December has been a bit of a blur, but come to think of it, the whole year seemed like that. Due to our move across the states, we’d lost pretty much the first four months of it, packing, organizing, settling in, and working out problems that arose along the way. In the end, it left with me with a feeling of constantly trying to catch up with everything and never being on top of my game. Yet, looking back, I can’t say it was a bad year.
In 2018, month after month, I was failing to meet my 1000 words a day goal, but I stayed optimistic. I knew that I could catch up. And after stunningly impressive November, I managed to close the gap by half of the missing words. Yet, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to repeat that feat in December. Of course, I could have pushed through and had another month full of words, but being a writer also means the ability to prioritize. And I needed that time to prepare for 2019.
Yet, even if December ended up below my daily goal again, I still managed to get close to my goal, having written over 315,000 words throughout the year, and not missing a single day this year. It might have been only as little as 100-200 of the days of travel, but hey – I still wrote something!
I also had two short stories published. Karel on the Other Side appeared in The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Volume III (which you can get for free from Smashwords), and Scourges, Spells, and Serenades was featured in the third issue of StoryHack.
I was very happy that I managed to finish the “We’re All Mad Here” and “Overthinking” designs. The first one required weeks of taking breaks as I wasn’t sure how to link all the elements. The second one took months of redrawing and redesigning the idea, because the first attempts turned out too complex and hard to read.
Compared to that, “More Words,” “We’re All Goo(d) Here” and “Out of Order” were quite easy and fun to finish, though with the latter I got to discover some new techniques in Photoshop.
In the end, I had 5 finished designs and a few more works-in-progress, so creatively, it wasn’t a bad year. And that isn’t counting polymer clay creations I had fun with.
I also took part in the Inktober challenge, and managed to draw every day for a month. The dragonflies turned out to be a lot of fun to create, and had garnered a lot of positive response, so I decided I’ll be going back to drawing them in 2019.
Early in the year, we packed up all of our belongings and made a mad rush across the United States to move from Arizona to Virginia on an extremely tight deadline. As much as it was an adventure, it also introduced a lot of chaos into our established routine. In the end, it took some months to rebuild it, affecting the rest of the year as well. I caught up on few things, but many fell behind, getting postponed over and over again. I’m particularly sad that I didn’t manage to read through the backlog of blogs I truly enjoy, and I can only hope that eventually I’ll close that gap.
I also started my freelancing business, and so far it’s been a great experience. Of course, learning the ropes, figuring out paperwork and legal aspects of it was a bit of a challenge, and I admit that once or twice I felt like a deer in the headlights. Yet, at the same time, it was exciting to figure things out and move forward, and as much as I used to enjoy my old office job in Ireland, I do like working from home, despite several drawbacks to being a freelancer.
As my poor birthday orchid eventually didn’t survive, our 3-day journey across the states taking its toll, I took Inq’s suggestion to grow something from a seed. The choice could have been only one: my favorite pansies. We planted them late and not exactly according to the guidelines, but they grew healthy and wild, taking over the flower pot like an overgrown bush. They also bloomed beautifully throughout the hot summer, ignoring the frequent beating from torrential rains. And even though it’s the middle of the winter now, with
Into the future
2018 wasn’t what I thought to be, and I had to reevaluate some of my plans and goals. But at the same time, it provided some great insights that I’m going to use to move forward in 2019.
How was your December? What do you think of your year? Did it meet your expectations?
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.