The year that was... (2017)

At the end of 2016, I decided to write less: I want to nurture old and new friendships, to read widely, to have fun, to experiment with photography, fiction and poetry.

I wrote less in 2017. I didn't 'push' myself but I still wrote. I nurtured friendships online and IRL. I read more fiction and discovered new favourite writers and books (1 | 2 | 3). I read in hope I would one day write fiction or poetry (again). I made photo zines. Things happened.

I had fun. A lot more fun than expected. crammed in as much as I could          before I left.

In September, I moved back to Melbourne. A friend asks if I'm happier. I reply, 'I don't think it's as simple as saying I'm happier in Melbourne or would have been happier in Canberra. By choosing one over the other, I'm gaining but also giving up a different life.'

In November, I reflected:

A year ago I wrote a list of 14 publications under 'Writing goals'. I was published in none of them (though I pitched to two).
Do I wish I had written and published more this year? Yes.
Do I think I failed because I didn't? No.
Admittedly, I felt guilty and worried about taking a break. (What if I wasn't pushing myself enough...) It was easier not to compare when I had no writer friends and wasn't on Twitter. I avoid comparing as a general rule but it was hard several moments this year.
One thing I cling to: you *are* writing, even when it seems you're not.
This is especially true as a memoirist. You *need* to live first.
This year has been a year of transition, as a person and a writer. I no longer want to write about guilt.
I want to write about sexual awakenings, pleasure and desire. I want to write about female friendship, music and saying goodbye to my early twenties and Canberra. I want to write about the intersections between life and art.
As I posted this time last year, 'rejection' is a part of life but it doesn't mean failure. (Ok, I know I'm being really earnest now...)
This year I was an artist at You Are Here and Noted (my two fav CBR festivals) and a panellist at Feminist Writers Festival. I made new friends (on Twitter and IRL) and tried my best to nurture old friendships (this, I wish I spent more time on *sigh*).
A stranger emailed me after Feminist Writers Festival to thank *me* for sharing my writing and for sharing my voice. ('Your writing is so beautiful and honest without pretense.')
I cried.
The response I received to 'Don't (f**king) ask me where I'm from, please' was also overwhelming, in the very best way. Readers thanked me for articulating something they had experienced / felt. This was all I had hoped for...
I'm sharing all this, the highs and lows of writing, because I think it's important. I don't write for money, fame or validation (though validation is nice). I write so that I, and others, feel less alone.
This year, at the very least, I achieved this xo

(what the f**k are perfect places. anyway.)

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