Wrapping up 2018

Earlier this year, I was telling you about how embracing life sometimes comes before writing. Now that the year is coming to end, I look back at it and count my blessings. 2018 has been a year when I published less poetry, essays, and fiction than in 2016-2017, and more conference reports and opinion pieces on best medical writing practices, plus I’ve been working on a book and making sustained progress with it, in parallel to changing my job, moving house, setting up a proper home office, and dealing with health problems and challenging family situations. Often, life tends to happen all at once.

Between Christmas and now, I gave myself permission to rest, to wallow over things not under my control that hurt like hell, and to read. I wanted to write but haven’t been able to.

So I’ve been reading and setting writing goals for the new year instead.

Some of these goals have already been crystallised earlier in the year, but it feels good to remind myself of them.

The year will take off with a 10-week online class on writing book proposals specifically for creative nonfiction books, then I’ll attend the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Portland, Oregon, which will be followed by a writing and yoga workshop called Writing and the Body with one of my favourite writers, Lidia Yuknavitch.

Also, I’d like to send out more work to literary magazines, but I am changing my strategy. Realistically, I’ll be doing more this in the second half of the year. You will be able to read more about this next year on my blog.

I’m also planning to offer some general tips and tricks about submitting creative work.

And of course, I’ll go on polishing my book, applying some principles from the book proposal class in terms of refining my story, its arch, the intertwining of the personal story with the historical events, and what it all means now. My wish is to have a final draft by the end of 2019 and start pitching to agents and publishers in early 2020.

In addition, I’m looking forward to a wonderful collaborative project around the Oktoberfest time with a bunch of wonderful humans, aka writers and artists based in Munich. It’s going to be amazing. I’ll post more about this in due course. Additionally, I plan to be more active on social media and connect more with other writers and readers, both in person and online.

Last but not least, I plan to give more readings in Munich, on a regular basis. The first one will be on 16-Jan-2019, at the Provisorium Bar in Haidhausen.

Now that I’ve put all of this in writing, I can see that 2019 will be an ambitious year, just like the ones before. But setting goals helps me focus. I may not reach all of them, but they help me define my intentions, my chosen path. Sometimes I’ll embrace “distractions” on the path, but most of the times, I won’t.

There’s something I’ve learnt about doors that open: I don’t have to enter all.

As always, I’d love to hear about your own relationship with writing. How has it changed this year? What are your personal writing goals for 2019? Feel free to comment below.

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