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Thursday, January 03, 2013


Just for Today, For a Writer

For many years, one of the newspaper advice columnists would run a meditation called Just for Today, on New Year’s Day. Maybe an advice columnist still keeps this tradition, I’m not sure. But I am sure that when I first read the words, I was struck by the powerful message. That if we focus on each day, as it comes, we can accomplish much more than we thought possible. And so with that message in mind, I considered what I, the writer, wanted to accomplish in 2013.

Just for today, I will write. It may not be 20,000 words, or even 2,000 words. Heck, it may be a 200-word blog post or a (very) detailed grocery list. I will write, because I know that writing is a skill that improves with daily practice.

Just for today, I will read. If I have a great idea for an article, I’ll read the market I’m considering pitching. If I’m working on a novel manuscript, I’ll read a novel in that genre, even it’s just the first chapter. If I’m stuck on an aspect in my craft, I’ll take that how-to book from the shelf, blow the dust off, and read the pertinent paragraphs. I will read, because I know that reading is a sure way to writing growth and improvement.

Just for today, I will encourage or support another writer. If I've enjoyed an author’s novel, I’ll write a review on Amazon, or perhaps Goodreads. If I drop by a blog and like the content, I’ll leave a comment, letting the blogger know. Maybe I’ll retweet a writer’s good news or just click on a "Like" button. I’ll encourage or support another writer, because I know how much my writer friends’ support and encouragement means to me, especially when it comes on those days when a stinging criticism won’t let go of me. A couple of kind words can make all the difference.

Just for today, I will take care of business. I’ll answer the emails, update my finances and keep on track with my submissions. I will take care of business, because I know that when I treat my writing as a business, my writing pays me back.

Just for today, I will be thankful that I’m a writer. Despite the rejections, the revisions, the constant hair-pulling and occasional whining, I wouldn't want any other job in the world. I will be thankful that I’m a writer, because when I’m lucky enough to find just the right words, my soul sings.

And what writer wouldn't want to accomplish that, even if it’s just for today?

~From Cathy C. Hall, wishing you bountiful words and blessings in 2013!

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Blogger Sheila Siler said...

What a great thought - "just for today". Thanks for the encouragement!

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect perspective. I'm going to share this. We start the new year with such lofty and big goals. It's wise to remember that really all we have is today, this moment. We have enough light for the very next step and that's all we need. Thanks for getting my head in the right frame of mind.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Sioux Roslawski said...

I love this, Cathy, because we can all accomplish goals "just for today." One step at a time...

7:31 AM  
Blogger Toni Andrukaitis said...

Thanks for the advice. My writer friend, Liz, sent it to me, so your post does work. We are all trying to encourage one another. Thanks.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Audrey said...

A wonderfully refreashing New Year's post. It makes it all seem so less overwhelming when we just focus on today. And, as all of us have found, when we take care of today then somehow our tommorows get taken care of too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

8:49 AM  
Blogger MP said...

I've actually been trying to use this kind of thinking with eating better, but it seems more fun for writing stuff! Everything we want to improve on is really just a "one day at a time" thing. I get overwhelmed with doing things perfectly or permantly. ;)

9:02 AM  
Blogger Suzanne Lilly said...

Just for today, I will do my best to not procrastinate! Thanks for this post. It keeps things in perspective, doesn't it?

9:11 AM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

So glad y'all found inspiration in my Just for Today mantra! And so appreciate you taking the time to comment! ;-)

3:29 PM  
Blogger Val said...

Good to know. This relieves the pressure of trying to do it all. If I can pick a couple of items to concentrate on JUST FOR TODAY, I can stop putting off tasks because they seem so overwhelming.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Linda O'Connell said...

Cathy, these are words to live by. Sometimes the big picture is overwhelming, but one thing at a time I can do.

2:41 AM  
Blogger Carole Ann Moleti said...

Thanks for the prompt. I came up for air in the middle of a project about to pull me under and volunteered for panels at Lunacon and indulged my muse by typing up some thoughts that popped into my head. Sent and RSVP to attend the CTRWA chapter meeting next week. Felt real good.

Still plenty to do-revisions, submissions, blogs but one day at a time.....

6:39 PM  
Blogger Sarah Butland said...

Absolutely on par with all of my resolutions. Just today I'm a commenter on blogs, today I am thinking about marketing and taking risks.

Supporting writers and keeping track of their progress is very inspiring, thank you.

And thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland
author of Arm Farm, Sending You Sammy and Brain Tales - Volume One

9:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As always, your words inspire me, Miss Cathy.

Wishing you a blessed and joy filled year of writing in 2013, and just for today.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

I'm putting "JUST FOR TODAY" on my wall. Thanks, Cathy, for an inspiring and motivating post! Here's to combating overwhelm and moving forward in 2013!

2:41 PM  

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