Wednesday, January 6, 2016

NEEDED: Perspective and patience by Cathy Ace

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions, writing or otherwise?

Of course I’m going to eat more vegetables, use the elliptical more often (not just for hanging up the ironing), walk the dogs instead of using the slingy-thingy to throw balls they bring back to me and generally get off my butt more often. Same resolutions I make (and break) every year.

On the writing front? That’s easy: keep enjoying it, work to get better at it and realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have the chance to do what I dreamed of doing when I was eighteen – have my books published.

Like Janus, I allow myself some time to look in both directions at the turn of the year. And I don’t focus on just the past twelve months. As a workaholic I need perspective. And patience. I’m not good at either. January’s the time I force myself to employ both.

My first Cait Morgan Mystery was published in March 2012, and I promised myself then that I’d review how the whole “writing thing” was going after five years. Until that time, I told myself, I would put 100% into it – because any less effort on my part would mean I’d never know how it might have gone if I’d tried my hardest. By April 2016 I’ll have had nine books published (the WISE Enquiries Agency Mystery #2, The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer, comes out in Canada and the USA on February 1st, and Cait Morgan Mystery #7, The Corpse with the Garnet Face, comes out on April 5th) and I am thrilled about that. I’m enjoying writing two series – one largely plot-driven, one more character-driven – and the plan is to continue with that this year.

My 2016 calendar - views of places my soul knows and loves
In 2015 I was blown away by the fact I won the Bony Blithe Award for Best Canadian Light Mystery (not something I ever dreamed of) but writing award-winning books isn’t something one can really “resolve” to do. However, I can put my ALL into writing the best books I can. I also plan to take a more organized approach to promoting my work: my publishers are helpful, but I know I have a responsibility to represent my work the best way I can.

And that’s about it, really. I honestly reckon I am the most fortunate person – I love my life, and not just the work aspects. I’m delighted that I don’t know what’s around the next corner, and I hope I have within me whatever is required to make the best of it…or cope with it. For 2016 I’ll keep the resolutions to a minimum, count my blessings, work hard
and remain as flexible as possible so I can spot and take opportunities. Oh yes, and I’ll try to eat more green things. That’s all folks!


Allan J. Emerson said...

Given your current output and success, your 5-year review should be an occasion for wild celebration. And for the "eat more green things" resolution, I suggest a little food coloring in your favorite snacks :)

Catriona McPherson said...

Juat when I thought I couldn't love you any more, Cathy . . .

Catriona McPherson said...

Oops. Well, writing experts are always telling us to use "just" less.