Has never been a problem for me, with one key exception: when I absolutely have to find the right ones with no warning or options. Over the last year, I had that unwritten rule reinforced several times.
And so, here we are again. How did 2017 treat you? If you share ground with many of those I know, it was a bastard of a year that, surprisingly, finished with a glimmer of hope. Not that you expect it to be anything but the little light that keeps you going. We’re all big kids here. We know nothing owes us anything.
So, in keeping with the traditions I’ve set myself, let’s revisit the topics: Jobhunting – no change, with a grimmer outlook. Romance – no change, except I now have minimal expectations to match the negative outlook. Finances – abysmal, but holding steady at ‘poor teetering on the edge of destitute’. Books – two, bringing the total to 22, and including a limited edition of my 19th (note to self: must do better).
Books. Made up of words. Words that, I discovered, are governed by the rule I opened this piece with. I was intending to complete what would have been my second novel this year, a book many people have been waiting a long time for. But I tried to push it, and the result was largely of poor quality. The last piece of poor writing I released was the draft of my first novel. I learned a lot from that. So, this time, rather than rush, rewrite, and likely ruin something that must not be anything less than marvellous, I abandoned it. I’ve kept the opening chapter and the earlier sections, but everything else written for it in 2017 was deleted. How much the death of my mother figured into this drastic decision, I cannot say. But, now a few months have passed, I can say it was the right choice.
Ah, mother. Finally released from a mortal coil most foul… I have commented elsewhere with the proper tone. Let that stand.
Romance, employment and money? The first is, I have finally accepted, unlikely. Which although sad, allows me to rein in the hopeless romantic within: a very good thing. The second? I have a job. I’m an author. I’m looking for a second job to fill the earnings gap while the income from my books picks up. Which it is doing. 2017 saw the first year where I made regular royalties. Nothing to write home about, but enough to declare to the DWP. The last? I’m never going to return to the income I had when I worked in London. In the seven years since, I’ve learned a lot I’d never have done with that lifestyle to distract me, and I have to say that’s a good thing. I like this version of me. He’s worthy of the title ‘part-time gentleman’.
The world? I’ve waxed apocalyptic, cynical, and generally bleak several times. I see no need to reiterate or indulge my pessimism.
Why? No matter how much good folk shout, the sheer mass of uncaring passengers on this downward journey overrides us. Just like the lost testaments of all those who died without record outweigh the writings that survive, the scales of this ‘civilisation’ are tipped so far they cannot swing back without one side first hitting the ground, hard.
And that, I suppose, is the greatest change 2017 wrought upon me: it’s the year when priorities became big things, big things became little things, and little things became trivia. The world is headed for an end. I’ve illustrated my belief in that enough, now. I may highlight a particular good or evil as I happen across it, but it’s time to get on.
Priorities? I write. I will write. Everything else is subject to change without notice.
Let’s have more realism and less delusion, shall we?
Happy(?) New Year. 🙂