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“Every cloud has a silver lining.” You might have heard that proverb at one time or another. It means that there’s something good or hopeful to be found in every bad situation.
Dictionary.com has its own definition: “A sign of hope or a positive aspect in an otherwise negative situation.”
The year 2020 has shown us an overabundance of negative situations, from a pandemic of a highly contagious and dangerous disease and social isolation from loved ones to social injustice, civic unrest and political and economic uncertainty. It’s been a difficult year, but somehow we’ve made it to the end with the hope that 2021 will be better. It has to be better, right? We can only go up from here.
Yet despite the turmoil in our world, there is reason to hope. There are silver linings in the year that was. It’s called “counting your blessings.” We all have them if we look close enough.
So what silver linings have I noticed in my world? For one thing, I was highly productive with my writing projects.
* Consistent blogging. I recommitted to my blog, posting stories at least once a week, sometimes two. With this renewed commitment, I am now considering expanding my offerings to include a weekly writing prompt, white papers and e-books.
* Experimentation with writing styles. Without clients to write for, I’ve used my free time to experiment with different writing styles, most notably e-books and novellas. At 30,000 to 50,000 words, novellas are shorter than novels and tend to have only one plot line, but they are longer than short stories.
* Reading challenge. I kept up with my reading challenge throughout the year. Reading provided the needed escape from the darkest moments of the year.
* Professional development. I took advantage of discounted webinars, online workshops and virtual conferences that were offered, which I would not have participated in otherwise. I studied everything from building a freelance business to content marketing and writing holiday romances.
* New technologies. Like many people, I participated in more online meetings than ever before which meant learning new technologies, such as Zoom and Google Duo.
* Expanded offerings. I completed and posted a white paper on my website and plan to do another one in 2021. I also have two e-books in the works.
* Networking. I launched an email networking campaign to one group of contacts to search for new clients. The second phase of that campaign will begin in the New Year.
A writer’s work is never done and it goes beyond just writing stories. There’s the business of running a writing business and all that it entails – accounting, networking, marketing, etc. Despite it all, I feel hopeful and optimistic about the future.
I realize that in the midst of darkness, there is light too, like a rainbow after a storm. We must all learn to adapt to this new reality of ours, because frankly, it’s not going away anytime soon and our lives will be changed. Things won’t be the same as they used to be, even though we may wish them to be “back to normal.” Each of us will have to redefine what that new normal means for us, and more important, what it looks like for us.
So how has your writing life changed – for better or for worse – because of the upheavals of 2020? What are the silver linings in your year?