Like me, you probably received a lot of Christmas and New Year’s newsletters. This isn’t one of those “well, we survived!” messages. Those seem dismissive of the experiences we’ve had. Many didn’t survive and we’re left to grieve without the closure of services. People have lost businesses, jobs, struggled to provide for their families. My heart goes out to the children who have learning challenges, who miss their friends and didn’t enjoy birthday parties. A great measure of us have been downright lonely. To all of you, I want to say I care.

While so many are embroiled in divisions about their differences, we must find ways to connect through our likenesses to love, to forgive and heal. It’s time to let go of old mindsets and beliefs in order to create new paths and move forward. What did I learn about myself? How can I use that in the future? You might have learned you were stronger than you thought. I watched friends learn new skills, like cooking, painting and crocheting. You might have learned you didn’t need to color your hair or have your nails done to feel good about yourself.

My critique group adapted and met faithfully via Zoom meetings on Friday nights, which was immeasurably helpful in staying connected, sharing life’s ups and downs, and inspiring word counts and story world ideas. My local chapter met on Zoom every month, as well as holding two virtual retreats and a Christmas party.

Digital book sales spiked in 2020 as authors supplied the world with much-needed escape and inspiration, and the industry learned how resilient and resourceful those writers are. I released two books and have another underway for Spring.

This past week I spent several days setting goals and preparing my new planner. That task always renews my energy and motivates me to challenge myself. There is power and satisfaction in ticking off the small steps that get me to the finish.

In 2021 my wish for you is to do something that excites you, to challenge your thinking and abilities. I wish for you to find ways to connect with others, to focus on the good and share the things you have in common.

I appreciate you and pray the best for you in the new year.

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