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  • Cate Whittle

A (Writing) Year in Review

...this is a story of the good, the bad and the ugly!

The good bit is the best.

It is the bit where I have Explored. Dreamed. Discovered.

It is the bit where I have had two books published and sent out into the big wide world, and (biting my nails) they’ve done okay. I’m proud of my little books, and dead chuffed by my growing fan base of amazing readers (young and young at heart), and I’m looking forward to the next book in the Trouble series hitting the shelves early next year.

It is the bit where I have been invited into schools to talk to kids about my books, and about writing (mine and theirs), and about being persistent and believing in yourself.

It is the bit about book launches and signings (and having the best parties ever!) where you get to meet readers face to face and chat about things that interest both of you... and, from the other side of the coin, it is about book launches and signings and meeting authors (and illustrators) face to face and getting to tell them about how much you love their work.

...some of the places I've been and people I've seen...

It is the bit about spending time with like minded people, networking, and sharing little triumphs along the way. It’s about cheering for the rest of the team and getting excited when they win. And commiserating when they don’t. And reminding them that, yes, you deserve to be very proud of what you’ve achieved, even when you get pipped at the post by [insert name of famous writer].

It’s the bit about reading as many books as you can fit in, and getting to call it Research. Or staring out the window and calling it Work.

It is the bit about sharing what you have learned along the way, having the opportunity to inspire others who are following you on their journey, and see them leave the course you’ve just presented ready to try new things, ready to fly.

It is the bit about getting up early in the morning, savouring the peace and quiet (and a steaming mug of revitalising tea), and getting lost in the story as you type away as fast as you can before the idea slips away along with the day.

The bad bit is the bit about not getting as much done as you would like, the bit about other things taking precedence when you just want to write. I’ve had a lot of these bits. Where the Day Job has had to come first. These are the times when you just have to suck it up and do some adulting. It’s a good thing that I like my Day Job. Being a teacher is inspiring and rewarding in many, many ways. It’s just that it can be a very demanding friend.

Other things crop up, too. Like housework. I mean, does it ever go away? Didn’t I just do that yesterday?

And, you know, other stuff, like trying to keep on top of my teenager’s school work. Grocery shopping. Figuring out finances. Etc.

The ugly is the bit where you feel like you are fighting against yourself to get everything done. Where facebook is more appealing. Where folding the washing beats working out that next plot point. Where even going for a walk hasn’t produced the answer to the conundrum that you’ve just written yourself into. Where the only person you can blame is yourself.

Where you wonder if you have the right to call yourself a writer.

There are those bits, too.

But, as I look back over this amazing year, where so much has been happening, I can honestly say that there are so many more good bits to this story, my writing story.

I have loved every book launch (mine and others’), every course I’ve taken and every workshop I’ve delivered, every conference I’ve attended, every reader and every hopeful writer I’ve met, and every quiet morning, where, with cup in hand, I’ve looked out over my garden, taken a deep breath, and plunged into the day.

Oh, and all those books I’ve read, and windows out of which I have stared? I’ve loved them, too.

And there is nothing like (finally) having a book (or two) on the shelves at the local book store (or in the school library).

Here’s to the year that was.

And... here’s to next year, too.

May all our good bits outweigh the bad and the ugly.

Wishing you and yours the happiness and peace of the season, and much joy in the coming year.

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