The end of the year always prompts introspection and evaluation. Another year has passed, and what have I done with it? Have I acted the way I wanted to; have I achieved the things I intended; have I changed or grown as a person?

At the end of 2012, I graduated. I’d spent three years completing my BA (Creative Writing), and I graduated with Distinction, one of hundreds of other students and thousands of onlooking family and friends at Etihad stadium. They wouldn’t open the roof even though it was really hot and the robes didn’t help the situation, and they served us flat beer. It felt pretty good regardless.

I entered into 2013 with no solid plans, really. When asked, I told people I would use it to take as many writing-related opportunities as I could. “It’s a year off,” I said.

It’s turned out to be very much a year on. I did bugger all until February or March, and then my life exploded into a whirlwind of activity. I started an internship with Melbourne Writers Festival, and shortly after I started doing social media for Kill Your Darlings. And from there it all just rolled rapidly forwards. Toward the end of the year I joined the team at Writers Bloc as Online Editor.

I did reviews for The Big Issue, and I got my second feature published there. I wrote for the Emerging Writers’ Festival Online Journal, and for The Peach. I wrote bits for the City of Melbourne blog and the MWF blog.

I met more famous people than can really be good for anyone, but it did help me overcome my star-struckness. I dealt with last-minute problems and I fixed them, mainly. I learned new grammar rules (new to me, not to grammar). I clarified what I stand for, professionally. I met fantastic arts people.

I worked on stuff, and I re-worked it, and worked on it again. And then I submitted and got rejected and sometimes I got accepted. In that sense, it was a year like any other.

In every other sense, it was not. My “year off” turned out very much to be a “year on”. It’s been swell. Thanks, 2013.