East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

2020: the lost year

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There’s this thing I’m reading on a lot of blogs, websites and social media profiles these days, about 2020 being a “lost year” – a blank page in our own personal history, a gray-ish limbo in which we floated for roughly ten months, doing nothing, waiting, wasting our time.
It’s like many are expecting the system to reset on January the 1st 2021, the slate wiped clean.
None of this ever happened.

The first thing I thought reading that line, the lost year, was

ah, it would have been good had it been so for my bank!

Because you know me, I am cheap – and this 2020 maybe was a lost year, but bills and payment notices kept coming regularly, and my mortgage did not go anywhere, or my expenses.
So yes, it is true – this was a year of forced idleness, sometimes, with jobs fizzing out and clients disappearing, but on the other hand the machine that needs to be fed with cash kept going as usual.

And yet, for all the strangeness, for me it was a good-ish year.
I watched friends lose family members to the illness or to its consequences, but my family was lucky, and we suffered no losses.
As I mentioned, jobs vanished and I was trapped in a job from hell with no end in sight – one that damaged my health much more severely than COVID. But I survived.

And I wrote – the year closing with 92 submissions and 28 confirmed sales, that is really good, and means I’ll be able to cover the regular expenses for a few months.
Months during which I’ll write more – because my New Year’s resolution is hitting 100 submissions in 2021, and at least 30 sales.
It can be done – I am writing a new story in this moment, something I need to submit in the first week of January.

Again on the positive side, I started a podcast with my friend Lucy, and we’re doing great – Paura & Delirio is growing steadily, and there are a few ideas we’re working on for 2021.
Not bad, for something we started as a way not to go crazy.

And to start off on a good note – or to end on a good note, depending on what side of the timeline you’re watching this – I’ve just stumbled unwittingly on a wonderful character that’s fallen in the public domain, and that would be a lot of fun to resurrect.
I’m checking out resources and things.
Who knows…?

So yes, it’s been a lost year to many, it’s been a lost year one way or another for each and every one of us, but we are still going.
Stay safe, and hold on.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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