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?