NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Monday, December 5, 2016

Telling 2016 To Hit The Road

December is doing its usual “Where did the year go?” acceleration and for once, I’m happy to see the calendar page turn and close out the month and year.

Let me race back to January for a moment.


Ah January, where everything is fresh and sparkly and full of great resolutions.

Every January, a fantastic group of authors lets me hang out with them for our MLK weekend writing retreat. We get tons written, plot, and do yoga to counteract all that hunching over keyboards—and state our goals for the upcoming year. Buoyed by the thousands of words hitting the page that weekend—or maybe it was the residual effects of Rachel’s chocolate martinis—I optimistically vowed to finish the book and do a couple of other random acts of intrepid marketing.

Anyone else hear the universe laughing?

Thankfully I can’t find the actual list of goals, but I suspect in January, my retreat-mates will laugh with me over the abysmal results for the year. I did stumble over the following list sent to my online goals group:

1) survive day job transition, which has mutated into an overwhelming 10-12 hour/day beast
2) survive the snowy snowy cold winter by reminding herself it’s next summer’s water
3) survive building the house without killing the builder or doing something equally stupid and dramatic
4) you’ll notice so far writing has not appeared on this list.
5) grow a pair and do all the marketing to put Tree Farm out there
6) write the sequel to So About the Money
7) rediscover the joy of writing 

I shared this list with my retreat group (as a more realistic assessment of how the year shaped up). Kris, the philosopher in our midst, said, “That’s part of what we retreat for—to pull back, regroup, and start anew.  If it was a good year, it can be a look-back & a reminder to keep on the same trajectory. If it was a spectacular failure in some way, it’s a reset button.” 

Maybe we need those failure and frustrations to refocus. 2016 was tough for many people. But ya know, stepping back from last spring’s frustration, I still have a job (that pays me twice a month!) and we finally (finally!) finished the house and moved in a couple of weeks ago. And if I didn’t get as much written as I planned, the creative urge is still lurking inside, just waiting for a chance to bust out.


What about you? 2016 – boost or bust?

13 comments:

jean harrington said...

Cathy, your year, despite its frustrations, sounds overall positive. Mine, sorry to say, had no great ups--like a brand new house!--but no significant downs either. Just the daily stuff. On the other hand, in 2017, we are having a wedding in the family and we're expecting a new baby (Different couple!) So life, overall is good.

Anne Marie Becker said...

So interesting to look back, isn't it? And January sounds like the perfect time for a writer's retreat, to regroup and set goals. I'm raising my hand as one of those writers who struggled with 2016. Still working on recapturing that joy and reestablishing good habits, but I needed the break. And the struggles do remind us to value the good stuff. When life kept hitting at us with financial and family difficulties, I was so grateful that it wasn't health-related stuff!

Sandy Parks said...

Looking back should be part of our marketing plan...but my list of cons is longer than my list of pluses. Working now on fixing that for next year.

Marcelle Dubé said...

2016 had a lot of ups and downs, but when I look back, I see I ended higher than I started, so it's good. It'll be interesting to see how I feel at the end of 2017, as I'm entering a big transition in my own life. Thanks for the look back, Cathy. Congrats on getting the house built without murdering anybody and here's to a 2017 filled with creativity and the urge to write!

Cathy Perkins said...

@Jean - Weddings and babies! Sounds like a wonderful year to me. And some days, the "daily stuff" can be the good stuff.

Cathy Perkins said...

@Anne Marie - We all look forward to the retreat. Fortunately there isn't a huge amount of competition for rental houses that time of year around here :)
I read somewhere that we forget once we're published, we're no longer writing for the joy of it. It's a job. One we usually enjoy, but a still a job, although with a different perspective. I'm glad you could take some time away to regroup. Remember - without the struggles, the joys aren't as sweet.

Cathy Perkins said...

@Sandy - Share those pluses with us in January!

Cathy Perkins said...

@ Marcelle - here's to a new year, filled with transitions, creativity in all its forms--and the revived joy in writing!

Julie Moffett said...

Thank you for taking over my post today with an insightful look back and forward. It's the struggles that keep us grounded and grateful for those times when things go right. Best of luck to you, my friend!! oxo Julie

Rita said...

I survived all my battles with the universe. Guess that's a win. LOL!

Cathy Perkins said...

@Julie - Happy to cover, although there can never be "too much Julie"

Cathy Perkins said...

@Rita - if you're surviving battles with the universe, you're definitely winning ;)

Cathy Perkins said...

@Rita - if you're surviving battles with the universe, you're definitely winning ;)

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