So 2016 eh? Not exactly the year many people are going to remember fondly. On the world stage there were a lot of shit moments, a lot of anger and hate and fear that led to war and violent attacks and devastation. But sometimes it is easy to let that overwhelm us, to lead us to despair and forget all the times we proved how wonderful humanity can be, how intelligent, adaptable and resourceful. How kind. It is exactly the same in life, I find. It is so easy to dwell upon the negative and forget good happened.
In 2016 I brought out a book. The Grave at Storm’s End, the end of the Vengeance Trilogy I have been working on all these years finally completed. After three years spent struggling with life’s challenges and with bouts of depression that made sitting down at the keyboard the hardest thing I had ever done, and three years waiting for cover art I thought would never come, it was finally there in my hand. Wow. Done. Finished. Over. The last anchor to an old self, an old pain, set adrift.
In 2016 I also watched my beautiful baby boy grow into a toddler with all sorts of personality. He said Mama for the first time and just recently has taken his first steps.
I shared The Force Awakens and Back to the Future with my girls and spent many long hours playing Lego Indiana Jones with them which they find absolutely hilarious.
I wrote my first short story.
I broke out of my comfort zone to make the Storywork videos on youtube.
I sat on my first panels at a con and sold books to strangers.
I got to hear my characters come to life as the audiobook production started for Blood of Whisperers.
I even learned how to build a fire (no, I really didn’t know how before. I grew up with ducted heating. Getting warm meant pushing a button.)
These things are all amazing. But once again I have reached the end of a year and feel as though I have failed. I have not achieved what I wished to achieve, nor done what I wished to do. I have not blogged as much as I wished and have completely fallen off much of social media. I have not put myself forward, not trusted myself or my skills, because I am afraid that I have no worth as a writer. That until I am someone I am no one. That I am not even worthy of a voice.
But today while the memorial posts to Carrie Fisher were swirling around (I cried, I really did, she was an amazing woman) I came across one of her quotes that I hadn’t seen before.
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”
My mantra for next year.
Bye bye 2016.