Saturday, 2 January 2021

I'm Still Here - 2020 Review

I'm still here, winter is here. It's been nice to have some breathing room after such a busy and in some ways difficult year. The snow arrived and then melted. We usually get a good amount after the holidays, but last year we had no snow that stuck at all, so we're all waiting to see what this year brings. On so many levels.

Things have changed again and I'm still trying to figure it all out because it will probably change all over again soon enough. I was working full-time at a school until the Christmas break, so between that, my course and regular life, I was busy. I really enjoyed the role, half-teaching assistant, half- one-to-one assistant, so I'm starting to lean more that direction work-wise. I am actually beginning to enjoy my studies a bit, now that I kind of understand how to find the research material I need without access to real books and articles. I'll get through this course, but it is an absolute haul with everything else. 

I'm not going to try and rehash 2020. It's over, it wasn't good, it wasn't too bad for me, but I'm tired. I'm struggling to keep an even keel emotionally with all the stress the holidays usually bring, my Gran's recent death of Covid and just being so isolated here. The thought of starting anything new seems overwhelming.

I'm trying to not put too much pressure or expectation onto 2021. Crossing over its threshold doesn't make everything new, bright or easier. I have small goals I'm aiming for, but I just want to keep moving forward and see what happens. 

I don't know what work holds for me in the New Year. I'm hoping to be invited back to the same role as I've been in, but it's not permanent and it very much depends on the school's needs and finances. I've accepted an editing job for the new year for when my current course finishes and can pick up some substitute work if the other job falls through, so I'll still be busy. More on the editing job later. I'm looking at another course, but maybe later in the year.

I haven't been able to spend much time on my writing in 2020. A bit of writing in at the weekend, trying to finish a poem or two and submitting to various mags. 

Over the holiday, I hoped to read a bit and maybe do some reviews of recent books, but the days slide away so quickly. I'm trying to write, of course. I'm in the process of pulling down my other blog. I just don't have the time to keep it up. I'm copying it all onto my computer. It's like having a yearbook for our early years. There's too much to print, but I love to go back over them.

I've been gathering up the details for my end of year review of publications, submissions, rejections and so on. 

2020
55 new poems
131 submissions to magazines, 3 to book publishers
106 magazine rejections, 4 book rejections

29 acceptances
50 poems were published in 28 magazines or other venues, 33 online
33 blog posts

It's not a lot when compared to my best year, last year:

2019
155 new poems
221 submissions to magazines, 7 to book publishers
170 magazine rejections, 6 book rejections

27 acceptances, 1 win pamphlet competition
41 poems were published in 25 magazines or other venues, 21 online
45 blog posts, 1 guest blog post 

The only thing that's improved is the number of acceptances and number of poems published, but that's important. I have more work accepted with fewer submissions. If I've done the math right, it's a 22% acceptance rate compared to a 13% for 2019. That feels huge.

I would have liked to see my Scottish collection published, but that's been pushed to later in 2021. It's still happening and hopefully I'll be able to get out there and promote it, rather than do it all online. So silver linings.

Overall, I'm happy with what I've accomplished in 2020, in my writing, in my jumbled life and I'm looking forward to 2021. I'm moving forward. I'm still here. 


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