2014 still sounds like it should be the future. I want a jetpack.

Friday, January 3, 2014

It's the third of January and I still feel stuck in last year, in that weird no-man's-land between Christmas and New Year. It is swelteringly hot in Queensland at the moment and that combined with the way all the days bleed into one another this time of year means instead of finishing my novel, I'm sitting around being reflective (something I do too much of all the way through the year) and binge-watching The Walking Dead.

(Unfortunately this post is not about The Walking Dead.)

Last year a bunch of wonderful things happened: All This Could End was published! I had an essay published in the Destroying the Joint anthology! I went to New Zealand for the first time! I went to a couple of festivals and I visited a ton of schools, including going out to Western QLD with BWF's Write Across Queensland tour! I was a nominee in Cosmo's Fun Fearless Female award, despite the fact that I only fulfilled one of the criteria! (Female. Just, you know, FYI.) I went to Melbourne for a bit, which is always wonderful! I gave a TEDx talk! A whole bunch of other things happened which I have already forgotten about because I failed to keep a journal, despite my last year's resolution (a writer should really keep a journal, I feel, but I'm terrible at it. Always ripping the pages out and starting again). A nice little end to the year was All This Could End appearing on BuzzFeed's 13 Best Australian Books of 2013.

But a laundry list of my random successes last year is not what the year was really about (okay, All This Could End being published was the highlight of my year. That book was a lot of hard work) - rather what made 2013 extraordinary were all of the wonderful people I got to meet. I cannot express in words how utterly amazing it is to get to do what I do - to go to schools and meet kids and makes jokes and chat with them about writing, to be so welcomed and feel a part of the community of writers (Australian kids & YA writers are some of the loveliest people you'll ever meet), to make stuff up and write it down and have heaps of fun and have that be my career. All of my success has been the result of opportunities offered to me by amazing people who decided they liked what I was doing.

Have you any idea how hard writing acknowledgments for novels are when everybody is so wonderful?

I have a super-intense academic year ahead of me, so it's really a matter of balancing that alongside 1) writing, 2) speaking, 3) business-y business stuff and 4) not going insane and being a super-intense workaholic who is Vitamin D-deficient (the combination of my tendency to over-commit and perfectionism results in near disaster sometimes). Wish me luck?

Some exciting things I get to be part of this year, on the writing/speaking front:
  • Presenting a Young Writers Boot Camp at the Queensland Writers Centre from June 30 to July 4, for 14-19-year-olds. I'm incredibly excited about this, and I love basically everything the Queensland Writers Centre does.
  • Being attached to a Novel Writing Retreat in Taroona, Tasmania from July 5-13. My first writing retreat! My first trip to Tasmania!
  • Visiting lots more schools! Overusing exclamation marks! Etc!
Of course as the year progresses I'll be able to share more with you. As always feel free to email me if you want to know whether I'm visiting your part of the world at any point - who knows, I might manage to organise something. You can just email me to say hi, too. I don't mind. Let's be friends.

I hope that 2013 was good to you, and that 2014 is even better. Thanks a ton for reading my words, and letting me be part of your life in a small way. The reason I write is not, in fact, for the money or glamour (of which there is little), but to connect with other humans, and writing is the best way I know how. So, again, thanks for being here. You're marvellous.
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