2020 and Keeping the Wheels Turning (a brief but somewhat rambling post)
I always forget (well, enter a state of complete denial) how bone-crushingly exhausting retail is at this time of year, and this year, this year most of all, and that’s not because we have horrible customers at Avid – we have wonderful customers – but because we all give so much of ourselves to the job, we all care about what we do, and most of us a lifetime booksellers.
And, of course, it was 2020. We were lucky to not only survive at Avid, but keep doing what we do well, find the right books for readers – and more often than not those books are surprising.
Perhaps not the greatest year to have a book released, but I am so proud of Giant and the Sea, and so pleased that it has found readers.
I’ve spent most of the year working on a novel that pushed everything else to one side, and still has a way to go, and then, just towards the end of the year (still in denial) I started a few side projects.
I’ve been quieter than ever on social media, mainly because between parenting, writing and a bookselling, I have so little time and energy - and I protect what time I have, I'm old enough now to see that it really is a limited resource, and my job insulates me a little from the need to run and run, and so I can type and work and parent and see what happens.
I taught a workshop called You Will Fail, that I deeply enjoyed – and which firmed a few ideas around the business of writing, and writing itself that I found interesting - and will elaborate, but basically come down to be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and keep at it.
I did a few things for the Giant and the Sea including one of my favourite launches ever, despite it being on Zoom – thank you Megan Daley and Krissy Kneen.
I basically did what I could to keep the wheels turning on my writing, to follow the narrative wordish paths that I find interesting, and to be as helpful as I can manage to others. Writing gives me great joy, a lot of headaches (literally, but that's another story too), and a place to fall into (and lose the noisiness that is me) and, eventually, connect with readers, which is always a wonder.
2021 is already looking interesting and, if I am lucky, the work I have slowly, slowly developed over the last few years may start to wend its way towards an audience.
2020 was also far more importantly the year where I think I became more comfortable with my parenting. Not that there weren't a lot of mistakes! My child taught me more this year than I could have ever imagined, and I am so grateful to them. Their excitement, their sense of adventure, and humour, all these things enriched my life.
We have had sadness this year, but also joy, and I suppose this is as good place to say that Fiona and I are expecting another addition to the family in 2021, with all the hope and joy and other things (EXHAUSTION) that that brings.
We are in a dark time in our history, but there is light, and there are battles that we can all fight to make things better for our communities, our world, and our children. May we all find the energy to engage in 2021.
Happy and safe holidays to those that holiday. Happy and safe new year to those that new year. May our future be filled with tolerance, kindness, good works, good books, and good times.