Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Hi, SEers. Mae here. Can you believe 2020 is almost over? It’s been an insane year, certainly not the best for a number of reasons. All of that aside, I hope you had a fantastic Christmas with family and friends, and I wish you a blessed and happy New Year’s. This is the time when we look back over what has been, and look forward to the bright, shiny possibilities waiting in the future. Here’s hoping 2021 brings a bounty of good tidings for all.

blank chalkboard, hand in front with smily face on a thumbs up

I find it interesting that when a new year is ready to begin, our thoughts naturally gravitate toward the positive. We look ahead to uncharted territory, envisioning only the best. There are so many possibilities! We’ve got a blank slate and can write our own story. There’s plenty of excitement and energy, but as the year crawls forward, we allow circumstance to weigh us down.

Remember how you felt at the beginning of 2020? Remember how excited you were? Not only were we set to embrace a new year, but also a new decade. And let’s face it—2020 had a nice ring to it.

I’m not going to list all of the things that went wrong this past year, but there were plenty of good things too. The bush fires in Australia stopped and the world united around our friends down under; the planet had a chance to breathe as pollution levels dropped; shelter pet fosters and adoptions rose as people in lockdown opened their homes to animals in need; the Space X Crew Dragon launch marked the first time a commercial spacecraft sent astronauts into orbit.

I’ll borrow a quote from Charles Dickens—It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

clocks and stopwatches on blue background

Most of us only remember that small portion from A Tale of Two Cities, but the entirety of the passage fits 2020 to a tee:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Yeah, 2020 was rough, but we get a do-over with 2021. It’s our chance to put the winter of despair behind us and move forward into the season of Light. To make all the possibilities we dreamed of in 2020 become reality. If you had goals that weren’t met, no worries. It’s time to embrace them all over again—that WIP that’s been languishing, or the novel in need of an agent or publisher. What about the finished draft you’re ready to upload and promote as a killer indie? Maybe you’re new to the whole writer/publishing shooting match and want to launch a blog or website. Or maybe you’ve got a new vision for your existing blog and want to up your schedule and/or grow your audience.

Challenge yourself. As we close out 2020, let’s make 2021 our best year yet. My wish for all of you is that you accomplish your goals and that when there are hurdles—and there will be hurdles—you find the fortitude to carry on.

Happy New Year from all of us at Story Empire. May you have a happy, healthy, and successful 2021. Thanks for spending this topsy-turvy year with SE.

Do you have a specific goal you want to achieve in the New Year, or one you’re particularly proud of accomplishing in 2020? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Ready, set, go!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

41 thoughts on “Looking Back, Looking Ahead

    • I’m not much for actual resolutions either, Denise, but I’m onboard with taking better care of myself. I started in 2020 and have amazing results thus far. It’s something I want to continue and make part of my normal lifestyle.
      Wishing you all the best for a healthy, happy, and successful 2021!


  1. You nailed it with the quote, and your message is right. 2020 had its share of challenges, but it had its share of good, too. And I’m hoping 2021 has even more good to spread around. Wishing you a great new year, Mae!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Judi. It’s easy to overlook all the good of 2020 when stacked against the bad. I thought a reminder would be a good way to close out the year.
      Glad you enjoyed the post, and I wish you a wonderful 2021 as well!


  2. What a wonderful post, Mae. I love the Dickens quote. Nothing could be more fitting for 2020 than that quote. I always meditate and ask for word for the year and every year it is something different. For 2021, my word is “Expansion.” I look forward to expansion on every level (except my waistline). 🙂 Happy New Year to the Story Empire team. You guys are all amazing writers, supporters, and friends!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jan! Oooh, I like your word for 2021 (although I agree let’s keep it off the waistline, LOL).
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I thought the Dickens quote was an ideal fit for the past year. It seems to have resonated with many judging by the comments.

      And thank you for your wonderful comments about our group of Story Empire authors. I wish you all the best in the coming year, and much success with your new release, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Terrific post, Mae. My resolution is to stay positive and do the best I can. I think we will all have great expectations for the year, but we need to be patient. There is a long road back from where we found ourselves this year. Thank you for the uplifting post, and a very Happy New Year to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your outlook about staying positive, John. I agree it’s going to be a long road back. My hope is that by summer we will have cause to celebrate. Part of overcoming the hurdles (and we all know they will happen) is how we choose to face them. A positive outlook can make all the difference.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Wishing you a happy, healthy, and successful 2021!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually went into 2020 just hoping to make it out unscathed. 2019 was really bad at a personal level. Imagine my surprise when 2020 pulled a ‘hold my beer’, but on a global level. So, I’m not going into 2021 with any aspirations or hopes. Might just feel like a continuation of time to me, but I write checks differently.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The Dickens quote fits 2020 to a tee. And you are right, despite the bad things, good things have come as well. Your post about goals struck home. I have a WIP that’s 90% finished (should have been completed months ago) and a short story that needs a final edit before being published. Here’s to 202!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love your spirit, Joan. And I’m with you! I have a WIP that awaits only a closing scene and then a few tweaks, I hope to find a home for it in 2021, and I already have my next project in mind. I’m ready to put the “winter of despair” behind and embrace the “season of Light.”
      Here’s hoping we both achieve our goals in 2021. I’m cheering you on!

      Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this lovely post, Mae. It’s like we’re peeking through a cosmic veil and at the expectation of what we’ll find, we’re beginning to exhale. Maybe, just maybe we’ll breathe freely again over the coming months. I hope to carry with me the interior vulnerability I acquired that helped me see life so differently. This precious gift needs to be cherished every moment. Blessings to you and all. 💗

    Liked by 3 people

    • 2020 definitely made me view so much so differently, Gwen. It was a hard learning curve in many ways but in others it actually brought blessings. I pray 2021 will bring health, successes, and security for all–along with an end to this dreadful virus. I expect the first half of the year may remain much as it is now, but knowing there is light ahead is something to look forward to. Wishing you a blessed 2021!


  7. Thank you for this positive and encouraging post, Mae. I love that you pointed out the good in 2020. So many people complain and find fault with everything and then they wonder why they are so miserable. Our attitude during challenging times determines how far we will go. I have a few goals for 2021, but my main priority will be to hang on to my peace and keep moving forward. Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful year ahead!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love what you’ve chosen to make your priority in 2021, Jill. It sounds like the perfect motivation to me!
      I was fortunate that 2020 brought good tidings my way to balance out all the bad happening around me. Like you, I want to concentrate on moving forward while focusing on the positive. I wish you a happy, healthy and successful New Year as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A lovely positive post, Mae. Thank you. I certainly have many plans to look forward to that have been on hold, both personally and writing/book-wise. By summer 2021, I believe there will be greater freedom again for us all. And a Happy New Year to you all, from me. x

    Liked by 3 people

    • Judith, I also think summer of 2021 is going to be the point where life returns to a semblance of the normal we knew before COVID. I am so looking forward to it. Summer is my favorite season, but I expect it will be extra special in the coming year.
      I wish you much success with your writing, and hope that all those things you’ve placed on hold will see fruition in the New Year.
      Wishing you all the best!

      Liked by 1 person

We'd love to know what you think. Comment below.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s