Thursday, January 7, 2016

Another year ending can spur contemplation:  Did I accomplish what I wanted this year?  Do I have regrets?  What can I do better in the coming year?  For writers, often these thoughts center on their literary achievements, or lack thereof.  The new year may be coasting in on the thrill of a first time publication, or it may be weighing heavily because of too many rejections.  Eagerness to begin a new plot idea may be a cause for anticipation in the new year.  Disappointment from too little time writing may bring dread for a continuation of yet the same.

How we handle both the good and the bad depends on our perspective.  At the end of 2015 in early December, our writing community lost a very special friend, Tyke Crowley.  For both his life and his writing, his philosophy was “make every day count”.  While many of us want to do so, he actually did.  Every minute of every day counted toward living.  In the months before his death, he was working on a manuscript, which he did not complete, but when asked about any regrets, he still answered, “No.”  How many of us would feel the same way about our lives and our writing?

A new year brings an opportunity for new perspective:  What do I want to accomplish this year?  What can I do to ensure no regrets?  What will be better about this coming year?  Whether you’re working on a new literary endeavor, have a desire to complete one already begun, or simply want to write as life allows, may 2016 be your year for being true to yourself as a writer.

Paula Castner is a wife, mother of three, and a co-founder of Seven Bridge Writers' Collaborative as well as a freelance writer, playwright, writing and baking workshop facilitator, and drama director. She receives emails at

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