Reflections for the New Year

Isn’t it odd that we haven’t celebrated Labor Day yet? September 1 is the beginning of the year for me. I worked in academia for years, so I got used to September being the start. I also work in theater, and this time of year is when summer seasons are winding down, and regular seasons are heating up. So, with my new year upon me, I am very reflective in early September.

Happy New YearAs regular readers know, my dream of being a published author is about to come true. On October 6, Just Killing Time, written under the pseudonym Julianne Holmes, will be released by Berkley. This is such a thrill, but the details are coming at me fast and furiously. I’m planning a launch party, sending out ARCs, and planning some appearances. I’m also working with my editor on book #2, and starting to plot book #3. A friend reminded me to stop, and enjoy this journey. Hard to do, but something I really need to focus on–I will have other books published, but this is my only first.

Goal for the fall: enjoy the journey of publication

Another writing goal is to chip away at Book #3. As another friend said, on book #1 you learn how to write a book. On book #2 you prove to yourself you can do it again. On book #3, the game is on. I want to continue to grow as a writer. I want each book to be better. That means spending more time editing, which means the first draft needs to get done. Deadlines are actually a blessing, and I am figuring out how to work with them. That said, procrastination and I have a relationship, and we need to break up.

Goal for the fall: keep working on the story, and the story telling. Don’t loose momentum.

I write on a laptop, on my couch. When I get going, I will sit for hours and work. I am terrible about taking breaks, are you? This isn’t healthy on a number of fronts, and I need to develop new habits.

Goal for the fall: make moving around part of my writing routine. Walks for plotting, maybe a standing desk?

Final writing goal? Remember two things: be grateful, and be kind. Keeping these are core values are essential. Writing is a solitary effort that depends on community for success. I have a wonderful community, and am so grateful for them. But as importantly, I need to remember to practice kindness. I should clarify, kindness does not mean I am always nice. I am too old to be nice all the time.

Goal for life: Gratitude and Kindness, always.

How about you, dear readers? Do you think of this time of year as a new year? Any writing goals that you plan on rebooting this fall?


Julie Hennrikus is an arts administrator, J.A. Hennrikus writes short stories, and Julianne Holmes writes the Clock Shop Mystery series.

10 thoughts on “Reflections for the New Year

  1. Congratulations on your first book. September is a time for new beginnings for me. So are January and May. I start over a lot. 🙂
    This autumn, I plan to keep adding to my blogspace, and maybe do a French version.

  2. I’m a retired educator as well, and yes, I remember when the day “after labor day” was the first day of school.
    Congratulations on the upcoming publication. And I believe you have a extremely workable plan. I need to print out your post and pin over my computer…it’s that good!
    One thing I must absolutely agree with and that is the “moving around” business. Yes, indeed. I walk my black lab, Cody, twice a day, thirty minutes a walk. It’s great exercise and it’s quite often a time I work on writing problems, e.g., plot foul ups, characterization, endings! Again, thanks for the great post.

  3. Congratulations on your forthcoming book 🙂

    I definitely get that New Year feeling in September and this year I’ve just launched my new blog; still very embryonic I’m busy plotting and trying to get a manageable read, write & review schedule… all good fun.

  4. Congratulations on the book! I can certainly see how you can look at the beginning of September as your new year! I love that idea! Sometimes just tweaking a schedule will spur you on to action. Reading this post has given me a thought to return to the book I’ve set aside. Making a schedule to write and then write! Working full time is a challenge, but challenges are meant to be overcome!
    Thank you for your post on your New Year! I hope that you DO enjoy the journey of publication and that the goals you have set can be met readily!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!

  5. Good on you! A long and winding road, Paul once sang, and the days to release will probably fly by before you know it. Wish me a broken keyboard as well, SINK RATE hits Amazon in October too. At least you are guaranteed one sale here.

  6. I, too, work with a laptop while sitting on my recliner, so am often at it for hours. As a retired teacher, I find it difficult to stop multi-tasking; I still can’t just sit still (after two years of retirement) and watch a movie, even if all I do is play a computer game while watching. If it’s a movie I’ve seen before, I’ll even answer emails or do some writing or editing. It can be really tough to just “relax and enjoy the journey”. All the best on your book launch!

  7. Hi Julie,
    Following your journey has been as exciting as it is inspirational. Thanks so much for bringing us all along for the ride. Can hardly wait for October 6th!
    All best wishes, Deborah.

  8. Pingback: Back to School | Meeting my family

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