My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Monday, February 1, 2021

The VERY Best of 2020 (Also Happy 9th Birthday Writing About Writing)

Of course the only news that Blog thinks matters is that Writing About Writing is 9 years old. 

Sadly, like everyone else, there's nothing to be had but a shitty pandemic birthday. No goals were hit from last year and every hope for next year feels over-optimistically blithe without a solid date on phase 2 of the vaccine rollout. Until then, I'm the only nanny who can pod super safely, and that means I get more hours than I want and my writing suffers. Blog is a bit sad and asked if the annual playing of Big Time could be done as a cover by the same folks who made the Donnie Darko version of "Mad World."

It's such a goddamned "gap year." For everything. For everyone and every ambition and every plan and every hope and every dream and every…

But…I've been doing this for nine years, and if there's anything I've learned in that time is that if you keep pushing through when life is doing its level best to step on your gonads with its four inch stilettos of shitty circumstance, you're going to be rocking MULTIPLE kasbahs even more than you rock overworked metaphors when the clouds part and things get a little easier and you have all that discipline to go on. It's like running with cement shoes on the beach for a year and then someone puts you in sneakers on the sidewalk. 

And on that note, let's stop talking about what sucked from last year, and instead talked about what was awesome.

The VERY Best of 2020

Compiling this list is only the first step. In the coming days, these titles will be added to the The Best of W.A.W. and a new list will be compiled. Instead of the three best posts per month (which is how I usually do it each year), I'll be doing the three best posts per two months. It's simply a reflection of the pandemic and the dearth of really solid articles. But you might see some construction work happening behind the scenes, and there's at least ONE more post that will come out of this.

Still, as often as it felt like I was barely treading water, a few articles popped out and stole the limelight. 

1- 24 Jackwads Who Show Up On Every Post About How to Write Something Oft Problematically Portrayed

Post something about how to write an ace character? Share the words of a Black author about how they don't like their skin being compared to food? Write about LGBT+ representation? Chances are one or more of these usual suspects will show up.

2- Bottom of Aug 2020

Working another job for 25-35+ hours a week has meant I really needed to learn to recognize all those hours I tended to think (didn't count) before. Especially as the political cycle ramped up and my attention span became more and more fractured. An hour spent on a political Facebook post might not be an official blog post, but it WAS work. 

3- If You're Reading This 

Remember that time in April when I got Covid-19. It was the beginning of April too, so they didn't have good tests. Mostly I wrote a post about how I wouldn't be writing any posts for a few days. But it blew the doors off the pageviews. I think because folks worry.

4- A Bump in the Road

It's rare that an appeals post reaches The Greatest Hits menu, but I guess this one was just the right amount of brief yet appealing.

5- Libraries vs. Pay Authors (Wait…What?)

It seems there's some misinformation out there about how using a library is somehow not paying an author. (Hint: that's inaccurate.) Libraries are great for authors! Let me tell you all the reasons why.

6- A Writer's Guide to Working At Home (Part 1 of 3)

When the pandemic started, no one knew how to work from home and actually get things done. But writers have been doing it forever. So here's some advice to help keep you from working all the time and somehow still not getting anything done.

7- Feel How You Feel

When the lockdown started and we realized we were in the pandemic for the long haul, a lot of people didn't feel like they thought they should be feeling. Instead of excited about some time to work on home projects, they were anxious, nervous, sad, or maybe they were enjoying some alone time and feeling broken because their FRIENDS were anxious, nervous and sad. Either way, it's okay to feel how you feel.

8- Top of October 2020

Here's another compilation post that hit the bigtime (I think because the preview image was a funny meme, so it got a lot of heart reacts). 

9-You Can Have The False Dichotomy, But I'm Keeping The Word

Introverts aren't "deeper" or "more interesting" or better at real talk or any of that shit, but there is one thing they are: introverts. So if we get rid of the attempts to feel superior because we sit quietly in a corner instead of talking about the weather, can we keep the word that describes us so damn well. Please.

10- Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! (Mailbox)

Do you have to kill a character to raise the stakes? You really, really don't.

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