This year has been one of contradictions for me. Every step forward was followed by a step sideways. Lock down kept me from promoting my first book, Sew Witchy, with signings and events. Two months into writing my next book, everyone in the household was home, meaning writing became more difficult. We finally gained financial stability and our housemates moved out, throwing our budget into disarray.
And as frustrating as that two step has been at times, I know that my family has been extremely lucky. We have a roof over our heads still, we have jobs and our kids can attend school remotely. None of us have gotten sick. After so long scraping to get by, 2020 wasn’t much harder or stressful than previous years.
We spent much of this year aware and thankful for our situation and tried to help those we could. Maybe it’s that awareness that it could be much, much worse, or maybe it’s the breathing room that I’ve had this year that allowed me to assess events through something other than panic-tinted glasses. Whatever the reason I am able to look back on this year with a sense of satisfaction.
Not traveling to events meant I kept my expenses down. Going over my end of the year receipts I made almost $5,000. The money came from writing (advances and payments for articles) as well as from Patreon (which counts as writing, too, I guess). I had a whopping $8 from Etsy for an order that snuck in before I closed the store down. In the grand scheme of things $5,000 isn’t at much. It isn’t even the most I’ve ever made in a year. But it not bad, considering that I didn’t have any events to vend at.
The difference is even more striking when it comes to my expenses. They ended up less than $2,000. Craft supplies for tutorials was the main spending category. Internet hosting and some software purchases were the next highest category, while the cheap $250 laptop I bought to finish writing The Scent of Lemon & Rosemary was the largest one time purchase. Because of the reality of this year, my supply spending was very, very limited. I tried to write tutorials that would use items in my stash first before I broke out the debit card.
There are other measurables that show I’ve made it work this year. I wrote my second book. I grew my online presence, adding new followers on Instagram and Facebook. I got the hang of Patreon, and added a couple new patrons along the way. I have a good blueprint for my next coupleof projects. These were all goals mine at the beginning of the year and I accomplished them.
Focusing on home, comfort, love and safety definitely was in line with my writing of The Scent of Lemon & Rosemary. And I feel that my magickal practice grew and deepened as I was forced to focus inward. There were so many times when I felt overhwelmed and helpless in the face of the pandemic when I would light a candle and call on Hestia to protect my home and family. That one small ritual would give me a momentary sense of power and peace.
I write about my successes not to buy into the capitalistic idea of productivity, or to make anyone feel lesser than me. I share my progress because I have the bad habit of downplaying my accomplishments and amplifying my failings. Writing down what I did, being proud and not apologizing for that pride, might just be the greatest thing I have done all year.
What did you accomplish this year? Even if all you did was survive, that is fantastic. Let me know if the comments below.