2018: A year in review

2018: A year in review

Gosh, it’s so strange to think that we’re at the end of the year. Even Thursday’s post about New Year’s resolutions didn’t quite make it stick that it’s almost 2019. (Side note: what a strange set of numbers. 2019. It doesn’t roll off the tongue very well.)

But it is, indeed, the end of the year. A new year starts in a few days and, even though time is arbitrarily determined, it does always feel different when I start writing 2019 on my papers, not 2018. Then, there’s the fact that I always look back and get mildly nostalgic.

Frankly, a lot has happened in 2018. In the world and in my own life. I am not going to do a world events review, because that would be mildly depressing. Okay, maybe slightly more than mildly depressing. However, things have worked out pretty well for me this year. I’m going to see if I can’t make things work out even better in 2019.

So, first major thing that happened for me in 2018 was that I finished up my undergraduate dissertation and got my BA in Linguistics. During the whole time I was working on my dissertation, I hardly wrote a word of fiction at all. It was a draining piece of work and my advisors more or less ruined writing for pleasure. Once I finished my undergraduate dissertation, though, I no longer had to write to the formulaic and obvious tune of my advisors. This meant that I got to write fiction again.

And, golly, was it tough to get back into writing. In the last, oh, five years, I have written a new novel approximately every three months. Not all of them were great, but they were all pretty good learning experiences. After my dissertation, I started writing fiction again. It was almost like pulling teeth. The words wouldn’t come, I had to struggle to get the plot to make sense. But I finished a piece and wrote more. Then, I started writing every day (or every other day, depending) and I finally felt like myself again.

I also vowed never to go so long without writing again.

The other major thing to happen to me in 2018 was that I started my MSc in Applied Linguistics. Yes, I jumped straight from a BA to an MSc. I had originally thought that I would be taking my degree to the AI/NLP world and doing work with computers. You know, research. Only… I don’t love that sort of research. I discovered that research and academia really is its own world that lives by its own rules and — the part that made me dislike it the most — its own politics.

I don’t care beans about politics. I mean, really. I’ll get involved in the national/global politics because it’s necessary. Small, corporate/university politics? Couldn’t be bothered.

So I decided that I would be a writer. And this was the point where I started getting involved in social media, applying the final edits to one of my earlier pieces and planning out my writing career. I’m going to finish my MSc, but I’m not going into research or academia.

I think the last month or two have really been the times where my writing career has started taking form. I have connected with people in the various #WritingCommunities on various social media platforms. My sci-fi/dystopian novel has had its final edits. I’ve started rewriting my fantasy/adventure novel for publication and plan on making it a series. I think I can make this work. This won’t be all that I am going to do, because I do have bills to pay and writing takes time to pay off. However.

I’m really excited to get working on things for 2019. My MSc dissertation. My books. More blog posts. YouTube videos. Figuring out my second job. I’m sure there are going to be not-so-great times (every year has them, because that’s Life). But I’m excited for the work that’s ahead.

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