This has doubtless been the most extraordinary year any of us will have lived through.
It has also, in so many ways, been awful.
Whatever the upsides are of having more time to read and write, they are nothing compared to the very real personal hardships and tragedy that have faced so many.
We would not have wished this year upon any of us.
As an organisation that supports creative writing and creative writers, we have felt torn.
It is true that so much of our work moved relatively easily onto digital platforms and we were aware that novels were being finished and that poetry was being read and shared.
We hope that this burst of creativity continues and we are thankful that our art-form – arguably more than many others – can cope with isolation and the deferred satisfaction of reading, listening and watching at one remove.
However, as writers – particularly as writers – we empathise with others, we have understanding and concern, we want to understand and help.
We know it has been difficult; that it will be difficult next year too.
With this in mind, Writing West Midlands will continue to be an organisation that tries to help writers at whatever their stage of development.
We offer many formal opportunities – courses, workshops, meet-ups and conferences – but we are also friendly and approachable.
So, in the coming year, more than in any other year, please keep in touch. Let us know how you are. Let us know if we can help.
Wishing you health and contentment for 2021.
Jonathan, Emma, Shantel, Liv, Heddwen and Peggy
The Writing West Midlands team