It’s been a while

In fact, it’s been exactly a year. (And what a year it has been.)

I’ve been busy. Too busy.

I went back to South Africa, and spent a month visiting friends and family and lying on the beach. I also travelled to Berlin, Stockholm and Dublin. (That year of travel insurance was money well spent.)

I’ve been studying at Creative Writing at UEA, where I’ve tried to become a better writer. I’ve written lots of words, and deleted many too. I’ve started three novels, and finished none. (Luckily, I’ve finished a few stories.)

I left one job, and started another.

I’ve made new friends and neglected old ones.

I’ve drunk far too many pints and suffered through an excessive number of book-launch-wine-hangovers.

I’ve sobbed at election results, and screamed at new policies.

I’ve spent way too much time tweeting when I should have been writing.

I’ve read hundreds of books.

I’ve failed at lots of things, and succeeded in a few.

I’ve laughed and cried and sulked and moaned.


This has been the worst year of my life in many ways. I’ve spent it struggling to hit deadline after deadline, wishing away the months so I can only get to the end. I’ve been incessantly stressed, constantly anxious, and inexorably whiney.

But in a lot of ways, it’s also been the best. Because I’ve been studying on the best Creative Writing course in the country, and I’ve given myself a chance to become better at doing what I want to do. I’ve benefited from brilliant teaching. I’ve met some amazing, supportive writers, and been lucky enough to befriend some of them. I’ve taken a step up the career ladder. I’ve seen parts of the world with people I love. My friends have proved themselves to be far better than I deserve, and my family have been behind me, gently shoving me up the hill.

And now the end is almost here, and I’ve almost reached that quarter-century mark.

Who knows what’s going to happen next?

Optional listening to accompany this post.

© 2021 Rowan Whiteside