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  • Writer's pictureHolly Flynn

2021 Recap, Writing with the Soul & Looking Ahead

Happy 2022! It's been quite awhile since my last post; the middle and latter half of 2021 ended up being way busier than expected. Between a near-complete turnover at my day job as well as a few busy semesters of school took my attention away from the writing world. So, the end of 2021 was mostly a mix of training new employees as well as completing various projects for school. Thankfully things have started to calm down and I'm finally returning to my writing. I'm hoping that 2022 is a year that I'm able to make a lot of progress on my current WIP and as a writer in general.

Speaking of self-development, my 2021 wrapped up with a bang on the writing front; in November, I participated in Adrienne Young's workshop, Writing with the Soul. I'd seen it tagged in someone's Instagram post last July and became intrigued. Once I did some research about the workshop, I just knew I had to try to get into the next round. I'm so happy I did, as it was truly game-changing for me as a writer. Instead of focusing on the "how", Adrienne really honed in on the "why" we write. I hadn't really thought too much about it; instead, as most writers probably do, I worried more about craft and how to actually write a story. Delving into the "why" though forced me to turn inward and analyze myself and my past. What brought me to writing? What do I feel when I put my pen to the page? What do I aim to accomplish with my stories? How are they a reflection of me and my experiences? Asking and answering these questions was like bringing a candle into my soul. It revealed all the paths I hadn't yet explored within myself and led to me to forge a new relationship with my identity as a writer. One big thing I took away from the workshop was confidence--both in myself and my work. We are the only ones who can tell our stories, so dig deep and dive in. Let your heart lead the way. Trust your instincts. Only you know how to navigate the terrain ahead.

Since Writing with the Soul ended, I've felt a void, an emptiness. It was easily the best part of my year, and I was understandably sad to leave it behind. However, I met a lot of amazing writers in the process, and we've established connections that we'll be able to take beyond the workshop. I loved being able to read their snippets in the Slack channel, as well as their thoughts about each week's topic (the workshop was divided into four sections, one for each week: Perspective, Voice, Conviction, and Process). I'm channeling all of my excitement about my work and these new connections into my work, and I really hope it helps motivate me to finish my WIP this year! I've returned to a piece I started working on in 2018 based in Polish mythology and culture. Sometimes the research becomes overwhelming, but I'm learning to lean into and trust the process.

Anyway, in 2022 I'm pushing forward in my journey as a writer. I feel it's going to be a great year, and I'm hoping you're feeling the excitement and potential of the new year as well. Let me know in the comments if you have any resolutions carved out for yourself! I don't have any concrete ones aside from finishing my WIP and reading 25 books (I finished Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy two nights ago, and let me tell you, I'm not sure the last time I cried so hard while reading a book--10/10 recommend).

Wishing the best for you and yours this year!

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