I have been stressing about my inability to keep this blog on a theme, up to date, sensible, personal, book-related, me related and various other nonsense that fills my mind on a regular basis. But, I decided that technically it doesn’t matter at all, because if you are here then you have chosen to be so you must fancy reading a little bit of this madness, so here is the latest.
After much messing about I settled on the fact that this post (which, based on my blog frequency, may well be the final one of 2012) is my ‘insert generic title’ round up of the year; because, put simply, this year has been EXTRAORDINARY.
So, twelve little months, what can happen? Turns out, bloody loads!
THE BOOK STUFF!
This time last year I was stressed about sending queries, putting my writing ‘out there’ into that terrifying void and shrugging off rejections. I was pretending that I wasn’t that bothered, that I never really hoped or thought anything would come of it, so if it didn’t it would be fine. I was lying. I didn’t get through many rejections purely because of the huge timescales involved in sending a query and the huge slush piles the agents and publishers have these days – ‘everyone wants to write’ as so many people helpfully reminded me! But the ones I did get were painful. They each took a little stab at my confidence and self-belief.
I have a terrible habit of never actually daring to say out loud what I want (not when it comes to retail matters, I am very vocal then, as my husband will attest to), but the serious stuff, not so much. I talk a lot, I say a lot, but that isn’t actual the same thing as really sharing your thoughts and hopes and dreams. Perhaps I am superstitious and think they won’t come true. I kept to myself just how much I wanted the book to be published because it was so much I could barely articulate how much it would mean.
At the start of the year I was feeling completely spent of creativity, like Embers may have been one passing moment of inspiration (for which I would have always been incredibly grateful regardless) and that the second book might not happen. Then, suddenly I was ready to write Ashes and I did so in about 12 weeks. Not so long after that a chance conversation put me in front of my now publisher.
When I sat, one glorious day and signed my book contract I didn’t really take it in and now, Embers is being read by people from all over the world. I got sent the link to a book review blog this week which started with: ‘I love this book’. Those four words are the best Christmas present ever (I know, super cheesy, but so true). I have waited about 24 years to hear someone say that about something I have written. I always said that if one stranger ever told me they were intrigued, impressed, moved by something I had written, then I had achieved my childhood dream. So, 2012 is that year, that happened.
I have always been super lucky when it comes to friends and I like to think that I pretty have snapped up all the best ones, so, sorry about that! I put this on the list because of all my years, I think this one has been pivotal for determining who is in my life and why. I have learned that time and distance are wholly irrelevant in strong friendships and that experience of picking where you left off is a real gift. All of those people, and the ones you can just sit in silence with if you like; they are the ones you know will be there forever. There is also more to be said than can be articulated for sharing a huge passion with a person/people (see previous post!). Love you all.
I also think that 2012 has been really interesting for highlighting the changing ways we develop friendships. Twitter has been strangely instrumental in bringing me into contact with new (or in some cases old) friends and become the unintentional petri-dish for some excellent friendships this year…how modern! I am grateful for it, and those people.
I am not suggesting that prior to 2012 I had no understanding of, or passion for music! That would be ridiculous. But, 2012 has been AMAZING (Caps were needed) in terms of reminding me how much I love music and how it can change you mood, match it or just make you remember hilarious moments. I am now barely found without my iPod and will certainly be moving in 2013 with a committment to keeping music more firmly in my life. I think it is all tied up with the creativity thing and now, I feel like I pay attention to lyrics more and appreciate amazing songwriting in a way I didn’t used to (Mr Darren Hayes – I am looking at you here. This is music to move you and love forever).
As well as this, my wonderful husband and I hit 10 years together and our little boy is growing up into one of the most beautiful (biased but don’t care) and wonderful little humans imaginable.
Loads more than that happened, of course it did…it has been a whole year but it has felt like five minutes and I am excited for 2013 because I feel ready for it and I didn’t see this year coming so wonder what excitement next year has in store for me.
I think I am going to work on the following for 2013:
– Be more confident
– Speak out more if I feel I am being mistreated/taken for granted
– Appreciate all the little, excellent things more
– Write more (blogs and books)
– Embrace my inner fangirl – she isn’t going anywhere, I may as well bring her on board full-time!
In case (as is quite likely) I don’t post again in 2012…have an amazing festive season. Eat loads, drink (responsibly) and don’t bother with resolutions, try actions instead!