2021: An Abundance of Caution

The way I see it, no new year has hurt us the way 2020 has hurt us. In past years, I have found myself quietly swept up in the hope of a fresh start on New Year’s Day. New writing goals to pursue, maximum output calculated down to the letter if I can just write X number of words per day… as if I were some machine, chugging away on the tracks to writing success. No room for error, like bad mental days, family emergencies, work stress, or just breaks to have fun. A piston pumping up and down, ceaseless.

Ironically, I didn’t make resolutions for the year of 2020. Not that I thought I, at last, had things figured out. But just because I had come to learn that not only would I not hit my goals for the year (I never do, as they’re always just so lofty), but that plans have a lot of opportunity to change over the course of 365 days.

Boy, was I ever right about both those things.

Nevertheless, I feel burned. Such that I may never again go into another year feeling optimistic about my prospects. Though too many press releases now have used the phrase, I find myself creeping into 2021 with an abundance of caution. Un-optimistic. Prepared for ambush from some fresh horror, some predator stalking in the ceaseless stream of the future. But I am wary prey and I fully plan to see the next attack on my very existence coming.

All this is to say, there will be no goals from me in 2021. No writing goals, no self improvement goals. Not just because 2020 has been the equivalent of an emotional abuser, traumatizing us all daily. But also because the whole experience has brought home to me more than any intellectual exercise that

none. of. that. matters.

Time will come. Perseverance of whatever that thing is that we pursue will see us through. What need have you or I for tracking and numbers and dates? For output? We need only to continue living. To keep going.

We will always keep going.

There will be new things about the blog this year. If only because I want to try some new things I may love and drop others I have not enjoyed so much. Instead of author updates, which were not much in the way of updates really, I have planned a series of short memoir topics, all centered around my journey as a writer. I will likely drop reviewing every book I read and reserve my reviews column for indie authors and publishers who reach out for the exposure. They’re the ones most deserving of the attention anyway.

Who knows what else will come our way in my microscopic corner of the internet? Certainly not me. I have no plans, after all. But I’m glad you’re along for the finding out.

As always, dear reader, I leave you with my exhortation for the coming year.

Keep going in 2021.


Thanks for reading!

Summer’s latest:

With Words We Weave 2022: Hope

Featuring an exclusive Hopeful Wanderer short-story!

For over 100 years, Texas High Plains Writers has been a part of great storytelling in Texas and beyond.

This year, our anthology offers a collection of short-stories, memoirs, inspirational essays, and poetry filled with hope.

With 22 talented authors, from best-sellers to the first time in print, there is something for everyone. 

Great heroes of legends past sit side by side in these pages with the unsung citizens showing kindness to strangers. Humor, adventure, and nostalgia combine to remind us all that hope can be found anywhere. 

Buy it now: Amazon

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