End of the year - the usual analysis on what one has lived through
It's that time of the year again, innit? When one takes stock. Thinks back on the year one's leaving behind. Counts the blessings and the losses, gives thanks and makes plans. See, I usually do that on my birthday, crazy as it sounds. When we get to the end of the year, I find myself doing much the same to some extent. This year cannot be any different, I guess. But truth be told, I have no idea what to think of this year. What a strange, strange year this one was. I'm guessing not only for me, I bet there's a lot of you who can't make head nor tails of the past year. It's supposed to have been a really terrible year, where nothing was acomplished, and nothing has been gained or truly experienced to good measure. It's supposed to have been n one's year, in fact. Not really sure about that one, though. Strange as it seems, this year didn't feel like something horrid. It felt like a turning point, to me. A major one.
I've come across a lot of memes about how if one has survived 2016, one can survive anything, and that in fact 2016 was not be anyone's year. Like 2016 was the worst year in a long time. The year that one is going to remember forever as the worst in all aspects. I had one such year. No, actually scratch that and make it two: 2010 and 2011. I've only just managed to be done with the after effects of those two years, honestly. I've only just finished wrapping up and putting behind me all the bad those two years brought to my life. 2016 was not like that. It was not like that in a far cry. When I think of 2016, I think of it as a particularly good year, odd as it seems. A year of achievements, successes, stability and possibilities. A turning point, like I said. Feels like something has shifted, I don't know if in me or if in my own particular and personal conditions, but it feels like something has indeed changed in my life, for the better. And it did not come about recently, nope, it began building up, taking momentum right at the start of 2016.
But if I'm to dissect this past year month to month, I find that it was a pretty awful one, in fact!! We began the year with severely bad news related to a family member. Then we lost a family member. Then we got some more bad news about another family member. Then there were lots of problems with other family members and my patience and resistance was stretched to its limits. I was under a lot of stress for at least half of this year. Things were going on that were really driving me out of my mind, and making my life look like a dead end street. No light at the end of the tunnel bad, you know? But all and all, I wasn't quite seeing things that way... I was counting my blessings most of the time, and in fact it is with a sense of joy and achievement that I look back on this year. Despite everything that was happening and that felt like it was meant by the universe to send me off track, to force me down, I simply couldn't bring myself to feel down. Something inside me always kept pushing me up after every blow, making me feel so sure there would be a better moment ahead, making me feel that it wasn't all so horrid, and that there were worse things happening to others so I should focus on the good and enjoy it. I did just that. I chose to focus on the good, everytime I felt myself getting frustrated, and angry, or sad, or worried to the point of not sleeping, I would focus on good things in my life so I could shift my thoughts. And I told myself those less than good things didn't really matter. It kind of worked, or maybe I'm just loosing it all together! (insert loud laugh here)
Although I was being stretched to the limit, I had other things going on that simply drowned the bad, they so far surpassed all the nasty things going on. In May, I published my first novel - well, not my first written novel, as I have been writing since I was seven or eight. I recently saw an interview with spanish novelist Carlos Zafón, where he said that from an early age he knew there was nothing more to do for him but become a writer. I have always felt the same, I may not be the very best of writers, but it is the only thing for me, the only thing I feel satisfied doing. So in April this year I took a leap of faith and went for the self publishing option - there was no other possibility, actually. I'm glad I did it, though, because the good feelings I got from that have sustained me through the less good this year has brought along. I am not doing well where it comes to the sales, my first novel sold five digital editions - eBooks - and the new one only four. I don't know if all and all they're any good, frankly. I think they are, I feel rather proud of my work in those novels, but that's me. I still go through old writings of mine and find that there are lines, chapters in them that are so good, so bloody good. So I'm not the proper person to state that my books are worthy of more attention from the public, to me they are, but I am not the public. Would I like for them to be read by lots of people? Of course I would! But they will be as they are, and if even those closest to me won't take a chance on them, how can I expect perfect strangers to? I rather choose to focus on how good it feels to have published those books, instead of stressing over figures. Go figure! But I have lost my faith in people and their empty words a long time ago, so I never really believe what people tell me, especially when they praise my writing and say they would really love to read more of my work. No one who has been saying that to me for a while now has ever bought a copy of my books, so I always feel like it's something people say - for whatever reason! - and it doesn't really mean it's the truth. Those who really wanted to read further, have bought the eBooks, and to you I am beyond grateful, really. You have made me feel the best I had in years, professionaly speaking. Thank you ever so much!
I also have this blog, which has helped in making me feel like I do something good and worthwhile. I love doing it, the cooking, the styling, the shooting. The research it sometimes forces me to dig into, the yummy stuff I get to discover and eat, the playing around with props and light and everything... it makes me feel quite alive and accomplished. And I have come across some really cool people, through blogging, especially this past year. I'm really glad about that, because I suffer from a severe case of social anxiety that makes it very hard for me to go out there and mingle, and meet people, and socialize in a "normal" context. But it warms my heart, to know people like these exist, it warms my heart. Now I'm about to wrap up the year with a new novel having been publish and trying to get the possibility for paperback editions for both novels. Can't say 2016 was bad. For me it was a rather good year, all in all, you know? I have no real plans for 2017, except finishing my trilogy and publishing the two novels that follow "Unnatural", finding a way of getting those paperback editions working for me, and blog a lot. I am focusing my energies on that, what else comes along, I'll deal with in the meantime. Not thinking about success, nor material benefits, just art for art's sake, and I know that has always been my downfall. But I am as I am, and I can't seem to change. So here's to 2017, may it be so good for us all, may it be gentle and kind, may we be gentle and kind with the others and ourselves. Please, have yourselves a Happy New Year, and thank you for sticking around and enjoying my blog. Thank your for the support and regular visits, the comments, the words. Trust they do mean quite a lot to me. Goodbye, 2016, as far as I am concern, you were the best year in a very long time, despite all the ugly.