* My apologies for the removal of the original post, there is an image that appears twice in the post preview but not in the draft, and I can’t seem to delete it.*
As I look back over the past three years I’ve recognised a pattern. 2019 was a foundation building year- I ventured out into the world on my own, recovered from heartbreak, rediscovered and re-established myself. 2020 was 2020 so I was very grounded physically, if not emotionally and mentally.
2021 was drastically different, another foundation building year. It started out learning a new retail job in which I would work autonomously most of the time. This absolutely terrified me in the beginning, having so much responsibility. There were many mistakes, and lots of frustration, which were met with patience and guidance, which I will be forever grateful for.
I set out in 2021 with the intention of getting my five books back into print distribution through IngramSpark, however it just didn’t happen. My living situation became unstable, and I ended up moving twice. I was exhausted from living with some of the most toxic people I have ever known. I tried to get my Cert 3 in Business finished, but I found I was having to force that along too, having to call the institute I study with on a monthly basis just to have assessments marked and new units sent to me. I had multiple technological breakdowns, having to replace both my phone and laptop in a few short months. I felt like I spent the year fixing problems. Dealing with life admin, things I deemed menial and trivial when I wanted to be writing and publishing.
Finally in October I found a new home in a beautiful household in Palm Beach here on the Gold Coast. My living situation was finally sorted and I felt settled, but by now it felt too late to salvage my writing and publishing goals.
Despite the shitstorm, the year was not a total writeoff. A short story I wrote in partnership with my dear friend and fellow author Christine Betts for the Rainforest Writing Retreat anthology was selected for publishing. I also managed to write the sequel for The Wilted Rose. I started the publishing process with IngramSpark, hoping to at least have The Wilted Rose in print for Christmas, but that too grinded to a halt due to formatting issues.
Going into Christmas, I felt disheartened and directionless. I forced myself to step back and take a break, something I find really hard to do when my mind is set on achieving something. I allowed myself to work on my passion project, my Irish Noir story, which filled my heart back up with joy and enthusiasm.
Now, I literally feel like I’m starting the year over, but under much better circumstances. My living, working and study situations are stable- as much as I detested the process, I had to spend 2021 establishing these foundations, otherwise I would have nothing to build on when it came to my bigger aspirations for writing and publishing. I take a deep breath and press restart on my 2021 goals. I am ready for a year focused on aspirations, mot foundations. I will get my four previously published books- The Wilted Rose and the Paid To Dance series- back into print. I will start work on a new suburban noir collection and a travel anthology. And I will end the year preparing to travel back to Ireland to continue work on my Irish series. God willing.
That is the plan, but it is written in pencil. I have been humbled by 2021, and I know now that things change, and you must adapt or risk causing yourself unnecessary suffering.
In saying that, here we go!