Year in Review 2019: Reading & Writing

open book with lilac sprigs

This post is a look back at both the reading and the writing I did in 2019.

The majority of the reading I do is on WordPress, and it’s really been wonderful to see everyone’s creative output.  This is something that is a really important part of my daily routine, and something that I value a great deal.

I managed to keep up a pace of weekly book reviews this year, which I’m actually a bit surprised by.  A substantial chunk of those reviews was books written by fellow bloggers, which are always my favourite to review.  It’s been really cool to see how many bloggers have ventured out into the world of book publishing this year.  I’ve also gotten a lot of reviewer copies of books from Netgalley, which has been a great way to check out books by authors I probably wouldn’t have otherwise stumbled upon.  My list of books reviewed is getting remarkably long, and you can see it in my book review index.

I had an article published in Bella Grace Magazine earlier this year, and I got a cheque in the mail for that, which was rather exciting in an old-school way.  This summer I tried putting in a major effort on Medium to see how much I might be able to earn writing there.  The amount I made wasn’t enough for that level of effort to be sustainable, so I’ve backed off in terms of writing original articles for that site and am mostly just cross-posting from this blog.  It still brings in a little bit of money, which is kind of nice.

The biggest thing for me this year in terms of writing has been becoming a self-published author of two books.  When I published Psych Meds Made Simple in February, I really had no idea what I was doing, but it was great to have such a positive response.

When I released Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis was already a work in progress.  I had a vague idea at that point about getting people to contribute stories, and the further along I got with the book the more certain I was that I wanted to get contributors on board.  That was a really exciting process, and while it made for more work than doing a book solo, it was totally worth it.  Thanks so much to the amazing people who contributed stories; there’s a list of them on the Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis book page.

When I wrote Psych Meds Made Simple last fall, I wasn’t even sure if I would publish it; it was as much a writing exercise as anything.  It’s been astonishing how well this little book has done.  It started off slow, but now it’s selling multiple copies every day.   That’s something I didn’t anticipate at all when I published it.

I’ve gone from being iffy on whether I would go ahead with publishing to being very certain that I will write more books.  At this point, I have multiple books in progress.  One is on depression that I’ll definitely publish next year.  Another is about wellness that might come out next year, and then there’s a memoir that I might think about moving forward with the year after.

One thing that has stayed constant is that writing for this blog is my priority.  With books, I’m putting them out into the ether and, at least for the most part, not interacting with readers.  Blogging, though, is a conversation, and that’s important (and therapeutic) for me to maintain.

What have your reading and/or writing highlights been from the past year?


A Beginner's Guide to Self-Publishing from Mental Health @ Home


The Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing mini e-book contains all the knowledge and tricks that I’ve picked up from self-publishing two books.  It’s available on the MH@H Store.








30 thoughts on “Year in Review 2019: Reading & Writing”

          1. Try to submit to blunt therapy they’d definitely except you as a writer. Lol I was going to do my final editing for my 2nd book over Christmas break I got like ten pages partially done

  1. I just love your book about the diagnoses–the one we all contributed to!! YAY! That felt like a meaningful project, and I’m proud to have been a part of it!! I’m glad you have more projects in the works, because your message is vital!!

    Well, I wrote Behold Her Majestic Fog during the first half of the year, and then I did a few minor projects (like writing a novel in three days), and then I FINALLY finished last year’s NaNoWriMo project, The Enervation of Eve. Those were all in my goals, so I’m happy about that. I also participated in the NYC Midnight’s three competitions (short story, flash fiction, and their newest contest, microfiction). I’m in the process of setting some productivity goals with writing for next year. Not sure what’ll be on the list yet, but probably NYC Midnight, and trying to find an agent for The Enervation of Eve. I mean, I’ll need more goals than that, but I don’t know what they are yet…

  2. Yeey for more books! And also so exciting to read that your book is selling every day, that’s great 🙂 I published my first post in English this year and started my blog, so that is fun too. As for reading books or longer posts my concentration isn’t good enough now but I have (high) hopes for the future 🙂 Reading is self-care for me.

  3. That’s awesome you got published in a magazine. I tried medium and it seems harder to interact with people there than on WordPress. It would take more effort than I have time for.

    I am excited to see more of your books. You’re last one was a nice read.

  4. Congratulations for a great year! Also, you encouraged me to give Medium a shot, though I agree with the comment above, it feels somehow harder to interact with fellow writers there.

    1. I find Medium works best when I think of it as a side project to blogging, so that I can get some of the benefits of that platform while still focusing here on WordPress.

  5. Medium definitely became very disappointing to me towards the end of the year as well (money wise and engagement wise). I just cross post now. Great accomplishments this year! Looking forward to that memoir!

  6. Wow! You’ve written and read so much! 🙂 That’s awesome! I keep meaning to buy and read your books; maybe I’ll do that right now!! And I’m looking forward to your future books! Those topics sound interesting. 🙂

    I haven’t done a ton of reading or writing this year. I guess something notable is that I’ve been trying to read the news more this past year, and I actually have read it more! 🙂 Lately I’ve been reading the book Howl’s Moving Castle to help me fall asleep. It’s a good, cute story, with nothing too alarming!

  7. _The Wise Heart_ by Jack Kornfield was probably the best non-fiction we read. Buddhist Psychology. Took us months. We’re methodical and we do the exercises to build a practice (meditations, etc.).

    _How to Stop Time_by Matt Haig was probably the best fiction. Literary fiction. Such an intense, sweeping tale. Runners-up were _The Shakespeare Requirement_ by Julie Schumacher. Literary Comedy. And _The Storied Life of AJ Fikry_ by Gabrielle Zevin. Literary fiction.

    For 2020, we aspire to read more books not by cisgendered white men. No offense intended to anyone. We want to hear a different voice.

    Hilary Mantel will help in March

    Congrats on your amazing year 💕. Glad to have met you.

    1. Thanks! Glad to have met all of you as well! I find Buddhist psychology fascinating to read about. And yes, the voices of cisgendered white men have certainly been given a great deal of privilege.

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