2012: cut, print, that’s a wrap & see you in February

IMG_20121202_2019102012 has been a crap year in some respects; a year of rejections, near misses and setbacks. There has been injury and some sickness. There has been grief. At times it has been hard to stay optimistic. I’ve also, at times, found it very hard to have faith in myself and my work. There’s been a cumulative effect of small difficulties, a sensation of rawness.

However, I have not been without a home, without friends, without love, without work, without money. I am incredibly grateful for all that I have, and have done, and I know that every year cannot be as wildly incredible as the previous few years. In fact, I think I was a little spoiled by them.

I do feel that 2013 will be a year where many things will change. With my writing, I need to both become more serious, and more patient. In terms of nonfiction/reviewing work, I’d like to write longer pieces, and for a range of media. I have to admit that writing regularly for LiteraryMinded is now holding me back in this regard. I need to read wider and deeper around the pieces I write, and when I’m keeping up one or two blog posts a week, this just can’t happen. So, after a complete break in January from social media (to break the habit) I think I will blog with less frequency. This is the first time in 5.5 years—the blog’s entire history—that I’ve come to a decision like this. I will still link to my reviews, interviews and articles in other places from here, and will still occasionally write original pieces/reviews/updates for the blog, ie. when at festivals. So it may not even seem that different. I’m just removing the mental priority status on the blog because now (unlike when I was starting out) I have to admit that it is hindering my practice and my progress.

Fiction-wise, I have the novel, one smaller project, and a planned project on the go. I want to dedicate more time to fiction. Through closer reading and analysis, as outlined above, I want to continue to develop as a fiction writer. Become more sophisticated in style, and bolder in ideas. I don’t want to be afraid to experiment, as an artist, nor do I want to be afraid to entertain.

That’s just some of the lit-related stuff. In 2013 I’ll also be finishing a doctorate, looking for work, editing an anthology (more on that soon), running the monthly Dog’s Bar St Kilda storytelling nights (first one is 4 Feb), attending festivals, and hopefully travelling. Travel is important to my writing as well as my personal well-being and growth. I also hope to learn more, be humble, be charitable, always honest, and if I can’t overcome my weaknesses I hope I at least don’t beat myself up too much over them.

So I usually end the year, on LiteraryMinded, with a list of achievements, events and random facts. As a summary for my readers, and for myself. It’s become a bit of a ritual. And this year the process will help me, I believe, to see that despite some difficulties, I have still achieved much!

In 2012, I…

interviewed Alan HollinghurstRamona Koval, Irma Gold, Jessie ColeAS Patrić, Annabel Smith, Jenna Williams of 100 Story Building, Courtney Collins, Emily Maguire, Belinda Castles, Sean M Whelan, Paul D Carter, a.rawlings, Simon Callow, Emily Perkins, The Rag and Bone Man Press, Deborah Robertson, Carrie Tiffany; and Kent MacCarter interviewed Johan Harstad

contributed to Varuna’s writer-a-day project 

continued to read classic books I’d always meant to

completed the Australian Women Writers Reading & Reviewing Challenge

still yearned for a four-legged friend

supported the Queensland Literary Awards, because: Newman

wished I were as cool as Ron Charles

learnt about some fascinating characters in my family history

went to a conference in Georgia and took a side trip to New York (after Sandy, during the US election)

was invited to one writers’ festival and then the director never replied to my emails, meaning that I also missed out on another one that I turned down because I thought I was going to the first one

was jealous of G when Nick Cave said hello to him

tried to focus on the good things at Sydney Film Festival

was Highly Commended in the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards in the Written Word category

seemed to drop off the list for a few events to which I’m normally invited. But was invited to some different ones

published an essay on Ghostbusters in the Geek Mook; wrote about New York for Killings

hosted guest reviews by Dallas Angguish, Troy Martin, Gabriel Ng, and Andrew Wrathall

