A Review of My 2021 Creative Goals

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I often take stock of my creative goals. To say it’s been another rough year is an understatement. Among other things, I struggled with health. As result, I constantly felt as if I wasn’t producing much this year.

Of course, this was also in part self-criticism. Because even though I finished writing my “work-in-progress” I haven’t made any plans to publish it. Maybe in the future, I’ll talk more about how I convinced myself that this book was rubbish and not worth publishing, after all.

But thanks to Kathy Garland for the inspiration to share my small victories as I hadn’t planned to publish another post this year. So, in instead of lamenting the bad, I celebrate the good. Because as a matter of fact, I’ve achieved exactly what I set out to do; being deliberate, slow and intentional.

…and I got my white Christmas, after all

The following are some of my highlights, in relation to writing:


During these past two years, self-care for me has come to mean extra vigilance, when it comes to my health. I’ve been fortunate enough to identify triggers as well as limiting my exposure to them, and the poem to that effect was published at Spillwords Press.

A Friend Asks How My Family is Doing

I’ve written about Menopause in the Time of Covid-19, before. I’m happy to have had the poem above featured at Navigating the Change, despite that it is more than just menopause. I’m also happy to be a part of another significant community; the GenX writers destigmatising menopause.

Unrest That Keep Us Marching

I don’t consider myself an activist. You know, the kind who is fearless, educated (majored in relevant studies) and shows up everyday for justice! Nonetheless, I do respond to political events, from time to time. Because until the root cause, inequality, that keeps us marching is addressed, there isn’t going to be any rest for any of us. My two poems, a response to South Africa’s latest unrest, were published at Kahalari Review.

What is Happiness?

Yes, I live in the happiest country in the world, depending on who is measuring this emotional state. All I can say, happiness remains an inside job. Anyway, many thanks again to Natalie, the Hot Goddess, for an opportunity to guest blog.

The Study of WoMan

During my nonproductive periods, I decided to revisit some of my previously published writings and rethink ways to take them off the page. WoMan is both a poem (From the Depths of Darkness) and a character I feel has been misunderstood. So, I’ve been happily collaborating with a fellow poet and illustrator, Kerry O’Connor, who is helping me bring this character to life.

October Poet in the Spotlight

I’ve always considered myself a reluctant poet… But when Laura Bruno Lilly offered me an opportunity of introducing my work to her readers, I couldn’t shy away from the spotlight. And October poet seemed fitting, all things considered. I can’t thank her enough for the amount of work she did in putting together our three-part series conversation.

Dear 2021, You Should Know

An epistle, and forthcoming publication at Spillwords Press, has helped me end the year on a good note. And many thanks to Magaly Guerrero’s prompt at Poets and Storytellers United for the inspiration.

A takeaway here, do not diminish your achievements no matter how small. In fact, if you’ve managed to get out of bed today, please celebrate this. It’s a big achievement, on its own.

Here’s to hoping for a better year ahead!

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. YAAASSSS, Khaya! This is excellent, and exactly the type of thing I’m talking about. As artists, we’re doing all of the things, all of the time. We need stop and celebrate ourselves <3

  2. An impressive list, Khaya! It has been my good fortune to connect with you here; your support and inspiration are so appreciated❤. I love this recognition and celebration of personal accomplishments. It’s critical to quieting the voice of self-doubt.

  3. I have caught up now, and enjoyed reading your words, as always. May the coming year bring all good things your way, Khaya.

  4. That’s an impressive list of achievements. Wishing you better health in 2022 and I am glad you got your white Christmas

  5. I’m hoping your ‘recap’ helped you to see your ‘achievements’ (as Mariss called them) in a better perspective. As creative (he)artists, it is often harder to see tangible results of our passion since creation is all about the journey!
    Our October Poet chats enriched my own life and (he)art greatly – you are a gem, Khaya.

