2017 was an interesting year. By interesting I mean amazing, appalling, exhausting, exhilarating, awful, and astonishing. Sometimes all on the same day. Politics (US, UK, and global) loomed over much of it. More than once my rage at the malignant and overweening children who are breaking beautiful-if-far-from-perfect systems in our countries, just because they can, made me weep. Rage can make it hard to find the still, quiet place I need to create things. Nonetheless, I wrote and sold a book no one was expecting (including me). I got a PhD. I won a four-year fight to get the Aud books back. I’m pleased with the progress of #CripLit. I’m pleased at the private response I’ve had about writing-programme access: although it’s slower than I’d like, there is change coming.
The hardest thing about 2017 for me was that I could not focus on Menewood, as I had hoped. I will do that in 2018; I will finish the book.
I spent huge chunks of time away from social media a) for my sanity and b) because I was engrossed in the book and PhD. Not surprisingly, visits to the site were way down this year: 46,453 (updated). I don’t know how accurately that number reflect readership. The blog is followed by about 2,000 who read daily via email; they don’t show up in the stats. Nor do the readers on three other platforms where these posts repost automagically. The actual readership could be far larger; it’s difficult to tell.
Of the ten most popular posts, four (marked *) were perennials:
- The Fries Test for disabled characters in fiction
- Books about women don’t win big awards: some data*
- An open letter to all writing programmes
- Lame is so gay: a rant*
- Punching Nazis
- Huge news: multiple sclerosis is a metabolic disorder*
- The story of my PhD Part 1: Opportunity
- Coming out as a cripple*
- My new book, So Lucky, out May 15 2018
- The Aud novels are mine!
The top ten countries where my readers live haven’t shown much change except for the last two, India and Spain, who edged out New Zealand and the Netherlands, respectively. Here’s the list, in order:
I was a bit surprised by how readers were referred to the blog. For the first time in three years search engines took the top spot, and by a wide margin, followed by Facebook and Twitter (though there’s not much between the two).
Again, my old blog was in fourth place, so, again, I’ll probably leave it up for a while.
What’s in store for 2018? Menewood, mostly. There are a handful of other biggish things (some important only to me) in train that I’m not ready to talk about yet; hopefully I’ll be able to next year. But I’ve learnt that plans and reality are not always in sync, so we’ll see…