Thoughts about the coming year begin for me around September, related perhaps to the change of the season and the nights drawing in. I enjoy that quiet time, just after New Year’s Eve, it’s the only time of the year when no one bothers me although, along with most of my freelance friends, I am attempting to complete my tax return.
I have a folder, which since September has The Plan 2020 written on the cover. It’s about setting my intentions for the future, it’s broad and it’s directional, because 2018/19 hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been impossible. I spent many months caring for a dying relative and then arranging his funeral, clearing his home and winding up his estate and this all took place hundreds of miles away from my home. When finally I drew a breath I had anaemia and was good for nothing. Since November I have got back into my stride and now I’m emerging. I have done a lot of work on the grounds at Meadow Cottage and renovated (with help) the summerhouse and the shed. There is a backlog, paperwork and numerous people to catch up with, but some kind of routine is establishing itself. I am working through my lists. Teaching, workshops, mentoring, running my Airbnb and, most importantly, my writing.
This year for the second time I was shortlisted in the prestigious Bridport Prize and that was a timely boost. When chaos reigns my anchor is my creativity, be it writing or art and design. I’ve observed that creatives who stop creating frequently fall into a malaise, even depression. Creativity is essential to my well-being. For all of us who attempt to live by our work there is a constant tension between working to pay the bills and working for our creative souls. So in the run up to 2020 all manner of projects are being given the final push they need in order to better support my creative writing.
Wishing you all a happy and creative 2020.