2016 will go down in history as one cataclysmic year!
Of course, there was Brexit, which seemed to foretell a wave of old white male fear and foot stomping that brought the bloated, unqualified and barely literate Trump to the world stage.
Only time will tell how disastrous a decision that was but to the cries of “give him a chance.” I answer if you give cancer a chance, it will destroy a body, and I grimly fear Trump will do similar untold damage to the US and the world. But enough of that old windbag!
There were, unfortunately, a seemingly neverending list of beloved celebrities who made 2016 their last year on Earth. I especially was saddened by Alan Rickman, a real favourite of mine and I don’t think George Michael’s death has sunk in at all yet, It doesn’t feel like Christmas until you hear “Careless Whisper” on the radio.
But for all the political madness and celebrity carnage, in many ways, 2016 has been a good year for me. Of course, there had been the usual ups and downs, that is life, including family illness and bereavement.
But there were many highlights too. 2016 saw me take a long running hobby (writing) and begin monetizing it and seeing it as a potential business. Within 6 months I was able to close my home daycare and become a full-time freelance writer. Something that seemed impossible just a few short months ago.
The thrill I got from filling in “writer” in the occupation field on various forms was almost reward enough, but the cold hard cash was pretty sweet too.
I also scored my very first press trip… to China, which was an unforgettable experience.
I feel very lucky to be able to make a living doing something I love and that I fantasised about as a child. For many years I mourned the loss of my teaching career, after moving to a country that was over saturated with teachers and had little opportunities for educators. But I can honestly say that I feel more fulfilled writing and seeing my ideas in print, than I ever did in the classroom, even though I loved teaching dearly.
Having the opportunity to care for my young son and work from home is also a pretty attractive benefit of my new career.
But even though I am very happy professionally, I do not intend to stand still and in fact, I credit much of my initial success with working incredibly hard. Most nights I would write until 11 or 12 at night after working for 10 hours in the daycare. My over-developed work ethic is thanks to my Mum who doesn’t suffer laziness.
For the new year, I already have a few pieces and pitches accepted and some of these I am very excited about, but I continue to journal and set publication goals, for example, next year I would love to be:
- featured in a print version
- snag a byline in a Hearst publication
- and finally crack Scary Mommy.
Writing is so rewarding precisely because you get better with practice and I am looking forward to finessing my craft (wow, that sounds so poncy!)
I would also really like to get through the second half of my novel- but I fear it will remain unfinished- that may just be one goal too many.
I am very lucky that I get to share my good and bad years with some amazing people, my friends, family and writing community really are the best.
I’ll be spending my New Years Eve quietly, as is my preference (see my article on why nervous people hate New Years) and making copious notes and goals for the year ahead- I wish you a fantabulous celebration!
So goodbye 2016, for better or worse, you will not be forgotten and hello to 2017, I just know you are going to rock!