I don’t think anyone would disagree with me saying 2020 was a difficult and draining year on many levels. I believe that it is still important to also see the positive things that have happened in one’s personal life and not just file it away as a dark year. These things may be small compared to the anxiety and helplessness some of us feel, but they are still important. They are tiny rays of light that can keep us from desperation.
I do understand that things that happened in 2020 can cause anger and fear and I don’t want to diminish those feelings just as I feel for everyone who suffered a personal loss. Still, at the end of this crazy year, I want to reflect on the things that went well and that helped me through a difficult time.
First on this list as almost always is writing. Once again I was so glad that this is something no one can take away from e. I don’t need anyone else to write and I depend on nothing apart from y own mind, a pencil and a piece of paper. TEchnically I write on my laptop, of course, but I could do without it and still tell stories. Even if I wasn’t able to write anymore I would still have my stories in my head. Knowing that is a great comfort to me.
When I was a kid I was often told that I’m running away from reality when I focused more on my stories than on school or the next task. Now I realize that telling stories needs to become more important in my life, not less important. Even though I have a job and a family, writing will always be one of my highest priorities. It makes me happy and what could be more important than that? It is also a great benefit to my students if they have a teacher who is not angry or frustrated and my kids if they have a mother who is content. This became clear to me, even more, this year.
For me 2020 was a year in which I allowed myself to focus more on this hobby. I also tried out new things, like joining a writing board and a writing group on discord, reading from my texts online, and decide to publish one of my books.
I learned that editing a text is hard work and can make you doubt yourself even more than writing. But I also learned to deal with self-doubt even better. I know I’ll never be able to stop writing, so it’s a waste of energy to contemplate whether I’m not good enough to go on.
I met wonderful new people and reconnected with people I knew in earlier phases of my life. I finished my Fantasy novel „A Tale of Runes and Ravens“ and my gay cozy crime novel „Murder and Afternoon Tea“ which I plan to self-publish in 2021. I also almost finished my German young adult book „Grauzeit“ which I wrote during NaNoWriMo.
At one point in my life, I felt sure that writing more professionally might take away my passion for it, because there would be too much pressure. The opposite was the case. The pressure I put on myself helped me write a lot more this year. Connecting with to other writers greatly increased the fun I have. Still, I know that I don’t want to be a professional writer. I know I would have to write a lot more than I do now and probably in genres that are more popular like Romance or New Adult. That would take a lot of the fun out o fit for me.
Other things that were great in 2021 were the birth of my baby in September. She was born into quarantine, but she is such a happy little girl. Always smiling and very relaxed. Also, I met a new friend and writing buddy (Kaja Evert) and I find our exchange extremely inspiring. And I and my other friends found ways to be there for each other even though we couldn’t see each other. By writing letters and cards or talking online. (Thank you, Kathrin, Julia, and Tina!)
It was a great decision to start a writing bullet journal because that has helped me set priorities and focus on what is important at the moment. And I’ve developed a love for stickers which I order from Etsy. It may sound strange but that really gave me joy and in 2021 I plan to use them to motivate me to write. Every time I finish writing or editing a project I’ll reward myself with one sheet of stickers from Etsy.
Tea is always a factor that makes life better for me. It makes me get out of bed. I always drink a cup when I write and it helps me relax. This year I tried a few new flavors and brands and was also gifted a few oft hem and I’m looking forward to discovering more in the New year. Walks in the wood always built me up and I’m glad that was something I was still allowed to do.
It was sometimes stressful to have the whole family home for long periods (I have four kids between 4 months and ten years), but there were a lot of good times. Baking cookies together, making picnics, going to the lake, creating art, or cooking together.
These are the things I would like to take away and remember from 2020. What about your year? Were there big or little things that shone like a ray of hope? I’d be happy if you tell me about them in the comments.