On Being Deliberate

Being deliberate, slow and intentional, is my simple plan for the year. As I was meditating on my word, I had to reflect on all that was 2020. All I can say, I had asked to expand and the universe gave stretched me beyond by limits. By the end, I was totally burned out.

So, I had to honestly ask myself, “What do I really want, this year?” The answer is simple. I want to concentrate on writing and publishing my work in different media. That’s what is my heart, right now.

In order to do this, I need time which is hard to come by for me, nowadays. In the past, I’ve talked about silence as a place where my words come from. A place where I can hear whispers before words are fully formed. A place where an invisible force eventually propels me to write with urgency. I also need that silence, right now.

Silence in my Neighbourhood

All this means keeping things simple. Letting go of the things I don’t have to do, even though they’ve been useful, I’ve enjoyed and learned from. What does this mean in practice? It means I’m pruning my to-do list as follows:

  • Facebook postings

With lock-down and social distancing, FB became another way of staying in touch with my family and friends. But if I want to preserve my sanity, NO thank you, ma’am! Besides sharing of any of my posts there is a hit and miss. 

  • Reading Challenges (Goodreads & my own Summer reading challenge)

Never again will I rob myself the joy of reading with the setting of deadlines and stress-inducing lists. I want to savour every book I read and to reread my favourites. I’m only using Goodreads an archive of books I’ve read and those I wish to read some day.

Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don’t forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth. ~ Paula Danziger

Google Analytics indicates that my most popular posts are Life in Prose, which I publish every first Sunday of the month. I happy that readers resonate with these short pieces because I’m trying to improve my creative nonfiction writing skills. I’ll continue to do so. In addition, once in a while I’ll feature a Conversation with a poet.

  • About Books 

These mini reviews had been another way of supporting fellow writers. But I already leave reviews or ratings where books are sold. I guess I can simply join a book club, if I want to talk more about a book I read. Anyone of you run an online book club?

  • Random Things

If you happen to enjoy my Random Things, all is not lost. I’m trying to come up with another way of sharing these. I’ll keep you posted!

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately… ~ Henry David Thoreau

In the end, my purpose is to be fully present in whatever I do, have fun writing and creating as well as focusing on the results I want to achieve.

So, deliberate as my word for 2021 is largely to do with how I want to evolve as a writer. We’ll see how I fare up. If I was reminded of anything in 2020 is that words truly have power.

And, and…I might be late wishing you a Happy New Year but I hope it started well, for you. But do tell, how are you?

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and blogger. Her blog focuses on poetry and creative nonfiction, and also features poets and their books.

29 Comments

  1. “I want to concentrate on writing and publishing my work in different media.” Yeah, exactly what I hope to do to. Write at my own pace and enjoy the process and forget about prompts and deadlines. So cheers to a year filled with awesome writing and reading. Good luck, Khaya!

  2. One of the words that I chose to inspire my 2021 was Intentionality. I want to consciously choose things, not drift here and there, hoping I’ll like where I land. This means I have to figure out what to trim too, and what boundaries I need to set. I am hoping to have more writing that I feel good about at the end of this year (perhaps even a finished novel).

  3. Khaya, I like your thoughts for the upcoming year and deliberate sounds just perfect for you! Your determination to explore your writing and in different media formats seems like a most exciting prospect and I can’t wait to see / read your creations! I’ve never been part of FB as I was stressed even at the thought of joining. Like you, I use GoodReads to track my reading and enjoy for myself to take part in its reading challenge. One year I made so many commitments to review books etc reading became a source of tension and I vowed never again! Now I review as and when I can … and thoroughly enjoy relaxing, engaging as a reader again! As for an online book club, if you find one and they want new members let me know! I’ve been on the lookout but so many seem massive! Wishing you a wonderful year of deliberate actions! Hugs xx

  4. Good for you Khaya, I’m proud of you! Everything you wrote, makes so much sense to me! I’m thinking, deliberate sounds good to me too! Being fully present in everything I do. I’m also not being shy about what I write on my blog. Whatever I’m feeling, I am letting out! Also, starting to write, as you saw. I have been holding back on sharing my art on other platforms, from what happened to me a few years back on facebook. But, if that comes up again, I will share the truth! Not being scared anymore! Through my healing, I truly understand why people do things. I guess you could say, I was looking for love in all the wrong places, not realizing, I wasn’t loving myself first! Big Hugs and keep being you!!

  5. I’ve never been on FaceBook or any other other social media platforms. WordPress takes up enough time, and is more than sufficient for my needs.

    We are all doing alright here. Seeds have been ordered, garden cleanup is underway. The first daffodils to emerge by the south-facing old garage are at bud stage already. Yesterday I thought I could smell spring. She is not far off!

    I am old enough now that I can see less road ahead of me than behind me. Time is more precious, for that reason and many more, and I find myself watching the sky, land, sea, animals and listening to frogs, birds and sounds of life in a different way than I did when I was younger. There is the old saying that if one has too much of something it is not precious anymore. I suppose time fits into that, too. I take each day as it comes. They all pass too quickly.

