Definitely a fast year. A week out from the end of 2009, it’s safe to say that one flew right by. Writing Christmas cards this year felt odd, uncanny beyond what’s usual; I kept thinking I remembered writing someone or other’s card already, only to realise that was last year. Maybe it’s because in many ways this year replicated 2008. If last year was the year of hard graft, so was this. If last year was about redrafting the manuscript, so was this. If last year was about trying to get pregnant, so was this. I don’t think I’ve ever had two years resemble each other to so great a degree. Twin years. Let’s not try for triplets.
There are several things I’d hoped for this year that didn’t come to pass, and their stubborn non-arrival made 2009 feel like reliving 2008. I’d hoped to get some kind of traction for MS #1. I’ve done a year’s more work and yet have gone backwards as far as conventional measures are concerned. After starting the year with a shortlist placing, I’ve ended it not making the recent longlist. After starting the year with an agent requesting to see the full MS, I’ve ended it with that same agent having passed on the manuscript twice. Ugh.
But there were many pluses to the year, too. Dr F found and removed my endometriosis. Lady Alzheimer found happiness and appropriate care at St Andrew’s. The Darklings went from strength to strength. Volunteer Reader gave me some tough love. I was asked to be a guest blogger on the Varuna Alumni blog. My freelance career recovered from the hideous lows of the GFC. Llew and I actually managed to have a holiday together – in Shanghai, no less. I started MS #2, and it was shortlisted in its very first foray into the big wide world. I’ve read terrific books, including more Australian fiction in this year alone than probably across the rest of my life combined. I’ve gained new blog friends and celebrated over a year of friendship with others. And to all of you who spend time here at DoctorDi, any time at all, whether you post comments or prefer hiding in the shadows: THANK YOU. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you all make a profound difference to my writing life in particular and my well-being in general. You make working alone far less lonely, you make being rejected far less miserable, and you make spending many hours in a silent room much, much more amusing. Without you, I fear I’d give up, shrivel up and go belly up. I’d have gone dangerously mad by now, so thanks, I owe you more than I can ever repay.
Have a wonderful break, all. I’ll return Monday 4 January – let’s press on, shall we?