2022 A Writing Year
Updated: Jan 1
What an exhausting year for us all. I swear I caught every virus going, missed more work than I've ever missed, and spent more time lying on the couch exhausted than I have in the previous three years combined, Parenting and viruses are an awful combination, but we've had a few good weeks now and I am very grateful for those.
This was the year that the Stone Road was finally released into the wild (twice), Day Boy was published in the US, The Giant and the Sea had a small US release, and I sold a few short stories (one of which was published in the Saturday Paper).
I also worked on the edits of my next picture book Mr Impoppable, and had the pleasure of seeing Brent Wilson take my work and run with it. Writing picture books is kind of like writing poetry, only it’s half a poem until the artist works on it. You get an unexpected reflection of the work, and it is such a delight.
I go into a picture book with no expectations, other than to be surprised. The writing is a surprise, but seeing work develop is a gift and a delight. Brent Wilson’s art perfectly matched and elevated the book, and I can’t wait for people to read it next year. I also got a cover quote from one of my picture book heroes so I am beyond delighted. I love picture books so much, and I still have to pinch myself when one is accepted. Hopefully there will be many more.
2023 will hopefully see me finishing the novel I just printed out. I’ve been working on this for nearly three years, and it’s the biggest, most complicated book I’ve ever attempted, almost half again as long as Stone Road. But I’ve enjoyed the challenge it’s presented and I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me next year.
Mr Impoppable will be out next year with Larrikin House in May, and a couple of other projects should see print. So, there should be a bit of continuity with this year.
Looking back, what first felt like me hardly doing anything this year has turned into something more upbeat and positive. I can’t complain about that. I hit a lot of professional milestones this year (some I can’t announce yet), and hitting them reminded me how absolutely out of your control so many elements of the publishing industry are, and that’s even before you find out if people actually respond to the work you produce. I’m so lucky to have an excellent agent at my back, and a career that keeps ticking along in its humble way. I’m also lucky to have a wonderful partner, and a great workplace to keep me on an even keel.
The things I can control (well sorta) I keep on doing. The most important being that you keep showing up for your writing. Even if it’s only to nudge a story forward by a few words. You keep showing up, because when the time and energy present themselves, you’re ready to run. And when you’re too tired, or too busy, well you have to be satisfied with that slow nudging (and you have to be kind to yourself) life’s too short and troubled to turn your joy to drudgery.
Bring on 2023.