Want to Write More in the New Year? Just Show Up.


by @Annie Daylon

PIANIST by author/artist, Ben Nuttall-Smith.

PIANIST by author/artist, Ben Nuttall-Smith.

My 2015 calendar from the Federation of British Columbia Writers arrived the other day and, from all of Ben Nuttall-Smith’s stunning illustrations, one jumped  at me– Pianist. It triggered memories of my beginnings at a keyboard: the Leila-Fletcher-on-staff-Middle-C-approach to the piano, taught  by Sister Mary John Hughes and her trusty pointer. Ouch!

Over the years, I worked my way from Fletcher’s C-D-E to Debussy’s Reverie. I never mastered the art of sight-reading (the ability to pick up a piece and play it as you would pick up a book and read it.) Once, when I was a student of music at Mount Allison University, a friend suggested we partner up and plunge into the world of sight-reading, an attempt to conquer the beast. I started, half-heartedly, and fell away from it: for me there was a gaping hole where passion, drive, and above all, confidence should be.  My friend persevered and became a long-time professional musician. (Thank you, T: I never did excel in sight-reading but I did learn from watching you gain mastery.) My piano, except for the annual Christmas carol, is now a silent shadow in the hallway of my home.

However, another keyboard has replaced it.

My passion is writing. I dipped my toe in the water seven years ago and I stayed. In that time, I have written three novels, each better than its predecessor, and I have a fourth awaiting editing. I have also penned forty+ short stories, sixty-five blog posts, and a few articles. Apparently, what I could not apply to music–commitment and perseverance– I can apply to writing.  Doubt may knock once in a while but I don’t let it in. I just show up and write, daily. My routine: coffee, crossword, computer. Three hour minimum.

In the coming year, whatever your passion,  just have at it. If writing is your passion,  park yourself at that keyboard and plunk away. One letter, one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page… eventually becomes one book.

shutterstock_110397353 (2) Happy New YearJust show up and you will create a wonderfully accomplished, well-written new year. One key at a time.


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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

6 thoughts on “Want to Write More in the New Year? Just Show Up.
  1. Thank you Ann. You honour me as one of our B.C. authors I admire the most. Too bad about the piano keyboard. I learned early on, the pointer never did work long term.
    Best wishes for a fantastic New Year. Thanks for a magnificent Blog.
    Ben Nuttall-Smith
    Federation of BC Writers

    • Speaking of admiration… the first time I met you was at the Surrey International Writers Conference. You had just received an award for your contributions to the literary field. There was a swarm of people around you as you were exiting the grand ballroom. I squeezed in there to congratulate you on your accomplishments, including being published when you were no longer, shall we say, a spring chicken??? You smiled and said, “There’s hope for all of us.” Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the inspiration and for the journey back to memory lane. I, too, have fond and not-so-fond memories of 10 years of piano lessons. Fondest was learning to play all those neat pieces. Not-so-fondest were recitals (which made me sick with anxiety weeks before) and trying to learn to sight-read. Like you, I was a failure at it. And, also like you, I became a whiz with the typewriter and then computer keyboards. A Happy New Year to you, also.

    • You are most welcome.
      Memory lane contains a few potholes, yes, but I am truly grateful for the path that brought me to now.
      My best to you for 2015,

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