When you’re over 50, you realize time travel is a thing.
When bad things happen, when you lose people, you realize your life consists more of reliving memories than making new ones.
You also realize that some things will never change, and your strength is finite. This combination means that some decisions need to be made.
In 2018, I will literally not be able to afford to create or finish novels.
Strangely, I have to sleep sometimes these days. I also have to stop flirting with the attractive antagonist from the dark side named Unhealthy Lifestyle.
Video: Sitting vs. Standing. Is Your Sedentary Life Killing You?
Highlights of the video
- “Those sitting the most have an increased risk of death by about 50%” and an increased risk of cancers and heart problems.
- ** “Adjusting for physical activity made no difference: even those who tried to exercise couldn’t wipe away the dangerous associations of being sedentary.”
- Finally, what the heck is TV? That was an activity the last generation had time for.
In Some Truths About Writing, I stated that I had three strikes against me right from the get-go:
- I’ve had to increase my hours at work due to cost of living continuing to outpace living wages. Since books don’t pay, I have to put my hours into something that does. It’s not that I’m unwilling, but I am unable to work for free. I would lose my roof.
- I will never be able to retire and transfer that time to my writing career like many authors have. We’re living in a new age.
- Two shifts of a sitting job, weekends included, are a recipe for early death, which means that I cannot continue to do what I’ve been doing since 2006 (flirting with U.L.). Writing time has to decrease as job hours increase. (I wrote this even before I found the video above, which was added shortly before posting.)
Further to the rising cost of living, there will be travel expenses this year. My mother’s memorial will be held in Ontario, which is about 2,700 kilometers away.
Moreover, as listed in the Some Truths article, with such publishing numbers drowning new books in an ever-growing tsunami, how can I justify the health sacrifice of endless sitting for a book that will never be read by more than a handful of people? Especially given that I already sit far too much at my paying job.
In the year to come, I will be focusing on small, finite projects such as short stories, poetry, articles, and blogs, as well as visual formats such as photography (even though I do not have a worthy camera). An advantage of chasing a good photo is that it gets me out and walking, which is the opposite of sitting.
Another focus (pun intended) will be home-cooked recipes from unprocessed food, which is both cheaper and healthier. (Except fruit, which cruelly dents the budget around here. Some of it, like berries, have stopped rotting and have therefore become suspect–but that is another story.) I am forced to return to my conscientious mom days for my own good.
The forty-something woman is a force to be reckoned with. A superhuman, she can out-perform her younger counterparts by sheer will alone. She can push her body to the limits of outer space in order to achieve her goals. The forty-something woman discovered that anger and adversity fueled a better novel.
The fifty-something woman begins to succumb to the damages inflicted by the demands of the previous decades. No machine runs on empty indefinitely. The fifty-something woman is also discovering that grief and disappointment extinguish the fire that writes books.
Eventually, the fifty- or sixty-something woman may produce books by reaching into her weighty treasure chest of life experience, crystallized intelligence (no pun intended), and years of studying writing, which should probably not be allowed to go to waste.
Writing takes time, and revision and book production require large, continuous blocks of time for uniformity and quality. The time to write or produce books is not during the uncertain year of 2018.
I still have some dreams, however unlikely,
- an MFA (wanted since 2006) or a Master’s in Psychology (wanted since 1987)
- hike the Bruce Trail/Niagara Escarpment (wanted since 1981)
- land a job as a writer-in-residence (wanted since 2013)
- write that book that strides off the shelves (it doesn’t have to fly)
but the themes of 2018 will be conservation of resources, dealing with grief, and preserving my health so I can continue to work. ‘Cause if I can’t pay the mortgage, thar ain’t no one else to pay it!
2017: year in review
Since I began blogging regularly in July 2016, I have gained 337 followers and collected 98 flags worldwide.
Blog stats: 14, 273 hits
December 30, 2017
In 2017, I published over 300 posts. The number of views of my site has tripled year over year since 2016, and the number of visitors has quadrupled. The highest views in one month were in January 2017 (1.4K) and April 2017 (1.3K).
This is all thanks to YOU!
Accomplished in 2017
- Blogging from A-Z, April 2017. Theme: COMPONENTS OF LITERATURE
Interviews and guest posts
New and returning international and local authors, artists, educators, entrepreneurs
- Jess Steven Hughes (including “Some Thoughts on Being a Writer”)
- Dolly Dennis
- Jennifer Scott (including “8 Tips to Create Your Writer’s Resume”)
- Leslie Hodgins
- Alison Neuman
- Mandy Eve-Barnett (including “Development of a Writing Space”)
- Rick Lauber (including “Is Your Caregiving Cup Half Full or Half Empty?” and “Are You Prepared for Caregiving?”)
- Dana Wayne (including “Misconceptions About the Romance Novel” and “Your Book Is Done — Now What?”)
- Nancy Popovich (including “Is There Life After Death?” — after losing a loved one)
- Patty Wiseman (including “Coming Full Circle”)
- Blogger Recognition Award
- One Lovely Blog Award
- Today’s Writing Song
- A to Z Challenge (April)
- Words in the Dark (November, during NaNoWriMo month)
- Today’s Christmas Song (December 1-25 countdown)
- What was your favourite writing song?
- What was your favourite Christmas song?
2017: projects, plans, and events. What was done and not done?
- Beyond the Precipice book events and signings — Yes, did those.
- Writing retreat (May 2017) — Yes, at long last.
- Druyan and Ironclad — Not finished. Not launched at Words in the Park event.
- Words in the Park (October 2017) — Yes, attended.
- NaNoWriMo (November 2017) — Definitely not the year for that. But I did sign in as a NaNo Buddy.
- Artists 4 Altruism (December 2017) — Squeaked this one in.
- Writing inspiration and tips — Wrote some articles, changed my page tabs around, and added the page Advice and Tips for Writers under Links & Tips.
I may not have been able to get to my own books, but I’ve been helping a young autistic man write his. His first book will be a very useful read for anyone struggling to understand mental disorders.
New blog series I’d hoped to add in 2017
- Fitness challenge — This will now be my project for 2018.
- Guitar videos — Nope. I could not get my songs consistently error-free. I’ll keep trying.
Other topics of 2017 — All of these were addressed.
- Interviews and special posts
- Writing, editing, publishing
- Parenting and education
- Gardening and cooking — No garden in 2017, but I did some cooking posts.
- Photography and nature — My hallmark, as you may have noticed, are hares. I also have some deer.
- Weather and seasons — Yes, but there are many seasonal photos that I have yet to post.
- Outdoors and travel — I did go to Ontario, but it was not the trip I planned. It was a very sad trip.
- Music — Included articles on music and the brain, music and curriculum, music education, music licensing, lyrics to my own song, and my yearly guitar recital.
Happy New Year’s Eve and thank you for reading this blog!