Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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February 1, 2016

Get Ready for the 2016 Roller Coaster

Every year, after reading and talking to my "source authorities," I write a post about what changes to look for in the coming months. I had decided to eschew tradition this year. Until I began experiencing what they were talking about. (Here's a post I wrote on using change to enhance your writing.)

In case you haven't figured out, you are already strapped into your seat and the cosmic operator has pushed the button. Get ready for the roller coaster ride.

KenyaNext Monday, February 8th, is the first day of the Chinese Year of the Monkey. The Red Fire Monkey. Take a breath here. It's not that scary.

[Here's some fun facts about Chinese New Year.]

We'll all need our mental agility to sidestep the manipulation of others. This is the year to defy convention and try the unusual—if you feel the need. It's a year for fun and excitement. On the flip side, the challenge this year is self-discipline for your projects. Beware of a short attention span and the ups-and-downs of your writing work. Although this may be a difficult year for your friends, it is a little easier for writers. Use your own brand of planning (plotting) skills to help organize your writing.

KenyaIn other traditions, this will be a year to finish long-term projects. It's a year to wrap up loose ends, take advantage of years of hard work, and revolutionize your writing life. Take stock of what is working and what needs to be changed or released. If it's not working for you, it's time to let it go. (Don't start singing that song.)

The first half of the year will be a time for consolidation to be able to take advantages of opportunities offered in the last six months of 2016. You may find yourself making courageous new choices. Follow your heart's desires.

Be sure your integrity helps you maintain an ethical stance that mirrors your personal truth. Wear your own character on your sleeve, even during unsettling, stressful times. You have an impact on others. Know that your influence is a valuable contribution, even to people you do not know. When you feel that you can't deal with the demands of your life, guard against giving up. Compassion for yourself, and others, can remind you that you are not alone. Be willing to accept inspiration, help and ideas from others. Connect with like-minded people.

You may find that the folks around you are annoying. Avoid quarrels and arguments. You may know better, but accept the choices of others.  Just like our characters, the people in our lives will need to "figure it out" on their own.

You may tend to get tired this year. Take time to rest. Take care of your body. Drink more water. Walk every day. Eat healthier. Take advantage of the healing qualities of nature. Spend three minutes in the morning or at night saying things you are grateful for.

2016 is likely to be an uncomfortable year. Not bad, but change is never comfortable. And there will be changes this year. More than usual. But if you are prepared, stay positive, and follow your truth, The Year of the Monkey could be a great year for you.

What challenges have you already faced in the first month of 2016? Do you feel this could be an important year for you?


Fae RowenFae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a science fiction freak. Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes  that she can live anywhere but the present.  As a mathematician, she knows life’s a lot more fun when you get to define your world and its rules.

Punished, oh-no, that’s published as a co-author of a math textbook, she yearns to hear personal stories about finding love from those who read her books, rather than the horrors of calculus lessons gone wrong.  She is grateful for good friends who remind her to do the practical things in life like grocery shop, show up at the airport for a flight, and pay bills.

A “hard” scientist who avoided writing classes like the plague, she now shares her brain with characters who demand that their stories be told.  Amazing, gifted critique partners keep her on the straight and narrow. Feedback from readers keeps her fingers on the keyboard.

When she’s not hanging out at Writers in the Storm, you can visit Fae at http://faerowen.com  or www.facebook.com/fae.rowen.

34 comments on “Get Ready for the 2016 Roller Coaster”

  1. Buckling my helmet and pulling on my titanium big girl panties, Fae!

    January was full of squirrels - distractions ran rampant - and I had the focus of a two year old on a massive sugar high.

    I'm soldiering on, but 'try the unusual' has caught my imagination - I'm going to remember that.

    Thanks for the storm warning!

    1. Full of squirrels-yes! My January was the same. I'm glad you are imagining the unusual. Can't wait for you to have an "unusual" day with me next summer before conference!

  2. I'm ready for a shake up in my world! Thanks for the warning and to be aware of opportunity in the chaos of change. Stay true to me, know that my actions don't go unnoticed, and roll with it. A wonderful post! Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Debbie. I'm all about battle plans, although this isn't necessarily a battle year.

