Personal

January 2020

Every year, I make it a goal to keep this blog going, and every year, it falls to the wayside at some point. Usually because the blog is too specific to begin with. However, I’ve decided to drop the burden somewhat by doing at least a monthly update post. This way, I can write about what I’m currently working on, what I’ve read and/or I’m currently reading, and I can mention my personal interests, such as going to theatre shows, concerts, on my travels (abroad), or any other personal thoughts/feelings.

Writing

I made a decade goal to use up my notebooks, so I’m writing my current WIP in a notebook I’d used two thirds of with a different story. Needless to say, I regret that decision as it’s taking me forever to write it. Although, that being said, I know where to expand or change when I type it up… eventually.

I initially wrote the first draft of my current WIP last year, from August through November, completing NaNoWriMo along the way. This is the first WIP in years that I haven’t felt needed scrapping and starting over again because it’s almost perfect. However, something was missing, and I’ve discovered what by incorporating a female character into the mix. So far, she’s solved all the problems I was having, and might actually make the overall story stronger.

Right now, I’m taking a temporary break from writing to do some basic world building. I’m hoping to lay the foundations, then I can make it up as I go along, which is taking me a while to do, but it’s better to do it now than later.

Reading

As a yearly goal, I want to try and read a book per month, and as extra motivation, I’m participating in Popsugar’s Reading Challenge in the hopes it’ll keep me accountable. Although, knowing me, I won’t be able to do more than a book per month, if I’m lucky, so I’m gonna tick off multiple categories per book.

This month, I chose The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. The book cover caught my eye, especially because of my affinity for stars, and the prologue drew me in. Being honest, going from a prologue centred around Magery O’Hare to the first chapter centring around Alice threw me, and the climax felt rushed and too convenient, but those would be my only real complaints. The story more or less followed the narrative structure, the characters were given real growth through their story arcs, and they all had a happy ending, which I’m a sucker for.

I was debating whether to read The Flat Share or His Dark Materials: Northern Lights next, so I created a poll on both Twitter and Instagram but the results ended up being tied. Instead, I flipped a coin and I’m now gonna dive into His Dark Materials: Northern Lights, which I’m excited to read because the TV series was so well done, and I’m so intrigued to know what happens next. Plus, I wanna get it read before the TV series returns.

Personal

I entered the year optimistic, adamant I wouldn’t let fear rule my life this year/decade, but low and behold, fear snuck its way back into my life and took over yet again. I’m in the perfect environment for fear to thrive as I’m (still) unemployed, financially unstable and quite lonely. Throw in permanent anxiety and intermittent depression, it’s little wonder I’m struggling.

I saw Dear Evan Hansen on the West End after hearing a lot of hype and praise for it on Broadway, and I can say it not only lived up to the hype/praise, it surpassed it. I’ve watched musicals in the past, but I’ve never related to a musical as much as this one. Like Evan, I have anxiety, which became severe again this month, so to see it performed so accurately was refreshing. Watching him talk too fast, unable to make eye contact, not being able to find the right words, losing control when everything overwhelmed him, overthinking literally everything – it was like looking in a mirror.

I cried during ‘You Will Be Found’ and ‘So Big / So Small’ because both are such powerful, emotional songs. ‘You Will Be Found’ because everyone knows someone that’s gone through a similar experience, if they themselves haven’t. But it’s also great at reminding you good moments come out of bad moments, and eventually, you’ll get back on your feet again. ‘So Big / So Small’ because I’ve never heard abandonment sung so honestly, and until that song, I hadn’t been aware of my own abandonment issues buried deep within my subconscious. I won’t go into details because this is something I need to work through in my own time, not something to share with the world for everyone to read. But I will say, the line about ‘a truck coming to take mummy away’ destroys me every time I hear it.

A week into the month, I realised I was in my head too much wallowing in my anxiety, depression and loneliness, and Dear Evan Hansen highlighted those feelings all the more, so I made plans with my local friends. I desperately needed something to distract me from my current situation and from my bad mental health. It was lovely to spend time with my local friends, catching up on our lives and generally having a good time. It helped ebb away my depression and loneliness for a few hours, maybe even a day or two. Any excuse I’ve had to leave home and meet up with people, I’ve taken without hesitation. It’s been nice to spend time with others, and for them to actually check up on me and see if I’m okay.

To end on a nicer note, I visited my granddad again after several months with my dad and my brother. He’s a shell of who he was, and he hardly spoke due to hearing problems, but the few times he did, I treasured it. I treasured the hug he gave me before he left, as I always do, because it always fills me with comfort. Perhaps because I don’t feel like I have anyone to hug in my life, and there’s something nice about receiving a hug from someone, especially someone who deeply cares about you. I left him with a glimmer of hope that life will get better again, and it’s up to me to make that happen.


It’s been an unexpectedly tough month. I knew unemployment would get to me eventually, but I didn’t think it’d hit quite so hard this time. I’ve also had to deal with unexpected personal issues that only worsened my already bad mental state. But at least I finally saw Dear Evan Hansen, met up with my granddad and local friends, continued writing my current WIP and finished a book within a month.

This month could’ve gone a lot better, but it wasn’t a total loss, and I’m appreciating those good moments I had.

10 thoughts on “January 2020”

  1. My January did go by fast- it felt theatre themed. I actually saw one musical and one opera- both at Belk Theater- Blumenthal Performing Arts’ main theater.

    First I saw Come From Away and the week after it was La Bohème- what a change of shows. Come From Away will not be my only musical this year- usually, I see at least two musical tours a year. Lucky to be living in Charlotte.

    My WIP has been stuck on its 4th draft for about two months or so. I also have reading The Illiad.

    1. Ooh, is Come From Away any good? Cos I’ve been contemplating going to see it. Yeah, I wanna go and see more musicals, but I’m broke rn 😦
      Oh, I’ve been there. This fantasy story I’m writing? It’s been restarted so many times over the past 5+ years. Sometimes, having a break is a good thing, but let’s hope you start writing again soon

  2. I admire your tenacity to stick to filling up those notebooks by handwriting a draft! I could never do that–I’d never be able to decipher what I originally wrote when I went back to type it up! But come to think of it, that’s a great idea for revision!

    1. My biggest problem is I don’t go into any detail cos it takes too long, so when I go to type it up, I flesh it out. It means I get the basic story out without fretting that it’s perfect or whatever. It’s not for everyone, but I find it kinda helps

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