Goodbye, 2020 (Yearly Wrap Up)

We are almost at the end of 2020 and I think most of us can’t wait to see the back of this dumpster fire of a year!

Looking back over my blog, I was surprised how frustrated I was with 2019 and how happy I was when THAT year was over.  I guess 2020 made us all realise how bad a year truly could be!

Banner reading "Goodbye 2020! (yearly wrap-up) over an image of Christmas eggnog and Christmas greenery

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Personal Updates header

Home Life

We had planned to have work done, that was delayed by the pandemic and all the lockdowns.  When things eased later in the year, we booked in a gas conversion (converting our oil heating to gas), tracking of pipes, a full house re-wire and decorating our two work rooms.

So, for the last few months our house has been in upheavel which has caused me significant amounts of stress and anxiety.  But it needed doing and we thought it best to get all this stress out upfront than dragging it out over 2 years.

However, by the start of 2021, our house will be (mostly) awesome and so much better to work in.

☆  ☆  ☆

In Sorrow

2020 brought with it an unexpected death, my sister passed away suddenly at the end of July.

It was a painful shock to the family.  I travelled back home to spend a few weeks going through my sisters affairs and then the next few months sorting her estate to take the pressure off my parents.

I made the decision to accept counselling so that I could speak freely to someone.  It has helped keep me steady through this extremely trying time.

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Writer Updates

Author Life

From Myths to Monsters Anthology Book Cover, surrounded by snakesMy second short story, Sanctuary, was picked to be featured in the second Supernatural Beings Anthology with the theme of Myths.

The anthology, From Myths To Monsters, will be published early in 2021.

Big thanks to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me to share my work.  You guys are awesome!!

(Now for some additional pimping… you can pre-order From Myths To Monsters —> (damnit need to find the link!)

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Novel Progress

Fountain pen, writingI had planned to write two complete first drafts, however, everything went to pot when the pandemic hit.

My business did surprisingly well (as many online businesses did) and I so much of my time went to that.

I was taking a sabbatical in July for a few months in order to really made progress with my fantasy novel, The Blessed, but then when I lost my sister, everything just stopped.

I am doing things differently next year and by the gods I will finish this damn novel!!!

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Blogger Life

Image: Award Top 10 UK Writing blogDespite messing with my website LAST year, I still wasn’t happy with it (seriously, my inner perfectionist is killing me these days).

So I decided to change the theme and style at the end of this year.  I am way more happy with the layout, especially how it looks on mobile devices and even *gasp* added a photo to the About Page.

Once again, my blog was ranked as being one of the Top 10 UK Writing Blogs by Feedspot. Yay!!

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Podding Life

Podcast Page: Image of a microphone and headphonesOne big positive, was that Rachel and I decided to start a podcast!  We recorded 40 episodes this year and it’s been doing so well.

We have 49 followers on Youtube (ooh almost 50!) and have had 968 downloads over on Podbean.

We invited several guests and already have next year’s guests all selected and invited.

It has been a great way to help both of us out of our introversion shells, build our brand and also distract from all the crap in the world.

We really hope you’ve been catching up with the podcast, and if not, head over to Youtube or Podbean and give it a listen. 🙂

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Despite all the personal sorrow and the global upheaval we have endured, I have tried to focus on some positives.  Otherwise, it can be all too easy to be swept away in sadness.

2021 is a fresh new year, a blank slate ready for us.  We don’t know what the future holds but we can go in with a plan and be ready for whatever it’s going to throw at us!

I know this post is a tad early, after all there are 2 more weeks of 2020, but since next Friday is Christmas, I thought it best to post this today instead!

How was your 2020?

