Yule Never Guess What I Accomplished This Year (Not Much)

Okay nobody panic, but it looks like we made it to the end of the year. It’s wildly unclear how it’s already December when I’m pretty sure March was ten minutes ago, but hey. Time isn’t real. Normally, this would be the time that I would start drafting up some awesome New Year’s resolutions, psyching myself up to be productive.

That being said… it’s hard not to keep looking back at all the resolutions I had originally made for 2020 that flew right out the window:

Start learning sign language. Finish a full first draft of any WIP. Revise the first book of my fantasy trilogy and make it ready to query by the end of the year. Launch my author website. Get another short story published.

Ah, past Anna, you sweet summer child. End of the entire year, and where do we stand?

YOU FAILED NANOWRIMO JUST LIKE I SAID YOU WOULD! HetPat, as an end of the year treat, crawls out of the garbage disposal covered in coffee grounds and slurping loudly on eggnog. YOU DIDN’T FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT OF ANY OF YOUR PROJECTS! YOU DIDN’T SEND OUT ANY STORIES TO GET PUBLISHED–YOU DIDN’T EVEN WRITE ONE THIS WHOLE YEAR! YOU HAVEN’T EVEN TOUCHED YOUR WEBSITE YET!

I mean, yes you’re right, but you don’t have to be so rude about it. Back in the sink, demon!

So how do I measure success in objectively one of the hardest years I’ve ever lived through?

Here’s a quick recap of the last ten months.

I began the ongoing battle against the anxiety demon HetPat who lives in my head and tells me I’m not good enough.

I began looking more critically at the diversity and implicit biases in my past writing and vowed to work to remedy those issues in the future.

I took refuge in fanfiction to reinvigorate my love of writing that has been on the fritz this year.

And to be fair, there were things I accomplished this year that just aren’t writing-related. I moved into my first apartment on my own. I bought my first car. I started going to therapy, got an anxiety diagnosis, and started my journey on medication. And while the writing-writing has been kind of a bust, I did actually revamp three novel outlines into something way stronger and exciting, so that when I eventually get back to those projects, they will be another step closer to achieving their True Form.

And even since beginning to draft this blog post, I have been struck by the lightning of a new book idea–something fun and indulgent and definitely not inspired by all of the fanfic I’ve been reading this year. Yes, I still have a billion other projects that I should be working on that I want to be working on. Yes, I am easily distracted by shiny new book ideas and yes, I likely bounce around so much because I’m intimidated by the commitment of Finishing a Project.

But after the creative struggle that was this year, I deserve to catch a break.

I guess I can’t make promises, even to myself, about what I want to accomplish next year. The exorcism of HetPat, as this blog column suggests, is ongoing, which means I will need to keep smacking him when he shows up now and then to discourage me.

See you all in the new year, where I inevitably come up with more new and exciting excuses to not get anything done.

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