  6. Khaya, congratulations on all your successes and a wonderful idea of Kathy’s to celebrate them! You know how much I enjoyed the epic interview between Laura and yourself… gaining such insight to you, your poetry and the craft itself! You’ve achieved so much and it’s exciting that you’ve completed your WIP … take it easy as you decide on the next step forward with this work! I’m sorry to read about your health problems and so hope these are resolved in the New Year. Thank you for your friendship, a true blessing. It’s been a joy and privilege to ‘chat’ across the blogs this year! Wishing you a happy and harmonious New Year! Hugs xx ❤️😀

  7. I’m a firm believer in the power of celebrating our small victories, especially during this time that seems to have have so little of them. Congrats on the finished MS. You’ll publish it when you’re ready.

    Happiest New Year, Khaya!

  8. Thank you, Kathy! You are so correct, we are creating and growing all the time. Some endeavours are big, some are small but we ought to celebrate all. I’m definitely work on celebrating myself more, this year. <3

  9. I feel the same Natalie about quieting that inner critic. Thank you for your support, and I feel the same about connecting with you. <3 It's always good to find and connect with like-minded people, it makes blogging more rewarding.

  10. I love the way you take time to read, and appreciate your thoughtful comments, always. Thank you, Lavinia. May the New Year be good to all of us! <3

  11. It was good to finally have snow, and Christmas was full of wonder and joy. Thank you, Mariss. Yes, I hope for better health for myself and many others who are struggling with theirs. I wish you the best as well with your creative endeavours and more.

  12. Yes, a pause and recap always brings a fresh and better perspective. It is hard indeed to see tangible results but you put it so well, when you say creation is about the journey. I’m embracing that thought!

    I’m so glad to hear that you were enriched as well by our conversations. It’s been a wonderful experience for me too, and I suspect it won’t be the last of our collaboration. Here’s to creating in 2022!

  13. Annika, your kind comment means so much to me. You’ve been a wonderful source of support throughout the years we’ve known each other. I’m always thankful for the gift of time; reading my writings here and beyond as well as promoting work of other writers. You are a gift, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Regarding health, there’s been a significant improvement, thanks to modern medicine. But like you, I hope for a harmonious year. May 2022 be gentler to all of us. Be well, my friend! <3

  14. Let’s keep celebrating our small (and big) victories, Maga! This helps keep going, more so when times are tough. About finished MS, thank you so much. And yes, I hope to publish it when I’m ready. I’ve actually decided that this book is not time sensitive, and that has taken off the pressure. So, I’m not rushing things. 🙂

    Happy New Year to you too, my friend! May it be the best it can be! <3

  15. Beautifully written! Loved to read your lists and congratulations 🎉! Wishing you happy 2022. Stay blessed.

  16. Gosh, you accomplished a lot last year, Khama! Congratulations. I am sorry to hear of your health issues. How are you doing on that front now? Here’s wishing you a better health this year. And continued writing. You’re doing great stuff, even when it seems small.

  17. Oh, hello Cynthia! Lovely to see you here. About my health, I’m doing much better. Thanks to a combination of modern medicine intervention, identifying triggers and overall wellness. Thanks a lot for well wishes and your visit, I appreciate this a lot. I wish you a wonderful year ahead as well. I also hope your granddaughter has been kind to give your some time to write.:-) I’ll be catching up on your blog soon!

  18. There is plenty to celebrate here, and I am glad you are focusing on these highlights. I hope you are not talking about the work I beta read because I adore those poems!

  19. Thank you Christina for your encouragement. And yeah, I’m exactly talking about the collection you help beta read. But do not despair, I’m over that self-doubt business…lol! There’ll be a post regarding all that, in the future. Anyway, I’m certainly planning to publish it this year. It’s a matter of timing as I’m tied up in another big project that has nothing to do with creative writing.

  20. I definitely love how you are celebrating the small moments! Isn’t it funny, how some small moments can seem huge to others looking in, and vice versa? Your accomplishment look wonderful! Much to be celebrated! Bravo!

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