Note: It’s been a while since I blogged, and you can expect my blog posts to be more sporadic in the coming year – with my generous use of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I find that I say a lot of what I want to say there. I haven’t yet decided how frequent my newsletter will be.
Every year is an interesting year: I find that what I am learning most of all is just to enjoy life, and allow myself to be myself.
This year, I decided to pull back from selling at markets so much, work less at the day job, and allow myself to have more time actually off. For a while I loved following Inger Kenobi’s idea of ‘Fun Fridays’, and Meg Kissack’s Couragemaker’s podcast has become a place to find voices of encouragement and wisdom. On social media, I have particularly appreciated the positivity of my dear friends Amanda Staley, and Jonathon Hagger.
The decision to sell less in person has obviously affected my sales – in fact, this year they’ve almost halved on the previous year – but I still feel like it’s been a successful shift in terms of my own wellbeing and happiness. A few years ago this was my New Year ‘resolution’ and it continues to be first and foremost in my decision making processes.
I signed up for the Auckland half marathon, and while I didn’t do as well as I had wanted to, I’m proud of myself for having done it, and for being able to do some fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, a charity I feel very strongly about for many reasons.
I published I Am A Writer (Feb), Ramble On (Oct), and just yesterday picked up copies of the 2018 NZ Young Writers’ Anthology, Nature. Yay! There’s been less published this year (but still, three books!) because I’ve a) taken time off, and b) done a whopping 17 school visits, mostly supported by my lovely supporters on Patreon (learn more about this here).
These books reflect my move into non-fiction, especially with the launching of Blue Mushroom Books, which will include books from other authors. By having a press with a strong & clear focus, I am better able to decide which ideas I follow up on, and which ideas I let go for someone else to pursue. My own projects (the dollhouse book, The Train to Nowhere; (wo)manpower & other zines; The Caretaker Series) will have loose deadlines and will pretty much just be for my own enjoyment. I feel incredibly good about this decision.
So looking forward to 2018 is working more with other writers and celebrating the talented people and beautiful places of New Zealand through Blue Mushroom Books. For me personally it’s about continuing to peel off the layers to just be me, and allowing my own wonderfully weird brand of creativity.