I've started this post about 5 times, deleting and re-doing it, unsure of how to really talk about my writing year. Thing is, it's impossible to do it without mentionning Mum. I veer away from blogging / facebooking about Mum, or about anything really personal - it's all part of my love / hate relationship with the idea that we have 'digital doubles' - the side of ourselves we choose to show online. And that I don't think I can get the words right, they will be too dramatic, or too casual, or not natural. But in leaving it out I feel guilty, and dishonest.
Overall I can't judge the 2 things together, only to say that I can't judge them apart. I can't say 'this happened/didn't happen' because of what I was going through. Even for an analytical person it's hard to detach enough to know how you've reacted to such a loss when it's still close by, and when really - you're still in it. But I do feel changed. And thankful.
And I feel hopeful.
I have high hopes and good feelings for 2011.
2011: my writing goals (don't like that word, or resolutions, or aims... can't think of a better one now though. Suggestions?)
- to write and publish something other than short stories. Although I will keep writing and publishing short stories, but I want to stretch myself and write some non-fiction. I have a few ideas for articles and places that might take them, nothing big - I'm new to it and will start small - but I've wanted to dabble in article writing for a while and it's time to add another string, I feel.
- to make good use of my agent contact. One of the most out-of-the-blue and lovely things to happen in 2010 was the offer to send some of my work to a literary agent. This is the kind of thing that you dream of happening - and although I'm not being rose-tinted about it - I know it doesn't mean that when I send something along the agent will love it and want to sign me and that will be the start of something - I am aware of how infrequently you get a chance to converse with someone in the publishing world, and I don't want to let that chance slip away. (If the agent in question reads this, please know that when I say 'make good use of' I just mean 'seize', in a very professional and normal way.)
- be less distracted by the internet. Always something I battle with, any time of year. Not much to be said about it - it's simple - get offline and write.
- and when I suddenly get a good idea, or have a breakthrough moment - don't decide NOW is the time to put the washing in, make a cup of tea, phone a friend, have a bath... odd, this one, only something I've become aware of recently - I can have a really good feeling about something, then just swan off. This is weird, Teresa: stop it.
- make progress with the 3 main projects you are working on right now. 2 books and 1 short story are edging forwards at a very slow speed. Let's speed it up.
I think that's all. It has taken me 3 hours to write this post, I've been doing things in between, but still... It's a hard thing to do though, looking back and looking forward.
I'd like to champion the present too - it never gets enough attention.