Keyword in 2022 is Focus
by Maggie Lynch
January 20, 2022
Key word for the year : Focus
My primary feeling about the year: Anticipation
Overall approach: Cautiously optimistic
Overcoming obstacles: Work together
Gut feeling on how the year will end: Beyond expectations
Focus on Moving Forward
Okay I admit I’ve always been an optimist. I figure it’s better to live each day as an optimist and roll with the punches than to live as a pessimist and not be able to do anything. Most important my gut tells me if I work my plan and stay focused the year will end beyond my expectations. I believe it will provide me with opportunities I can’t even anticipate.
I can hear my “realist” friends and family already with some of their keywords: COVID variations, no hugs, no conferences, no vacations, economic uncertainty. Yes, I recognize the world isn’t in its most fairytale version anymore. Realistically, I’m not sure it ever was. But I’m a believer in planning for the worst, while expecting the best. Learn from the past. Don’t dwell in it.
I and my extended family, both locally and across the country, got vaccinations when they were available. Same with boosters. This has allowed me to regularly visit with my 88 year-old mother, an immunocompromised sister and a nephew with diabetes. It has also afforded me the opportunity to attend an important conference in October that was limited to vaccinated people, and it has allowed me to continue to attend my book club in person each month.
Zoom has become my best friend in the last two years and I actually like it. It saves a lot of money in travel and I don’t have to think twice about getting in touch with someone in another country or thousands of miles away. Is it the same as shaking a hand or getting a hug? Of course not, but it is a lot more personal than only talking on the phone or sending emails.
My Writing Focus
On the writing front, I’m focused on consistent writing time and word count. Over the last two years I’ve prioritized other things above writing—my author services business and consulting, as well as extra attention needed for family and health. I will still do both of those things in 2022, but I will also carve out at least 20 hours per week for writing.
My first writing focus is on starting a second book in a new middle grade book series. The series name is still in process. I finished the first book in the series in December and it is with a couple of good friends for comments right now. I find writing children’s books much more difficult than adult books, but I’m thriving with the challenge. Writing that first book brought me so much joy and hope in the latter part of 2021 that I know this is the right direction for me to take.
Also, this year I’ll be working on finishing and releasing the fourth novel (seventh title) in my Sweetwater Canyon series, Two Voices. I started this a month before the pandemic started but, with all that was going on with my life and extended family needs, I could not finish it. So, I’m committed to finishing that this year as well. Also on my list is the third and final novel in my Cryoborn Gifts series, which is part of the Obsidian Rim world. I hope to release it in the fall, but we will see where it ends up in the schedule.
Focus on Travel
It’s now been three years since we saw our grandchildren who live 3,000 miles away on the east coast. A fifth grandchild was born last Spring and we haven’t met her in person. We have seen them via Zoom and they are all growing so fast. I’m hoping that we can travel to see them in the latter half of this year.
I would also like to take a vacation trip. Another thing we haven’t done in the last two years. I have a million ideas for where I’d like to go, ranging from staying in Oregon to traveling overseas. We will see what’s available as the year progresses.
Focus on Many Paths to Moving Forward
There is never only one way to travel to get to a destination—whether that is an emotional, business, creative, legislative, or physical destination. I will not approach decisions with only a single road to reach them. I know there will be a need to veer from the path due to unknown obstacles, but that doesn’t mean I need to stop moving forward.
Sometimes, an obstacle is so large that removing it will take up all my time and stop me from moving forward. I may chip away at it for a while to get the feel of what kind of obstacle it is and how rigid it is. Then have to re-evaluate if moving it is worth my time in the long run. I’ve found that veering from the path often provides me with more opportunity to move forward than I would have had working on removing that boulder until it is completely eradicated. Often going around will still get me to my ultimate goal.
I do not have to live in a world of false dichotomies where the only choice is to win or lose. That divides me from others. I choose to live in a world where we all win something. It may be a smaller win for now, but that is better than no win at all. This philosophy has helped me survive and thrive in spite of many setbacks both in life and in a variety of careers.
Enjoy 2022! What ways are you finding to move forward from 2021 and bring joy back into your life?
Maggie Lynch is the author of 26 published books. Her fiction tells stories of men and women making heroic choices one messy moment at a time. Her nonfiction provides authors with information and tools for self-publishing from the basics of creating a professional package to getting books distributed around the world, and finally marketing options. You can check out her personal website at maggielynch.com