2020 has been one hell of a ride, and by that I mean most of us feel like we’ve been on a roller coaster that won’t stop no matter how much we scream and plead to get off. As I take a look at the work I did this year, it’s easy to see what affected and inspired me most; the poetry is mostly centered in my childhood as I sought comfort, while my short stories deal almost exclusively with death. I didn’t set out to write in such extremes. It’s just where my mind was.
Despite the depression, anxiety, and general chaos my brain endured this year, I still managed to write. In fact, 2020 was probably the most prolific year of my career, producing two novels, three books of poetry, 29 short stories, and a scattering of individual poems. I had 25 pieces published and received an Indie Horror Book Award nomination for my poetry collection Tall Grass, a Best of the Net Award nomination from Nightingale & Sparrow for my poem “Vs.”, and a nom for Bram Stoker Award consideration by The Dark Sire Magazine for my short story “A Metamorphsis”. I also took 2nd place in the Molotov Cocktail international short fiction competition.
I usually set some sort of writing goal at the end of the year, but this time around I’m going to go easy on myself. No goals, no pressure. I’m working on several projects right now: a southern Gothic novel with plenty of ghosts, a graphic novel set in the Pacific Northwest that’s full of mystery, witches, and gloomy mansions, and a comedic screenplay about a woman with writer’s block; these will take most of next year to complete. I’ll also take some time to work with my editor on final touches for my middle-grade fiction novel, Where Wild Beasts Grow, which is due to be published in spring of 2022 (more to come on that soon!). I’m going to take my time and work on things I’m truly passionate about. I’m going to try not to let my depression and anxiety dictate what I create.
If you’re a reader, what books are you into right now? What’s your favorite genre? What would you like to see more of?
Writers, what inspired or held you back the most in 2020? Leave your answers in the comments, and take care.