A Time of Transition

Wednesday, November 09, 2022



I was looking up a list of writing prompts and found one that I thought was timely for autumn, as the leaves have been changing and summer fading away. The prompt suggested I reflect on the changes I have undergone in the past year. Well, that resonated with me. What hasn’t changed? 

This time last year I was anxiously helping my daughter with her college admissions essays. This year she’s tucked away at a large southern university more than seven hours from home and I’ve shifted my writing assistance to my 16-year-old. 

This time last year I was still hard at work with a contract job editing for a magazine and facing the reality that a lot of freelance writers don’t take assignments during the last two weeks of November, leaving the December issue in a lurch. This year, I’ve left that job and am devoting my month to revising a young adult novel and writing and producing weekly episodes of my podcast. 

This time last year I was overwhelmed with my day job, producing bi-weekly podcast episodes, and committed to writing 60,000 words of a brand-new thriller novel for NaNoWriMo, which I completed and have not picked back up since. 

How have things changed? Here are the pros. Without the day job, I have more time to research and write true crime focused on the North and South Carolina regions and tackle these YA revisions. I look forward to polishing up last year’s NaNoWriMo project early next year. I also have time to have lunch and coffee with my friends, which I have done so much more of the past two months. I hadn’t realized how much I had been chained to my desk before and I’m enjoying this new, slower pace. I’m sleeping better, cooking a lot more and the house is tidier, which is beneficial to my mental health. 

Here are the cons of this life transition. I still worry about my oldest child—I’m convinced that will never change. But thanks to technology we keep in constant communication and in ten days, we’ll get to see her for several days during her Thanksgiving break! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I miss the freelance salary I was bringing in. But I have the time now to work with other clients and I’ve never had trouble selling articles and finding publications to pitch if I really put my mind to it. My goal is to monetize my podcast to replace that editing income so keeping my fingers crossed I can make that happen. 

How has the past year been for you? Are you in a different phase of your writing life? I’d love to hear about it!  

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer who also produces the true crime podcast, Missing in the Carolinas.

2 comments:

Angela Mackintosh said...

Great post, Renee! So much changes in a single year, doesn't it? We just had our second snow today in the Sequoia National Forest. Last year I was in Los Padres NF and it didn't snow until December. This year I'm a first time home/ranch owner, and it's so nice not to have to pay any rent or mortgage. I'm working on simplifying my life and finances, and I'm loving this place, the people, the arts, the night sky peppered with stars I've never seen before--it's so much fun! I moved twice in a year and don't plan to move for a while. Last year in November, my dad was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. This year he is no longer with us. Last year in November, I'd just gotten a new kitten. This year I have 4 cats! And more wildlife than I ever imagined! Last year I also did NaNoWriMo, and I walked away with several essays. I'm hoping to do the same thing this year, but I'm not being hard on myself considering I'm still settling in and doing renovations. I've had roughly the same number of creative publications last year as this year. This year I'm coming closer to figuring out what type of art I want to pursue. Cheers to our writing during NaNo and ending the year strong!

Andrea said...

Well, this past year several of my furry muses have left me which is still very difficult. But I'm in revisions with my book and am starting a new book of essays. I have a great critique group that I've come to trust. So I guess I'm in a pretty good place. In spite of the mixed up world around us.

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