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One of my many goals for my writing career in 2016 was to send out 5 completed essays. Not pitches, but completed stories that may have paid in real money. Or not.

While I received commissions for over 45 journalistic stories, guess how many essays I sent out?


For 2017, I made a similar goal. I dare not be more ambitious than 5. My other writing goals have more than doubled since 2016 and I’m more than confident of sending out a gazillion pitches to meet those numbers.

But essays?


I have been re-reading my journal to mine ideas that have fallen through the grumbles and the notes and observations. And it strikes me that so many of these pages could be fodder for essays. So I was delighted to hear that Vanessa Martir (who challenged herself to write 52 essays in 2016) was inviting other writers to join in the challenge I jumped at the opportunity. There’s nothing like a public challenge with people you sort-of know to get you moving!

While I will use ideas from the #52essays2017 group, I will definitely cheat and work on some of the ideas from my various journals too. All of them will be up on the blog (a requirement for the group) but not all will be public.

I’m looking forward to this as an exercise in tackling fear. Because that’s what this resistance is all about. Why else can I write about sleeping, toilets, interiors and the most mundane things but I don’t dare articulate my thoughts about writing, about parenting, or any other personal aspect of my life?

So I’m challenging myself this year to write these 52 little essays. Who knows, maybe out of these might come those elusive five.One can only hope.

And hope is what is going to get us through this coming year. Here’s to a happier year than the last one has been. Cheers!



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