So, here we are, my last blog post of 2014. And what a year it’s been. At the start of the year, I was still suffering such terrible back problems I could barely sit at my computer for long enough to write a blog post. Now, I’ve managed to churn out 65,000 words (and counting) on my new work-in-progress fantasy novel, The Silvergreen Sea. Then, I was on extended sick leave from my job at Rolls-Royce. Now, I’ve quit the day job to devote myself to writing full-time. Then, I could barely get beyond a walking radius of my house, and gainful employment was a distant dream. Now, I’ve managed extended trips as far as visiting relatives on the South Coast, and day trips to London. I’ve also taken a temporary Christmas job selling books at Waterstone’s. Which is great when I get to hand-sell books by authors I enjoy, like Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson, or Ben Aaronovitch: and less great when I have to deal with customers who say things like ‘I’m looking for a book – I can’t remember the title, or the author, but it’s got a red cover.’ But overall, I love being able to spend lots of time surrounded by thousands of books, and it keeps me out of trouble. Mostly.
Money is a lot tighter now; only this morning I’ve had to turn down a posh Christmas dinner – something I would have said ‘yes’ to unthinkingly two years ago – because I simply can’t afford to go. But then, one year ago, I would have had to turn it down because I simply couldn’t have sat down for long enough for eat a seven-course meal. I know which situation I’d rather be in. And, let’s be honest, if I check my privilege, I know I’m still better-off financially than the majority of my fellow citizens, so I’ve really got nothing to complain about there.
It hasn’t been all good, of course. Efforts by me and my agent to find a publisher for either my first novel or the in-development second one have met with disappointment thus far. But hey, maybe 2015 will be the year that we crack it. And I’ve now got enough time available to write my books, so if the first one doesn’t make it, maybe the second one will, or the third, or even the fourth. One thing I’m certainly very, very rich in is ideas. So I’ll raise a glass of what a friend of mine refers to as ‘aggravated wine’ to the festive season and the end of another transformational year.