pretty much abandoned my ereader

began a literary show called ‘A Drink with…’ and interviewed Lisa Lang, Omar Musa and Chris Flynn. The fourth interview still hasn’t been edited as my crew are getting a lot of work. I don’t know if it ever will be, to be honest

was very happy to meet my friends’ gorgeous bub

reviewed books for LiteraryMindedCordite Poetry Review, the AustralianSydney Morning Herald, and Bookseller+Publisher; shared a ‘month of reading’ in the Victorian Writerand started writing features semi-regularly for The Big Issue (links in the interview section above)

came close a few times but I’m still waiting for my cigar

started wearing lipstick

really got into writing flash fiction, and was published in Seizure‘s Flashers series, and by the London Literary Project

started learning German

held a ‘spectacular’ for LiteraryMinded‘s fifth birthday where y’all asked me questions (parts one, two, three, four and five). You guysss

exercised three times per week

was a judge in the Meanjin tournament of books and the Best Australian Blogs competition

ate a crap-load of cheese

did my best to support some people close to me dealing with mental illnesses and disorders

presented at Offset Festival, chaired panels at Sydney Writers’ Festival (and this is probably one of my best, if most self-indulgent, blog posts of the year), chaired and appeared on panels at Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, hosted a Late Night Book Club event on short stories at the Emerging Writers’ Festival, taught a blogging course at the NSW Writers’ Centre (to be repeated this April, see their website!)

was interviewed by The Signal Express, Embedded Literati, and Killings

was an official blogger and panel host at the Melbourne Writers Festival

stayed on track with my thesis

shared my favourite books on Marilyn Monroe

once again failed to read the winners of most of the major literary awards

lost my beautiful Nanna

was trolled by an Oxfordian

was Maid of Honour at my best friend’s gorgeous Fremantle wedding

remained madly in love

OK, this is it. A month off social media from January 1… I’ll be on email: literaryminded (at) gmail (dot) com. And on my mobile. And checking my PO Box (PO Box 6266, St Kilda Road Central, Vic 8008) if you want to send me a postcard. If you hear of any great jobs in Melbourne, preferably part-time at this stage (four days is ideal), do get in touch. I’m already applying for them.

See also: 2011, 2010, 2009.

Happy New Year everyone. You’re wonderful. Thanks, as always, for reading.

35 thoughts on “2012: cut, print, that’s a wrap & see you in February

  1. A lovely blog Angela.Nice to know someone else also had an average year and yet stayed optimistic. Best wishes for the New Year. Anne-Maree Britton

    • Hi Lily, I really hope 2013 is kind to you. You have definitely had a rough time. ❤ Warmest wishes to you! xx

  2. This sounds like an amazing year. I’m sorry to hear about the moments and experiences of crapness, but I hope that they don’t overshadow what looks like, in general, an overarching, underscoring awesomeness. Congratulations on your many successes. And Viel Glück with the German (my second language of choice)! Here’s to 2013. x

  3. Sorry about the bad things in your year Angela, but glad you have managed to keep it all in perspective. It’s good to reconsider the role of blogging in one’s life I think as it can start to drive one, change what we write and read in sometimes subtle ways. That’s probably not quite as critical for a retired one like myself but I still find I’m thinking a little about how to manage my blog next year, what to get caught up in and what not to. BUT congrats on all your achievements. That’s one helluva list … good luck for 2013 and I look forward to seeing your posts whenever they appear.

  4. Oh, Ange. Amazing Ange.
    I did have to chuckle at the jealousy over the Cave greeting.
    And it is moving to see that timeless, rich word ‘charitable’ in a blog post. Not that I have ever heard anything remotely like its opposite from you, always so supportive of the work of others.
    I think you have had a brilliant looking year by anyone’s standards.
    Always happy to read you whenever you have time to post. Thanks for the five and a half years finest blogging and literary hobnobbing in the land, and Happy New Year.

