2018 was not the best year for me. I was on a very difficult contract, I had slipped into a lot of bad habits and I turned 30, which – for reasons beyond me – had become a massive issue for me. To cap it all, I was diagnosed with GAD or Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
I’m no stranger to anxiety.
Anxiety and I are old friends. I honestly believe it’s what makes me so good at what I do. A low-level feeling that something’s going to go wrong is why I’m such a good planner slash perfectionist.
This year, the anxiety stopped being useful and finally overwhelmed me. I stopped being able to control it. Now I was living in a life where every mistake was the end of the world. I was crushed by a sense that I’d already screwed up enough that the rest of my time on this planet was worthless.
Not to dwell, but I haven’t had the best year.
But I’m now back on track. Where I’m heading, I’m still not sure, but anywhere is better than where I’m coming from. I’m doing CBT training, I’m learning to be nicer to myself and all those sorts of things you might have hoped were obvious but really aren’t.
Last years resolutions
As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions because they seldom work. And it’s become obvious to me that I have an issue with the passing of time. It’s difficult to explain, but yearly events have become an opportunity to beat myself up. By next Christmas, I should be published. By next year, I should be thin. By next Valentine’s Day, I should have a boyfriend. By next birthday, I should be someone else.
But looking back at my post Writing Resolutions of 2018, I was surprised to find that even after a year of mental health issues, I managed to hit some of my targets.
I DID hit my reading target. My goal was 25 books this year and I, in fact, read 38.
I didn’t manage to write as regularly on this blog as I would have liked, however, there has been a lot of blog progress this year! This blog has gone through a rebrand. Words Like Rain is now a blog for my rants, my reviews and anything I want to talk about which is not speculative fiction.
My new blog, Melanie Roussel Fiction is all things speculative fiction from horror to sci-fi to fantasy. I’m very proud of it, you should check it out!
I DID manage to commit to my writing time. And I finished the third draft of my sci-fi novel in early December. It’s now gone out to beta readers.
Actively trying to get published was the sticky one. Sending my work out is very much tied up with my anxiety and try as I might, I just didn’t have the strength to get rejected this year. However, I did enter the always fabulous Christopher Fielden’s competition To Hull and Back and was featured on the long list for my story Chasing Time, which I’m very proud of.
Goals of 2019
Let’s drop resolutions and instead talk about goals. A goal isn’t as scary to me. A goal is something to shot for. A resolution is a promise to change behaviour – a promise that sometimes, I just can’t keep.
Goal: Enter more writing competitions.
Goal: Write more with the view of it being seen – expect to see more short stories appearing on my blog Melanie Roussel Fiction!
Goal: Read 30-40 books.
Goal: Get the sci-fi novel to a point I can start sending it out to agents.
All of these are perfectly do-able in a year. The only obstacle in the way is the anxiety – something I’m doing everything I possibly can to manage.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Any resolutions or goals you’d like to share?