It’s been a while, dear old blog and sorely neglected readers. My pandemic anxiety sent me into survival mode for a long stretch of blocks, walls, and other things toxic to writers like myself. Ironically, now that things are worse in Canada than ever before, I’m feeling the spark come back. I promise I wrote stories last year and even submitted them! But it felt like a Herculean effort and the rejections shattered me. So far this year I’ve finished a story, started plotting a new book, received four rejections that did not trigger any sort of depression, and made three fresh submissions.

In that bleak stretch, I did take up poetry again. I’d forgotten how poetry somehow ends up on the page when I’m struggling to write. In keeping with that, I’ve started submitting poems as well as fiction. I’m not sure what will come of this, but there’s something inside me that is very happy about this.

Photo by Ena Marinkovic on

I’m also planning things! It’s been a while since planning felt like a safe thing to do without angering the pandemic gods. My youngest will be starting kindergarten in the fall which may offer me a few hours of uninterrupted writing time (gasp!) for the first time in a decade. I’m almost afraid to write that for fear those precious hours might evaporate. I’d like to use that time to write books. Publishing companies haven’t fared well the past few years and I’m seeing more and more of my favourite writers self-publishing to great success. I’d still like to leave behind a few shelves of books when I’m gone and if I wait for publishing to recover I might never get started. That said, the marketing aspect is daunting.

My good friend and Beta-buddy/crit partner Peter Foote has given me six months to set up a newsletter. That was three weeks ago, mind. I’ve been resistant to starting a newsletter, but it’s time. Over the past year I’ve been receiving newsletters I truly look forward to, such as Amal El-Mohtar’s musings that leave me feeling lovely and peaceful; Christopher Brown’s Field Notes that give this rural nature-loving lady a glimpse in the urban nature of Austin, TX. Plus, heron rookeries! My heart. Another newsletter I enjoy is my aforementioned friend Peter’s, wherein there’s an advice column from a prickly gargoyle named Grump. In short, I enjoy newsletters that are more than just an ad in my inbox: I want an experience.

All this to say that I’ve come to the conclusion that my newsletter-to-be needs to be an experience too. And, um, that’s all I’ve got so far. I still have five months and one week to go, after all!

Photo by Victor on

Are there any newsletters you love? Should I be reading yours? Drop me a link in the comments!

6 thoughts on “emerging from my cocoon

  1. Good luck on all your creative endeavours. As long as you are writing, you are on the right path. Submissions are always a hit and miss kind of thing. I find it most useful to focus on the things that are entirely in my own hands. Like showing up every day for my writing practice. What becomes of it, is mostly outwith my control, but as long as I contribute my part of the bargain, I consider the day as a success.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Newsletters are great! I highly recommend reading Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque to get an idea of how to run one as an author, particularly if you make the move to self-publishing. Peter’s is great, I also like David Gaughran’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I will definitely look up Newsletter Ninja and I recently subscribed to Gaughran’s after hearing several writers bring him up in conversations of late. So many awesome resources out there.


  3. Glad to see you blogging again! And I’ll sign up for your newsletter as soon as it’s available! Setting up a newsletter is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, but I felt like I was already juggling too many balls and didn’t want to risk adding another one. Soon, though. And I like what you said about making your newsletter “an experience.” I think that’s a really good way to think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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