Monday 30 December 2013

In 2013 I...

Hello everyone :)

I’ve been working on this blog post for a few days, trying to work out what to say about 2013. I want to write something really cheerful and upbeat, but in all honesty, it’s been a bugger of a year with one thing and another.

Now, first things first. Contrary to what I’ve heard on the internet at various points through the year – I’m not giving up writing. I don’t have writer’s block. I’m not burned out.

It is true that, over the last year, I haven’t been able to publish at anywhere near my usual volume. However, that’s had less to do with my ability/willingness to write, and more to do with my needing to temporarily divert my energy into dealing with other things.

As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I have ME/CFS. Energy is something that is always in short supply and this year has brought some special challenges.

I don’t know how many people reading this are familiar with Spoon Theory. (There’s a great write up on it here. If you don’t want to read it to understand a stranger’s blog post, that’s fair enough, but I’d really encourage you to read it if you know anyone in real life who is dealing with a condition that involves chronic pain or fatigue.)

Over the past year, I’ve had very few spoons to use on writing. Part of this is simply the nature of things. When you have ME there are days, weeks and months where spoons are simply in very short supply.

There has also been something of a "return to reality" element to 2013 for me. You see, for the last few years, I was taking a cocktail of medications to try to manage my ME/CFS and con some extra spoons out of the universe. In February this year, the combined side effects of the various medications finally became completely unmanageable. I had to stop taking all my meds. Most of my limited supply of spoons has been spent dealing with the fall out form that and, in some way re-paying all those spoons I was so chuffed to have managed to con out of the universe.

I’ll be honest, most days this year, getting out of bed used up pretty much every spoon I had. Doing anything beyond that was, quite simply, impossible.

So, as you might have guessed by this point, this year’s recap is slightly different to those I’ve done in previous years. It’s less about celebrating big successes and more about taking cheerfulness as and where I find it. Here goes…

In 2013 I…

* Released eight (short) e-books through various e-publishers. (Although, in the interests of full disclosure, all of them were either submitted, or at least started, before 2013 began.)

* Came off four highly addictive medications in quick succession. (Not fun, but happily now in the past!)

*Regained some of my tolerance for the kind of pain that not being on pain meds involves. (Again, not a fun process, but I think the worst has past.)

* Lost half the weight I put on while I’d been taking those meds.

* Re-read my entire backlist twice. (I originally needed to do this because, as a side effect of one of the meds, my memory of writing some of my stories isn’t as complete as it should be. However, the re-reading has proved to be useful—it’s allowed me to assess which stories need to be significantly altered if I want to re-release them as self pubs in the future. That’s a good thing.)

* Released my first self published e-book. (This one is a genuine highlight for me. I’m really proud of that book!)

So, all in all, I guess there are quite a few silver linings there. And, the really good news is, 2013 is just about over!

2014 is going to be a much better year. More about that, my plans for 2014, and possibly a bit about New Year’s Resolutions, in the next post.


Kim Dare