Happy writing

Signature & logo of Ari Meghlen

20 thoughts on “Goodbye, 2020 (Yearly Wrap Up)

  1. Really enjoyed this post, Ari, and lovely to have you back here! Also lovely to see a picture of you, to put a face to the voice I’ve been enjoying on your podcasts with Rachel. You’ve covered so much and I listen to them and often giggle in recognition of some of your thoughts and feelings. So sorry, however, to hear about the loss of your sister – I don’t even know what to say. i have one sister only as a sibling and 2020 has been a tough year for her and has drawn us closer, despite her being an full on extrovert versus my introversion. But we’ve grown a little and appreciate each other more. My writing slowed down this year – a non-writer friend assumed I’d be finished my current novel – and you know how annoying those assumptions can be. Youve done so much ‘life stuff’ this year, here’s hoping you get some quality writing time in 2021. Best wishes, from me!

    1. Thank you so much Lynne, so sorry for the long delay, I had a lot of comments to catch up on.

      Aww thank you, it was difficult for me to share a photo but I thought it was time and despite the frizzy hair, still one of the better ones lol

      Thank you for your kindness, it has been hard since we lost her, thankfully we have videos of her and can hear her voice when we need to – Christmas was difficult since I couldn’t visit but we are holding together.

      It is always annoying when people make assumptions on your writing. Do you have specific plans for your writing this year?

      1. Thank you, Ari. Yes, plan is ‘simply’ to finish novel 3, and for the existing 2 I’m learning the dreaded amazon sponsored ads with a free video course from Bryan Cohen. Plus outwith writing, I’m going to be learning the I Ching cards! Some forward movement into learning new things :>).

      2. Hi Lynne, urgh! I am so bad with comments these days, I can’t believe I am so far behind. Did you get to grips with Amazon sponsored ads?

        How are you doing with learning I Ching? I think it’s great you are adding new things to try! I need to add something new to try my hand at, I think

    1. No probs! I got to grips with it, but no good results, I’m afraid. At least i’ve learned the process! And the ads can be paused any time, after they have been created. it was a massive learning curve tho. And working on my art website, bit by bit, by hook or by crook. The I ching is just a bit of fun when I’m in the mood!

      1. It sounds like you are using your time more wisely than me! I have a laundry list of things I need to “get to grips with” and I can’t seem to carve any time for them.

  2. “Dumpster fire” sums it up soooo well!
    I’m glad that the year still held some positives- congratulations on your upcoming publication- how exciting!

    My year…well, I took on more teaching since all of my kids would be in school full time this year. Then, Covid hit. Things have been complicated. But my family hss been healthy, the kids get school part time at least, and I got my second book to beta readers and a short piece published in an anthology. And Christmas break from school starts today- hooray!
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the best, Ari. (Love the “about” photo, too!)

    1. Thanks so much, Anne, I appreciate your kind words. lol yes Dumpster Fire did fit well.

      I’m glad your family has remained healthy throughout this pandemic. Congratulations on your short story being published!! That is great!

      Aww thank you, it took a lot of effort for me to share an actual photo!

  3. ::hugs:: I’m sorry about your sister. I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted this year, and even though my dh spent 8 months unemployed, I’m grateful because my year was still better than so many others’.

    Hope 2021 is your best yet!

    1. Thank you Brooke, it has been a hard few months and we are still dealing with her estate! The bureacracy just to get things closed and details updated is ridiculous and with the lockdown meant I was unable to visit over Christmas so it was a hard time.

      Do you have plans to read more this year? Are you doing a Goodreads Challenge?

  4. I didn’t make as much progress on the sequel to Mystical Greenwood as I’d have liked, but a beta reader has looked at what I’ve had so far. I’ve done a whole lot more online marketing than I did before, especially on Twitter. I made a number of guest appearances, including on your podcast! Publication wise, several poems and a couple short stories appeared in several anthologies this year. Plus I now have an Amazon author page!

    1. That is amazing, sounds like you are doing great! I will have to check out your Amazon author page 🙂 It’s great you got chance to do more marketing, that’s always such a time suck. We will definitely have to have you back on the podcast again sometime.

      Congratulations on your poetry and short stories being published! That is awesome!

      How are you doing with the sequel now?

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