  5. Wow, so impressive and inspiring to do all that in any year, let alone a crap one! Best wishes for 2013 and heaps of success with your writing xx

  6. It’s touching to read such an open and honest blog post – thank you for sharing. I’m sorry to hear this year has been disappointing for you in some ways, and I do understand your frustration about struggling to find a publisher. But looking at your list of what you have achieved, I think it’s pretty darn incredible. I’ll miss your regular blog posts but understand your reasons for posting less and will look forward to reading more of your work in other places, hopefully where you will get paid for writing it! Best wishes for 2013. Annabel

  7. I won’t be sad to say goodbye to 2012 either. However, I will be sad that you won’t be posting as frequently next year.

    Good luck for the year ahead. Not that you’ll need luck on your side, of course – you’re super-talented – but just in case. Congratulations on all you’ve achieved in 2012 – from my perspective, you’ve done an amazing job.

    All the best in 2013, Angela!

    • Not the best year for you either? Here’s to 2013! Thanks, as ever, for reading. I love what you do. Best wishes for the new year x

  8. I haven’t done nearly as much as you this year, and I thought this year was at least ‘above average’! (a couple of KPIs in particular saved 2012 from the complete ignominy.) I can’t help but smile a little when you say you need to ‘read deeper and wider’…again, I suspect you put most of us to shame in that regard. But yes, sometimes, ‘When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions’ – bereavement and literary rejection are both terrible, I know.
    I really applaud your willingness to grasp the personal and artistic nettles ever more tightly. And finally, I think it’s lovely that you’re still madly in love. (G. had better be too, or we’re all gonna come and pound him!)

    • Oh he is, but it’s great to know I can call on you guys if I’m wronged 😉 Thanks for reading, Glen, and thanks for all your interaction, too. I hope 2013 will be very kind to you, and yes, I’ll be grasping those nettles firmly indeed! All the best.

  9. Great post, Angela. Ive enjoyed your blog and FB posts but prioritising is great for goals. So best wishes for 2013 and completing your doctorate and progressing your novel. I too will be reducing my connecting in the first half of 2013 as I finish off my current novel and commence my next one – it does make a difference. Regards.

  10. Pingback: 2012 | Berlin Domestic

  11. Argh that’s the thing, isn’t it — no matter what you do, there are always outside factors that you have no control over that have the power to make your year a good or not-so-good one. Thanks for such an honest post, and I do hope your 2013 is a cracker.

    Smiled when I read ‘trolled by an Oxfordian’ — I remember that! I watched the comments come in with mouth agape, hehe.

    When this post appeared in my feed I was in the process of writing my own final post of the year, which was only going to be on 2012 search terms I’ve collected, but you inspired me to be brave and think through what the year has been as well, so cheers for that, too!

    Here’s to a rollicking 2013.

    • Hah, that good ol’ Oxfordian. Thanks for your thoughtful words, I’ll check out your post now… *clinks glass*

  12. Hello Angela, you know, I bet if your much-loved Nanna were still with you she would give you a hug, remind you how proud she is of you and your *amazing* achievements, and the year would feel a whole lot different.
    Grief makes us reassess a whole lot of things, and that’s good, but it doesn’t need to make you feel you haven’t done enough. Have a relaxing break, have fun with the ones you love, and do the things that seem most important to you now.
    We’ll be here for you when you get back
    Lisa xo

  13. From the outside, no one would know you had a crap 2012 – you seemed to be powering along and achieving a million things at once as you usually do. And your list of things you’ve done looks pretty impressive. Hope 2013 goes better …

    I know what you mean though; I feel like 2012 was the year in which I stopped doing a lot of the things I’ve loved doing to concentrate on a big project – and even though that was great, it felt like I hadn’t achieved much at the end of the year (and as the year rolled on). Not complaining, just saying I understand the feeling of going backwards. But sometimes it’s just the first step in moving forward (argh, sorry for Julia-ism), even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Am sure that’s the case with you.

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