Reflecting on the New Year

We’re in a very reflective mood here at Mysteristas this month. Something about December and January, I guess. It’s cold, snowy (well, it is if you’re in the northeast, where I am), you just ended a year in the buzz of Christmas and are kicking off a new one. So there’s a lot to think about.

Of course, as writers, we start thinking of what we want to accomplish – books to write, sell, query. New characters to meet, new places to explore. And that’s all good. (I’m working on compiling the goals – yes I am).

We reflect on what we learned or did last year that might carry over into the new year. Maybe, as Kait did yesterday, we’re thinking about people or pets that won’t be with us any longer.

But as I sit and think, “What do I want to do in 2015?” I come up with a rather profound answer.

I want to be more patient.

I am, I’ll admit it, a rather impatient person. Ideas occur to me and I immediately want to take action. Get that book out, write that story, query that manuscript. My husband is the same, but with different topics: install that new faucet, put in that new bathroom, paint that wall, build that garden.

You get the idea.

But the first real (kinda-sorta) snowfall in Pittsburgh has me slowing down. (It’s rough for this Buffalo born-and-bred gal to admit that it’s a real snow, but hey, all depends on the situation, right?) I bagged my commute yesterday after 45 minutes in traffic (took me five to get back home) to telecommute. School was delayed this morning and I’m working at home again. I’m a little chilled, with the heater going (fire anyone?), a mug of hot tea in my hand.

It’s slow. And I don’t do slow well.

But you have to. Snow is Nature’s way of saying, “Whoa there, lady. Not gonna happen today.” And sometimes, I need that.

Don’t rush through that story; be patient and let it bloom. Take some time to get to know that new character, his dreams and needs. Don’t rush that book to press; give it the time and attention it needs to really be its best. Don’t rush through that book; take the time to savor each word, let the images roll around in your head, the words on your tongue.

Instead of a quick peck on the cheek, snuggle with the one you love (or with a furry friend, if you’re lucky enough to have one). Put your feet up. Enjoy the twinkly Christmas lights for another day; no real reason to rush them down. Relax. Feel the rhythm of the season. The bears slow down, as do other hibernating animals. Earlier this week, Kait talked about lessons learned from pets. My dog taught me there was nothing better than a nap in front of the fire (well, maybe a good piece of steak, but I digress).

So yeah, I need to make lists, goals, decide what I want to do this year writing-wise. That’ll keep me on track months from now, when the blue skies and warm weather beckons me to play hooky.

But for now, patience. Solitude. Reflection.

And pass another mug of tea.

What about you? Where could you do with a little more patience and reflection?

And now for a bit of self-promotion. The new edition of Power Play: Hero’s Sword Vol. 1 is available for pre-order on Amazon, iBooks and Kobo, release date of January 12 (print may trail due to technical issues). See my website for links. Hooray for completing the first goal of 2015!

Mary Sutton | @mary_sutton73


Author: Liz Milliron

Liz Milliron has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people's stories, for as long as she can remember. She survived growing up through reading, cutting her mystery teeth on Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark and, of course, Nancy Drew. As an adult, she finds escape from the world of software documentation through creating her own fictional murder and mayhem. She lives near Pittsburgh with her husband and two teenage children, and fantasizes about owning a dog again - one of these days.

9 thoughts on “Reflecting on the New Year”

  1. This is so lovely, Mary. Timely, too! Loved this: “Don’t rush through that story; be patient and let it bloom.” Patience is NOT one of my virtues (in life or writing), but it is important for so many reasons. I needed this reminder. Thanks for sharing with us!


  2. Weather will slow you down. So will illness. Better to learn the lesson from the first than the latter. I’m not good with patience either, but I hate to feel I’m rushing a story.

    Nice post, Mary. See you Sunday!


  3. The “P” word, as I used to refer to it! And then I used to say “Horrors.” But you know, I’ve been cultivating this myself lately. What a beautiful post.


  4. Thanks, all. Patience is not always one of my virtues, either. Fortunately, I have people around me (like Annette) to tell me to slow down and relax! There’s no magic prize for finishing fast.


  5. So, so true (and so very much a lesson I need to learn too). Annette is right, illness will slow you down like weather does. In SoCal, sometimes that’s the one I get. Either way, it’s very hard to stop being so busy and give the brain a break. Feels like wasting time!


  6. Love this advice of letting the story bloom! Without a deadline, or goal, though, I could just let the story go on blooming way too long. I have to set a limit, or else I’d never get anything done.


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