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2019, out.

2019 draws to a close.
This has been a wonderful and terrifying year.
During November I wrote another 20 thousand words as a part of a collection of short stories. The aim of Nation Novel Writing Month is to get 50 thousand done in the month, that felt almost impossible. But I was happy with 20k. I am still hacking away at those stories. They are all set in different parts of Ammaryn and all of them have a very different flavour. I will release some in audio format at some stage as well as an eBook.
While November was a wash of words, December was not.
I have done minimal writing this month. All though it’s been good to have a break. Play some video games (The Outer Worlds, fucking amazing game), read some books, and just relax in general.
I have started to edit Oscar the Apprentice. I am reading through it and making some changes. My goal is to complete the second draft by the end of January. Then I’ll probably do a third draft too (and probably a fourth). But I aim to have it completed by the middle of the year.
One of the books I read (listened to) this December was Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown. It’s a wonderful book all about how to focus on what really matters and what is important. This quote stuck out to me;
‘Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.’
How do we make the ‘wisest possible investment’ in our time and energy?
That’s what my 2020 is going to be about. I feel much of my time is wasted on frivolous activities that do not make me feel better, physically or mentally.
Life can often seem cluttered. Full. Exhaustingly full.
The last three years Hayley (my wife) and I have spent time on New Year’s Day discussing and writing down the things we want to achieve in the year to come. I have a few things in mind already, as I am sure she does. They are not New Year’s Resolutions but a realignment of what is important in our lives. I will take the Essentialist approach to our discussion this year.
I am writing this in the early hours of the morning while the air is cool, and the wind is light. Today it will reach 40c in Adelaide. There are still fires burning in the Adelaide Hills, and all over the country. It only the beginning of summer here and already we have had record-breaking heat and fires. We have a long hot summer ahead of us… I dream of leadership that can support us through this.
But I don’t think it will come. The fighting spirit of the Australian people will get them through. But our politicians will not help. I know I am leaving this post on a sad note, but millions of Australians are waking up to the smell of smoke today and our leadership believes that their imaginary friend will fix it.
Thank you all for reading and being a part of my little journey.
Stuart, out.

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December 2019
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