I’ve done a version of this post idea in video form for the past two years, and I think it’s finally time to put it down in writing so I can refer back to it throughout the year. So, here are my writing goals for 2023 and a reflection on what I achieved last year in 2022!
I’m still working on a post about my favourite books of 2021, so here I am instead to write a recap of the year! I haven’t done one of these big round-up posts since last year, but Goodreads has shown me all of my reading statistics for the year, and I am still a number nerd.
Reading wise, this year has been exciting. It’s been my most ambitious reading year to date, I’ve fallen in love with the works of many new authors, and I’ve been making the most of my local library’s app for eBooks.
This year has also been pretty tough. My mental and physical health has been at its worst and I’ve fallen a bit out of love with writing, the one thing I’ve loved for a huge proportion of my life. And Covid. We won’t forget about that.
But this blog isn’t going to focus on that: it’s going to focus on all the good books I’ve read this year and how I suddenly need to buy a new bookshelf because I’ve filled my fourth one.
Many writers (and creative people in general) struggle with mental illness, myself included. And it’s not as charming or helpful or inspiring for our work as some people try to make it seem. At the very least, writers are often stereotyped to be depressed. And I’m not joking when I say that there are people out there in the world who believe that creatives have to be mentally ill in order to create some kind of art. My opinion, in one word, is just… no.
Writing while being mentally ill (from my experience) is occasionally borderline impossible. On a good day, it can be incredibly difficult. It’s not fun and it makes you feel like quitting or missing out on opportunities or not enjoy something that you truly love. It’s a fight to keep going, and sometimes you just need support. Being stigmatised or told you’re ‘broken’ or that you should be mentally ill because you’re a creative are some of the worst and least helpful things.
So, from the experience of a writer with a mental illness, here are some things I do to keep me writing.
My writing mode is either wildly typing every single word I can think of or curling up in the corner crying with a notebook and pencil and an empty page. There is rarely any middle ground. So, in honour of writing, I’m going to be answering some writing related questions.
I mentioned this in my last post – Bookish Facts About Me – but I thought I’d talk about it in a bit more detail in it’s own post.
Some time in either March or April, I submitted the first three chapters of my novel ‘Beauty in the Breakdown’ to a publishing company. At this point, I had already self-published the book, something which I thought would come up as an issue with any company, but I still wanted to try anyway as I can take down the book at any point.
The company liked the chapters I submitted to them and I ended sending them the full manuscript. At the end of April, they offered me a publishing contract.
If you follow me on social media, you might have seen that I’ve been planning on self-publishing it for a while. Now, the story is finished, meaning that this little dream is finally becoming a reality. The book is now available for purchase on Amazon. Here is what it looks like:
Since I haven’t worked out the best plan for promotion yet, I decided that I would do a tag so I can explain the book further to anyone who is interested.