Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Writer's Time to Reflect

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

This is the time of year where we reminisce about last year, looking at both the good and the not so good. Do we take the time to reflect on both areas? Do we try to figure why the good was good and what did we do to make it happen? Do we look at the not so good and see if there’s anyway to prevent it from happening again?

We can learn from this process. We can identify areas where we need improve and use them to set our goals for 2018.

I don’t do resolutions. Gave them up many years ago. Usually because I failed by the end of January, if not sooner.

As I think about 2018, the image of structuring a novel came to mind.

I’m like the protagonist in the beginning of the story. I have goals to accomplish by the end of the year. Such as completing my current work in progress. And researching and doing prep work for other projects. I see the endpoint of the twelve month journey that I’m starting.

And, just like in a novel, the middle comes along. This is where the obstacles and roadblocks spring up to throw me off track. Sometimes I sag and plod. And sometimes, I stop cold. There may not be a single antagonist other than life happening and the choices I make when it does.

And, just like a protagonist in a novel, how I handle these roadblocks and obstacles determines the outcome of my year. Do I let these obstacles hinder me? Do I let them discourage me to the point of giving up?

Or do I face them as challenges to be overcome? Challenges that can transform me into a better writer and a better person?

In January of 2019, I want to look back on 2018 and say, “Well done.”

How about you? Are you ready to face this year with the determination of your favorite protagonist to overcome every obstacle, every challenge, no matter what?

A Writer's Time to Reflect - thoughts from Henry McLaughlin, @RiverBendSagas on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Henry’s debut novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the 2009 Operation First Novel contest. 

He serves as Associate Director of North Texas Christian Writers. 

Henry edits novels, leads critique groups, and teaches at conferences and workshops. He enjoys mentoring and coaching individual writers. 

Connect with Henry on his blogTwitter and Facebook.


  1. Well said sir. If we don't like what we see when we look at ourselves, it's up to us to change it. With God's help of course.

    1. Thanks, Jim. I appreciate your insight. May 2018 be a gloriously blessed year for you.

  2. Great post, Henry.
    A better writer and a better person. Those are noble goals to strive for in 2018.

    1. Very noble goals, Ingmar. Praying you enjoy much success in achieving them.

  3. An encouraging post with motivative directions. Thanks for sharing these insights, Henry. I'll be following your lead by re-reading this post throughout the year. I've printed it out and added it to my project binder.
    Share on!