  6. Thank you, Rajani. Last year was absolutely taxing, and that’s why I’m so intent on pacing myself and enjoying the process. Good luck to you too. May it be a better year in all respects!

  7. Intentionality is such anchoring word. It seems we have similar creative goals as I also don’t want to leave things to chance this year but be intentional and focused. And oh, a very good point about putting boundaries in place…All the best with your novel project, Rommy. Do keep us posted with your writing process because as they say creativity is contagious. 🙂

  8. Yeah, I feel good about the word “deliberate” to guide my actions this year. As for publishing in different media formats, I really want to try and take some of my poems and stories off the page. Wish me luck!

    You know how I envy people who never bothered to join FB. You certainly made a sensible decision, kudos to you! And with GoodReads, yes it’s perfect for tracking own readings and rating books more so, when I’m short on time to write a review. I simply admire your dedication in reviewing books and supporting other authors, and you are good at it. But I can also see how committing to reviewing too many books maybe a source of tension. It’s good that you read and review at your comfortable pace, that is key.

    I know what you mean about massive (and daunting) online book clubs. I’m on the lookout for something more intimate and cozy, I’ll let you know if I come across one. Another option of course, since you’re a book reviewer and already have access to many books and in different genres, you could start one and I’ll happily join. 😀

    Thanks Annika for reading, wishing you a fruitful year as well. Hugs xx

  9. Thank you, dear Stacy. And YAY, welcome to the world of writing! As I read your recent post where you shared words behind your painting process. I had goosebumps. I also thought of how wonderful a book (by you) that pairs your artwork and words could be. Because you’re not only a talented visual artist but good with words too.

    Say no more about some experiences on social media! But I’m happy to hear you’ve overcome what you went through on FB and that you now know when people do what they do, it’s not about you but them. Please keep sharing your beautiful art and truth with the world, it’s a precious gift. So, here’s to exploring other forms of storytelling! Big Hugs, my friend! <3

  10. It seems this year will be all about focus for you. I admire that (and envy it a bit). I’ve been so scattered lately. I’ve been writing and rewriting and reading and such… but I can’t seem to be able to stick to a stable plan. Maybe I will find some of that intentions stability this year. 🤞🏽

  11. You are one of the lucky ones, I can tell you that for never being part of any social media platforms. While these social media platforms have their use in connecting and keeping in touch with another other, nowadays I find them too much and with so much hate, shallowness…

    Oh, my goodness! You’re already talking about budding daffodils and smell of spring. I’m green with envy as we are now in the depth of winter. Spring sounds like a season in a far away future. 🙂

    You are correct, time is more precious. But not even because of age, we’ve all seen how things can change overnight with the pandemic we are still battling. It is important to be fully present, take each day as it comes and find joy in simple things such as listening to the sounds of nature.

    Thanks for reading, Lavinia. Keep well!

  12. I think a lot of us are feeling burned out, Khaya. It’s been a hard year on so many levels, including the peace that is often needed for creativity to flourish. For me, writing felt HARD. It felt like WORK. But the difficult year pushes us to grow, to refine, to recalibrate. I think it’s healthy to be deliberate about our choices. I wish you a much brighter, creative, joyful (an deliberate) new year. <3

  13. I’ll confess, I’d been admiring you as I’m thinking this girl has got it together. 🙂 You certainly don’t look scattered to me, and I assume you show up everyday for your writing. I’m talking about your fresh content and consistence on your blog and Instagram. On top of that you still have time to inspire us with your articles and prompts at PU. If that’s not a stable plan, I don’t know what is! But (another confession) I’ve been eagerly waiting for another book by you. Whether it’s poetry or memoir, I’ll take it! OK, in all seriousness Maga, I wish you a fruitful year with your writing.

  14. Maybe I wasn’t clear. I meant that I haven’t been able to stick to a particular schedule for a while, and my output leaves a lot to be desired. If more stability is achieved, maybe we can both get that book by me. 😀

  15. Ah, now I understand. It’s so easy to misread each other on these platforms. 🙂 Wishing you more stability in your creative endeavours.

  16. Say that again, it’s been hard year. And yes, as they what doesn’t kill you makes you strong. Thank you, my friend. Wishing you a joyful creative year as well.❤️

  17. I like this Khaya. We have to be careful not to turn things we love into chores. Also, I’ve been thinking a lot about using Clubhouse as a way to discuss books. Are you on the app?

  18. You are so spot on, Kathy. We have to be careful, indeed.

    As for Clubhouse, I’ve never heard of before. So, I quickly read through to get an idea. I like that it’s audio based and connecting with friends is by invite only. But it’s still in beta phase, and sounds like it’ll be available only to iPhone users. Anyway, if you do join, I’d love to hear how it works for you.

  19. I have joined and I love it. Because it’s only audio based, it’s like a live podcast/television show/blogging type of situation.

  20. OK, now I’m going to give it serious thought. Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes I feel like I live under a rock 😀 as I’ve never heard of this app before.

  21. This is inspired. It all starts with intention, after all. There are many things I would like to cull from my life. It might be time to identify them and refocus.

  22. It’s a great value and I wish you all the best in achieving this, Khaya. Happy 2021, and may you achieve your heart’s desires.

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