2012 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 Hollinghurst, Ramona Koval, Irma Gold, Jessie Cole, AS 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
wished I were as cool as Ron Charles
learnt about some fascinating characters in my family history
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
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 LiteraryMinded, Cordite Poetry Review, the Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, and Bookseller+Publisher; shared a ‘month of reading’ in the Victorian Writer, and 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
started learning German
exercised three times per week
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!)
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 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.
Happy New Year everyone. You’re wonderful. Thanks, as always, for reading.