Finding Certainty in Uncertain Times

Well, the world sure feels surreal right now. Almost every nation is enacting some level of lockdown, social isolation and distancing is now a way of life and Canada’s closed its borders for non-essential travel for the first time in my memory.

It’s scary, and a lot of the implications of what can happen are scarier.

But, I want to talk about something important. The world is surreal and things can be scary, but this situation has helped me clarify what’s important to me. Family, friends, health. I’ve been on this path for a while, chasing the idea of living rather than just surviving.

Life can be hard, it can be short… but it’s also what we make it.

I’m choosing to step back from online serialization sites for a while. I had some great experiences and met some wonderful people, but since November it’s been one crisis after another. I stood up and tried to work within (and without) of the company process, but when a company chose to side with harassers over protecting users, I was torn. Do I leave and sacrifice a network and community that still held value to me? Did I stay and know that the harassment would continue?

And then COVID reached Canada. Then the safety measures were put into place and I sat down with my Mom and had a talk about what would happen if she got sick, if my Dad got sick. If I got sick. This isn’t our first health rodeo, so it was a pretty calm discussion. But.

I realised that my time spent dealing with petty and ineffectual people over stupid issues on the internet was taking up too much of my time. It feels big in the moment, until something actually big shows up.

I’m still writing, I’ll always write. My goals have just shifted back to aiming for Trad or Indie pub.

The internet drama will continue on its own, I’m sure. But I don’t have to engage with it. Instead, I’m choosing to spend time in contact with loved ones and on improving my health in any way I can.

Life is too short, but I needed the reminder.

Call your loved ones, hug your pet. Make art and rest and recover.

What about Patreon?

I’ll be reinstating the hiatus for the moment, so that folks can conserve their finances in case money gets tight.

2020 Foresight

It’s the last day of the year, and thank god what better time to look forward?

2019 was difficult in many ways, but by Fall, the hard work I’d been putting in started to pay off in my personal life, in my health, and in my writing. I started working on a ‘silly western and fantasy’ story at the beginning of 2019, though I only really got around to sharing it on Wattpad in March or so. I found a community there was supportive at moments I felt bogged down by what was quickly becoming a full-length fantasy novel.

Then, in October, it won one of Wattpad’s Watty Awards for Fantasy. (That means, of the 170k stories submitted, mine won one of 60 awards.)

Suddenly I had a finished draft of a novel, that people liked, that won an award, and that hadn’t been a goal I set out for myself this year. Best of all, I had done it without burning out despite the day job being more demanding than it has been in a while.

I did it. I finished drafting a novel, start to finish.

And in 2020, I’m going to do it again.

2020 Goals

  • Get outside at least twice a week for a walk. Yes, winter too.
  • Strengthen and rebuild muscles to feel stronger.
  • Continue to work toward a balance of work and life.
  • Continue to look up, to notice the world around me. Screens aren’t everything.
  • Finish the next book. Then the one after that.

2019 Surprises

  • Finished Novel Draft
  • Won award for Novel
  • Learned how to better cope with stress and anxiety
  • Found a supportive group of writers that uplift and encourage me while also challenging me to do better
  • Was able to shift my focus from fighting for/against things to a more positive approach of growth and healing.