I cried because maybe life could have turned out differently, had I grown up being told I could do anything I wanted.
So. Highs and lows. In retrospect, though, it gave me so much confidence. I feel I know some things about writing. I am able to look back over my work from a couple of years ago and see how much I’ve improved. I’m starting to believe I might forge some kind of career with writing. And that’s a great feeling. I have hope that I hadn’t dared myself to feel ever before. Which is why I started this blog. I want to share my writing. I want to share any advice I have picked up along the way. I want to connect with like-minded people. Writing is my life now. It’s part of my DNA. I couldn’t go back to not writing again. It’s who I am, and I’m proud of that.
Another huge high for me took place in May/June last year. I enrolled in a Novel Writing Workshop which lasted eight weeks. The main focus of this was to learn how to assemble a novel. We learned the elements we need to include and how to layer a plot. We did all this using novels we want to write. I have one that I’ve wanted to write since I began writing again in 2015, so I used that. We had to write vignettes, as bases for chapters. I loved this workshop. The tutor said he was super excited about my novel, and at the end of the class, he said I was the best student he’s ever had. And he’s been teaching the class for a while. So, again. Huge confidence boost. I was pumped about writing my novel and continued working on characterisation and backstory. Then August began . . .
This month almost broke me. I said something honest, but negative about a couple of reviews somebody else wrote in my writing group, and he didn’t take it too well. Along with threatening to find me and slit my throat, he promised to make my life hell online. His wife is a moderator, so the death threat comments “disappeared,” leaving me with no proof. I almost didn’t go back to the website. I couldn’t do anything writing-related for a few weeks. Even now, the website doesn’t have the same glow as once it did. It stripped me of my confidence. I suffer from PTSD, so to have my life threatened tore me apart.
That is another reason for starting this blog. It gives me an outlet that is not connected to the website. But, anyway. What’s done is done. Enough negatives.
I applied to become an Acquisitions Editor in an internship and got accepted. The first report I submitted, the company loved, and they asked me to be the lead editor for the book. How crazy is that? I’m flattered. And terrified. But, it starts this month, and I’m going to give it everything I have. I’m going to do a fantastic job with this.
I feel 2018 is going to be a good year. It scares me to say that because I worry that I’ve just jinxed everything. But I’m leaving it in my post. I have so much to look forward to. I’m loving this blog. Once I’ve finished my editing job, I’m going to write my book. And it’s going to be great. Yeah!
Whatever your dreams for 2018, it’s important to have them. Hold them close, adapt when necessary. But never be afraid to dream, and always believe you are good enough. Because you are. You really are.
Happy new year, to all my followers!