    1. Thanks, Jessica. I snapped those pictures on Safari in Kenya and Tanzania. Who knew they'd end up as part of a blog?

  3. I like the 'try the unusual'! And thanks for the warning about annoying folks being around me!!!

    1. Sometimes if you are ready, you can smile and nod at the "annoyers" and just let their stuff roll right off you.

  4. Yes, 2016 will be a significant year for me. I wil complete recording my first cd which has already been a year in the making! In January I completed 2 new songs, one on guitar and one on piano. I also started studying with an accomplished jazz pianist in town to further my keyboard skills. If that isn't enough.... I am launching my first blog later this month- very excited

    1. You have been busy, Penny! This truly is a year of completion for you. Congratulations and good luck!

  5. Some say change is hard - I say change is exciting! And then it's hard. You have just reinforced the changes I made in January and future changes to be made in June are the right ones, exciting ones. I just need to maintain them 🙂

  6. You are absolutely right, Kathy. Reinforcing positive change is the way to sustain the exciting effects of our decisions. I have no doubt that you'll maintain and enhance just fine!

  7. Awesome post! I started 2016 with positive thoughts and actions. It is going to be fantastic! My ethical stance is in place. Now I just have to work on the healthy part (UGH).

    1. I feel your pain, Tina, for the determination and commitment it takes to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I'm going with the "everyday I get a little better" plan. That way it's only one day at a time, and if I make a mistake, I can do better the next day and stay on track. Let me know how you're doing next month. Good luck to you!

  8. Change is important for growth. We all learn by our mistakes and move forward in a positive direction, at least that's the way it should be. The year of the Monkey proves to be challenging but with great rewards if one is prepared to put in the effort. I personally am excited for the change. It's mind blowing,it's positive it's exciting and scary all rolled in together. However, one constant remains, positive friends in my life who have always been there for me, including you Fae, make the changes possible. Without steadfast and positive friendships, I couldn't do it alone.Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship, I am blessed to have you in my life.

    1. I'm honored by your words, Tracy. And I'm honored to have you in my life, supporting my changes! Yes, this will be a challenging year on many levels. With the support of friends, it's going to be a screaming great ride!

  9. Fae, my JANUARY was a rollercoaster ride, filled with things I'd never done before. If I can keep this up for a few months, I'm going to be able to look back and see several goals, that I've worked on for a lo-o-o-ong time, all finished with pretty bows on top.

    Strapping in for the Red Fire Monkey!!

    p.s. I was born in the Year of the Monkey - does that make any difference in all this?

    1. OMG, Jenny (aka Monkey Girl)! This is your year! As a Monkey, everything is set for you to shine during The Year of the Monkey. What a wonderful mash-up of Eastern and Western traditions that YOUR year is also a year of completion. You are going to light the world on fire!

            1. Yes, Saturday is the first day of the Chinese New Year this year. Like Easter, it's based on the lunar calendar and "moves."

          1. By the way, a little research netted the fact that I was born in the Year of the Yellow Earth Monkey. I have no idea what that means, but it seemed like something you'd want to know. 🙂

            1. Yellow is the color associated with the Earth element. Like Red Fire Monkeys, Yellow Earth Monkeys are only born every sixty years. What a surprise--Earth Monkeys like to read. A lot.

  10. Wow, what a timely post! I am looking forward to this year. In 2015 I had a good time, but my production dropped, so this year I will type more and talk less. I hope to, no I must, complete my second historical novella and the next Surf City Mystery. Following advice from many of the cool, talented folks who contribute to this blog, I am pantsing the novella. It's challenging. The novel needs to be available in November for Men of Mystery. Fae, I thank you for making me sit down and think about all this.but yow, it's kind of scary! I think the Year of the Red Monkey will be good for everybody -- readers and contributors -- involved in WITS.

    1. Oh, James, I can't wait to hear about your experiences as a pantser! I could never write mysteries, because if I knew everything about my characters and how their lives would change--it would be NO FUN to write the book. Oh, and I'm betting on your last sentence. Big bet!

    1. Yeh, well, I called Laura today and told her I have brand new panties for the RWA conference in San Diego this summer. Two sizes smaller than what I have on right now. I'm just hoping I don't end up having to go commando there!

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