Musings on the year ahead

Ah New Year’s Eve… it’s not all about the bubbles, music and hugging at midnight – although those are all great traditions, and ones I fully intend to participate in tonight.

It’s also a natural time for reflection. Not just on how we fared (or not) with last year’s resolutions, but what we want to achieve in the year ahead. Goals to reach, habits to break, new ways to live…

Even people not remotely self analytical tend to spend a few minutes on New Year’s Eve thinking about the year ahead and what they want from it.

I have rolling resolutions (exercise more, worry less, breath deeper – you know, the usual…), so for me, my goals for the new year are less about what I’m going to do and more about how I want to feel – regardless of circumstance.

Yes, it would be easier if I just gave up sugar. 🙂

2012 is going to a big year for me. A huge part of that, of course, is the release of Shadows in June. Right now, the year is full of possibilities, opportunities and promise. I’m nervous, excited, anxious and hopeful. Frequently at the same time.

I know I’m going to wrestle with self doubt when the book goes out for review and again when it goes on sale (as I have no doubt most writers do – we tend to be a slightly insecure lot). Will people like it? Will they get it? Will anyone actually read it? Will older relatives be appalled by the bad language? Will friends who have encouraged me all these years wonder what the hell I was thinking?

It doesn’t matter that I love this book; that I am, in fact, quietly proud of it. Fear of rejection is powerful thing. Actually, fear of anything can be powerful, and debilitating. (I watched the brilliant movie, The King’s Speech, a few night’s ago, which reinforces that truth.)

But no matter what happens in 2012, I’m hoping self-doubt and fear of rejection won’t unduly influence my decisions.

I already have a bit of momentum. This year, I left my full-time job to work on my business (a writing-design consultancy with my talented friend Heather) and to pursue the novel writing career I’d already invested 16 years in. It was a decision that scared the crap out of me, but I made it anyway.

Two weeks after I left my job, I was offered my contact with Text. And work started flowing in for the business. There’s something to be said about taking calculated risks.

Good friends of mine (who have been on a far more powerful and world-changing journey than me this year*) say ‘jump and the net will appear’. I love that principal, but have always struggled to trust that it applies to me.

So this year, my goal is to keep working hard but to also let go a little more and see what might come my way if I’m not so busy trying to cover every risk and every angle.

Life is tough. Bad shit happens. I know that. And my struggles and challenges are luxuries compared to the realities faced by a huge percentage of the world’s population each day. That doesn’t mean my challenges are meaningless – I just need to keep them in perspective.

I also know situations can change in a heartbeat, and there are no guarantees with my writing career or my business. But, rather than worrying about things I can’t control (which is usually my default position), I’m trying to enjoy where I’m at right now, which is a good place.

I apologise for this slightly self-indulgent post, but it’s New Year’s Eve, so I’m hoping I can get away with it. I just felt the need to document how I’m feeling right now (before I drink the aforementioned bubbles later on), so, when I’m in the midst of whatever is happening next year, I can look back and remember how the year started.

*You can check what my friends have been up to here.


  1. Great post Paula, so excited about what this year will bring for you but your feelings are completely understandable. You have done what many people wish they could and that is to take the gamble…. Personally, I am sure it’ll pay off and this time you will writing a post which says WOW!!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    You’re already a star in so many people’s eyes! I can’t wait to have a copy of Shadows on my bookshelf!

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About Me

I’m the author of the Rephaim series and The Undercurrent.

For my day job, I’m a writer-journalist-professional communicator, where my writing involves a lot less profanity.

I grew up in regional South Australia and now live in the Scenic Rim with my husband and a retired greyhound.

If you’re interested in how I came to land a publishing deal, you can read the short version in this post from August 2011. There’s a longer version (in a guest post) here.

Paula Weston

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