Looking back and looking ahead

Happy New Year! I hope your year is off to a great start.

Four years ago (how can four years have passed since then?), I shared T.S. Eliot’s beautiful passage about last year’s words and next year’s words. These early January days have me looking back at last year’s writing and anticipating what will become of my work for this year.

In December, right on the heels of NaNoWriMo, I had the opportunity to speak with author John Vonhof about my experiences writing a novel in the month of November. My conversation with him is available now as a podcast on his site: Writers & Authors on Fire. I hope you’ll check it out! And if you’re also a writer, his series is a fantastic resource of encouragement and practical advice for writing and publishing.

One thing I didn’t mention in my conversation with him is the twelve pens I ran out of ink in November.

nanowrimopens2017_ft

The fruits of my NaNoWriMo labors: two full notebooks and twelve empty pens

Three more pens were gone by the end of December, and there would have been more, but it’s really hard to keep a train of thought going when pens fail. I finally had to stick with favorite pens I knew wouldn’t run out of ink.

I love writing with pen and paper. There’s a more visceral connection to seeing the words flow from a pen (for me anyway) than watching a screen fill up. So as I look back on last year and look forward to this year, I think T.S. Eliot might not mind if I say this:

Last year’s pens belong to last year’s notebooks. And next year’s pens await another empty page.

I’m excited to see where the full pens and empty pages of my year will take me. How about you? How are you hoping to empty your pens and fill your pages in 2017?

Blessings to you in the year ahead!


I hope you’ll check out the podcast and let me know what you think. There’s even a feature that allows you to listen to it faster or slower than regular speed. I think I sound downright awful at 3x my usual speed, but for those of you who think my Southern speech is too slow, here’s your chance to speed it up.

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