Reflecting on May to December (2016)…

BEHIND THE WRITING DESK_optReports of my admission to rehab for cake and board game addiction are greatly exaggerated. *I say, wiping chocolate frosting and meeples from my cheek*. This blog, and pretty much all social media attached to my writing have all been neglected. I just couldn’t keep up with it all. Life interrupts…


I’ve been studying. Here in the UK we have cuts in local government–the people I work for–so I haven’t felt secure for quite a while. When you get made redundant you go in a ‘talent pool’, where they try and match you to vacancies. Having spent 15 years in social care, I thought I had best make myself look more attractive. Beyond my cat t shirts. And show that I’m at least adaptable. My phone just corrected that to ‘adorable’. If only that was all I needed to demonstrate–refer back to cat t shirts.
It quickly became clear that working full time and writing and self studying part-time was not working out. So, I’ve had to take a break from writing–and other enjoyable parts of my life–to study. A year on, with pretty much 6 months of that being a miserable work and study mix, I’ve now passed my AAT level 3.
It feels great to be finished. I’m quite chuffed to be qualified in something completely different. I no longer feel so locked into one career. And I’m no longer number phobic. It feels good to have done something to help when/if the axe falls at work. But I’ve literally collapsed in a heap since I finished. A solid 6 months of uphill studying, frustration at not getting bits, the pressure I put on myself to get it done, the not being able to switch off and enjoy distractions, and the worrying about passing was a lot to deal with. I feel as light as feather now it’s all gone and I’m taking some time to chill out, but I can feel the writery itch coming back. Slowly as my mind switched from numbers to words again. I’m holding off until I’m ready, enjoying my weekends in board games and TV and reading, but I’m nearly there.
So, writery news? Well, sales have declined over the last 3 or 4 months. I’m surprised they stayed as steady as they did before–essentially affording me a modern board game every month. Now my earnings are back to a monthly tea and a cake for two level. I did my tax return like a good boy, and I made another loss due to editing costs. So, writing remains firmly as a hobby. Which I’m okay with, because it cost less than my geek hobbies, so I can take the loss–it’s something I really enjoy, and hobbies don’t usually make people money after all.
With a nice line of titles behind me, a clutch of reasonable reviews, and regular sales, I feel pretty good about what I’ve achieved so far, and heading back into writing I guess things can only get better. Let’s see what 2017 brings…

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