Just For Today, For a Writer (Part Deux)

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Like you, I keep up with the blog posts here at The Muffin, and when I read a few recently—namely, Jeanine DeHoney’s A Writer’s Prayer for Serenity and Sue Bradford Edwards’ 3 Steps to Developing that New Writing Habit—something clicked in the dark recesses of my memory. Hadn’t I written something similar?

It took a while to find the blog post (I knew it had something to do with writing but as you can imagine, that was not a helpful key word for my search), but eventually, it popped up on the screen: Just For Today, For A Writer. It ran right here on The Muffin in January of 2013. 

2013! That was eight years ago. 

Well, firstly, I was pretty darn impressed that I remembered it at all. But secondly, I wondered, reading the post, if I’d successfully developed these writing habits. You see, I take stock monthly, even yearly, but eight years? That’s some serious accountability. 

So here’s the original post, but for today, I decided to just look at the basic promises I made in 2013, the ones this writer vowed to tackle, on a mostly daily basis: 

Just for today, I will write.

Uh-oh. Right from the get go, I smelled trouble. But wait! I could count my journal because that’s writing. And the deal was not to write a set amount but to write. So despite the tragedies and the triumphs of the last eight years, I have always written something, just about every day. Yay, me! 

Just for today, I will read. 

Reading is my comfort food, my happy place, my go-to for learning. I probably didn’t need to add that promise; I’ve been reading since I figured out how. On the other hand, I know writers who don’t read much so I will reiterate now that you can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. 

Just for today, I will encourage or support another writer. 

Admittedly, I don’t always do this. Sometimes, I support a non-writer friend or encourage someone I don’t even know, like a young mom in the grocery store. On my bathroom mirror is a sign where I’ve written, “Whose day will I make today?” I wholeheartedly recommend the habit of support and encouragement; I’m sure I sleep better every night for following that practice. 

Just for today, I will take care of business.

Yikes! I struggle with this chore as much today as I did eight years ago. It’s why every January, I spend the month cleaning out all my inboxes. I know I should keep up with it every day but I’m busy, y’all. Reading. 

Just for today, I will be thankful that I’m a writer. 

How I’m thankful today as a writer may not be the same as it was years ago; now, I appreciate that writing is not just about validation but about helping me to work through all that makes up my life, and hopefully figuring out who Cathy C. Hall is. So whether I’m compensated in dollars and cents or serenity and joy, I’m good to go. (Not to mention that I’m sitting here, just as I was eight years ago, writing away in my pajamas. I’ll always be grateful for that!) 

Okay, then. I’m going to say that eight years later, I’ve done a fairly good job, keeping my writing promises. How about you? Can you remember where you were on your writing journey eight years ago? Sometimes it takes the long view to show us just how far we’ve come, day by day!

Cathy C. Hall is a children's author, freelance writer, blogger, speaker, and dog wrangler. Way harder than it looks.


Jeanine DeHoney said...

Such a beautiful post Cathy. So glad you found your original blog post and shared your promises with us. Every one is a promise worth keeping. As for my writing journey from eight years ago, I feel I write more authentically now, sharing deeper parts of myself than I did back then.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--Your memory--and your ability to excavate--is amazing.

Eight years ago, I had written a horrible manuscript (that will never see the light of day) and then another awful one (which unfortunately was shared with a few writer friends--that one went straight to the compost heap as well). I had not sat down with my students--in November--and wrote every day until a first draft was created.

We don't keep a promise. We forget a promise. But then, we get back on track. You are a successful writer, so you eventually always get back on track. (And the photo? I guess Libby is the star of everything, including this picture, like she always is... ;)

Cathy C. Hall said...

So glad you shared your post, Jeanine, that nudged my memory. And isn't it wonderful to realize how we've grown?

And Sioux, Libby is certainly living her best life these days, starring in her own comedy. I should write a TV sitcom about her. :-) And let's not forget how far you've come...from dustbin manuscripts to a soon-to-be-published author! YAY!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Important points all - especially going back and reviewing your goals. Otherwise, how do we know we've made any progress?

Linda O'Connell said...

Looking back sometimes propels us forward. I look at some of my old posts and am awe at my writing. Did I really write that?

I like the note on your mirror.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Sue and Linda, yes, looking back to move forward is the key! And Linda, I like that note, too, but it's a bit of sight these days, all curled up. I'm surprised it hasn't steamed right off the mirror! :-)

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top