a lot to look forward to

by brittniinink

Happy 2021! Hope that you all had a rejuvenating holiday.

The past few weeks have been difficult for many of us. We’ve had to watch the attack on democracy in the States. We’ve had to talk about tough subjects with our friends and family. And although seniors and health workers are being vaccinated (yes! excellent!), it may be a while before vaccines are available for most of us.

Still, there’s a lot to look forward to. I always get reflective around the holidays – not only is it the end of the calendar year, but with my birthday at the beginning of January, it’s also the end of a personal year for me. Thinking back on 2020, there’s a lot I can be thankful for. Even though I stopped working, I had a lot more time to write and make things. Peter and I got to bike and go on river adventures, and we welcomed a housemate into our bubble. I also got to reconnect with friends and family through online games nights, letters, and video calls. It made me appreciate the kindness of others and focus on life-giving pursuits.

[Image description: A mug decorated with figures from famous artworks sits on a notebook, half obscuring the writing and doodles on the page.]

One of those life-giving pursuits is writing. I finished my fifth novel in November. I remember writing ‘The End’ on my first novel several years ago, and the satisfaction of completing something that seemed impossible back then. I don’t want to say that novel writing is easy now, but it feels more familiar. Now, I know that writing a book is going to take time, so I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make my word count goals. I feel more free to experiment and write scenes that are fun. When all the narrative threads come together, or the characters do something unexpected, that’s one of the best feelings in the world for me.

Here I am, standing in front of a cool wooden door in a stone wall, dressed in a long black coat, and being silly. What is my leg even doing? 🙂

That fifth novel is a sci-fi book set in space. I’ve sent the first draft to a few trusted readers. While I wait for feedback, I’m planning on returning to a manuscript that’s been in limbo while I’ve been writing. I’ll try to finish up edits on that one, using some great feedback from previous readers to guide me. Editing is its own process, but in a way is way easier than writing – the material is already there, I can shape and reshape it until it stands on its own. I’m looking forward to polishing these two books over the next year, and possibly starting a new one!

Who knows what 2021 will bring – but we can make it a good one by taking care of each other and our world. And by creating things! What are you looking forward to?