In 2017

I never used to believe in New Year’s resolutions. I never used to believe in the New Year starting in January, either; for me it has usually started with a new academic year, in the autumn, and all of that post-Christmas guilt stuff was just an excuse for self-flagellation and meanness. This year I’ve kind of changed my mind. There are some things I want to do in 2018, including taking up yoga again, finishing a first draft of this goddamn novel, and eating more mindfully. But resolutions, like dreams, are rarely interesting to anyone else, and, like dreams, rarely appear fully-formed.

My most long-standing New Year’s tradition is to look back over what I’ve done during the past twelve months. Usually the good outweighs the bad. This year was a decidedly mixed bag. Miserable shit happened. There was also much rejoicing. A lot of 2017 was about surviving and persisting and taking control of my own thoughts. I did that, and I’m proud of that.

In 2017, in roughly chronological order, I:

landed my dream job

bought some spectacular gold shoes for £3

showed my mama around the London I know


learned to love Bach

served on the Baileys Prize shadow panel

had my heart broken

moved house

survived a sexual assault, in the same week that I moved house

…and now disclosed it to more people than ever

used my dining rights at my old college with friends


explored my new neighbourhood

found some great free museum cafes to write in

writing cafe

turned 25

visited home for the first time in almost two years

went vintage shop-hopping with my badass brother

witnessed a solar eclipse

was reunited (and got absolutely shirt-waisted) with my Govies: Matt, Jon, and Red

took a Greyhound bus

watched the sun rise over London from the roof of my new house


welcomed dear friends to my new home

bought my first ever house plant

celebrated my goddaughter’s first birthday

consulted on hair, makeup, dresses and shoes for my cousin Sarah’s wedding next April


sang at Liverpool Cathedral (during the aftermath of Storm Brian!)

bought the most majestic floor-length velvet dress the world has ever seen

served on the Young Writer of the Year Award shadow panel


rejoiced in the marriage of two wonderful humans, Helen and Charlie

made it to 120K words of my novel

led the music on Christmas Day at my grandparents’ parish church

earned the trust of my auntie’s traumatised rescue puppy

traveled to Scotland to celebrate the New Year with my godparents

read 181 (and a half) books


28 thoughts on “In 2017

  1. I’m sad to hear of the bad stuff, I knew about the heart-break but not the other. Now I’ve met you in the flesh, as someone old enough to be your mother, I feel I need to give you a big (virtual this time) hug. However, you are a resilient, strong and lovely young woman, so I hope that 2018 will be a year full of superlatives for you. Happy New Year. xx

    1. Thank you! It really is – and the bespoke subscription service is such an amazing opportunity, one I wouldn’t get to be a part of anywhere else.

  2. As bad as some of the things that happened to you have been rejoice in the fact that far more of the things you list are either triumphs or truly heart-warming and build on these to make 2018 a year of good memories. I wish you a happy and fulfilling 2018.

  3. Love you, Elnee. I love reading this post if yours every year. Here’s to more in 2018! More life, maybe less heart break, and definitely another spectacular floor length dress. Xoxo!

  4. Wow! That’s some year, and I’m so sorry for the horrid stuff – you are a strong person to survive all that and I hope the good outweighs the bad for you. Sending you lots of virtual hugs and support – stay positive! Here’s to a happy 2018 for you!

    And BTW the wedding outfit is gorgeous and I *want* to see the floor length velvet creation! 🙂

    1. Thank you for all of the above 🙂 It is actually a great, re-wearable bridesmaid dress (a rare thing!) I’ll see if I can find a photo of the floor-length dress…

  5. Elle, I’m sorry you had to deal with some horrible things this year. I’m glad you had some nice things to go with it! You’ve got me thinking about how different my 20s were from my 40s, so much was happening all the time, and now my life doesn’t change nearly as much, but fortunately that’s all good. Thanks for the thoughtful post, you’ve inspired me to reflect more on my year. Hope you have a wonderful 2018!

    1. Oh Deb, thank you so much. I’m hoping that life does settle down at some point (though it probably won’t happen just yet…!) It was so lovely to meet you this past year; I hope your 2018 is smashing.

  6. What a beautiful post. You have done so many things this year, how did you find time for 181 books?!
    So sorry to hear about the sad things. I hope all the wonderful things have helped to make up for them. I wish you all the best in 2018!!

    1. Thank you so much, Naomi 🙂 The blogging community has been so lovely, that’s helped so much. (I don’t know how I managed 181, but I’m aiming for 190 in 2018 because…I’m insane,
      I guess?)

  7. What a lovely description of a year. Setting out the shit stuff along with the good stuff. As a fellow shitty-2017-haver, I will copy your attitude and think of it as a few big bad things with a lot of good smaller things.

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