End of Year Thinking

Thursday, December 30, 2021

This is the time of year when I do a lot of thinking.

And I don’t mean like when my kids were small and I’d try to take a tiny nap and tell them not to disturb Mommy because she is thinking. I mean, sure, my eyes are sometimes closed and I will often fall asleep during all this ruminating, but honestly, I’m seriously thinking. 

It’s important, this thinking. I will start with taking a look at what I’ve done in the past year and that informs new dreams, new plans. Because dreams do change, y’all, but how often do we take the time to really think of how we’ve changed and how that impacts our wants and needs and goals or dreams?

Certainly, my writing career has come a long way from where it started. When I left teaching, the principal of the middle school where I worked asked what my plans were, and at that point, my “plans” were to write. But I sensed she was expecting me to say something a bit more substantive, more impressive, if you will, and so I blurted out, “I’ve got an idea for a novel, a cozy mystery.” And the principal must have been truly impressed since she announced my plans at the end-of-the-school-year gathering. Everyone clapped and I tried to crawl under my chair. A novel? What was I thinking, saying I planned to write a novel? 

Well, I wasn’t thinking at all. I read an awful lot of mysteries and believed I could write a mystery novel, if I put my mind to it. And I actually did attempt a novel that first year. But after ten or so pages, and slap out of ideas, I was done. Good heavens, how did authors get an entire novel written

My end-of-year thinking pushed me toward flash fiction and essay-writing and I became a better story-teller. I used those skills to try my hand at web content and though I made a steady income, my thinking about that sort of writing made me realize that the money wasn’t worth the dream-sucking work. 

Throughout the many years, taking the time to think about what I was enjoying in my writing (my dreams) and weighing the pros and cons of different projects (the reality) has led me down lots and lots of varied writing paths, some wonderful and some, not so much. 

There are those of you who hold steadfast to your original writing dreams through all your ups and downs, both personal and business. And that’s the right way for you. But if you’re facing dissatisfaction, ennui, or even a writer’s block that’s more like a boulder, maybe this is the year to do some serious thinking. 

Ponder what you love in your writing, what you want in your writing career. Then think a bit more concretely about what it will take to get there. Are there habits you need to develop, or even bad habits you need to drop? Classes you could take? Webinars to attend? How will you spend your money on your career? How can you make money with writing? Is the money important to you? If not, what is important

See how a little thinking can lead to who-knows-where? There's the adventure, the excitement, friends, so happy thinking and happy writing in 2022! 

(And P.S. Where I am now is back to the beginning, writing a cozy mystery, and finally able to bring together enough words and ideas to complete it! I wonder if anyone sitting in that school cafeteria will see my hopefully-published novel one day and say, “Didn’t Cathy Hall start working on that book fifteen years ago?” And I will say, “Yes. Yes, I did!”)


Sioux Roslawski said...

Fifteen years... Writing a novel or a memoir is a marathon, not a sprint. (And I don't read mysteries, but I don't read romance novels either, and Lisa Ricard Claro got me to read two or three--and I loved them, so I'm sure I will enjoy your cozy mystery WHEN it gets published._

Cathy C. Hall said...

Well, the thinking that I COULD write an adult novel started 15 years ago, Sioux. The actual writing started a few months ago...keep your fingers crossed for me! Well, uncross them to write. But then cross 'em again, real quick! :-)

Renee Roberson said...

I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few weeks, too. Thinking about how I can expand my podcast a bit to get more downloads, analyzing the numbers, wondering if I should publish a book of my short stories, trying to figure out how I committed to so many projects in January . . . I'm blessed. I know it. But now is the time to really focus on what I want to produce creatively this year. It's fun and intimidating all at the same time.

Wishing you continued luck with that cozy! After writing a mystery/thriller this past November, plotting all the twists and turns ain't for the weak!

Write from the Heart said...

You go, girl! I want an autographed copy of your cozy mystery. I do a lot of thinking also. Eyes open and eyes closed. You are such an inspiration.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top