New Year Brings New Goals and an Uncertain But Hopeful Future

Gayle_BozemanFamilyChristian_smallThis post by Gayle M. Irwin


Looking back on my goals for 2014 recently I realized I didn’t attain as much as I’d hoped. Yet, despite what I thought and planned to attain, new opportunities and possibilities did emerge, and I walked those pathways. Another new year is upon us, and though we never know the future, we can continue striving toward goals, old and new, revived and updated.

For example, last year I had hopes of securing new children’s magazines for which to write. I received several rejections on various articles and by the time I thought I’d re-write, re-submit, and re-think topics and queries, I received three new assignments in addition to the four already given to me by WREN (Wyoming Rural Electric News). I also continued my article writing for the Casper Journal newspaper, and, starting in July, my pet column ran EVERY WEEK in another newspaper (I’m used to writing one a month for two other publications). Plus, I gleaned two additional feature articles for Crossroads magazine, published by the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Chamber of Commerce (I wrote two articles for them in 2013). So, whereas I envisioned writing for children’s magazines, I received instead various other opportunities with an array of publications.


Now that 2015 has risen like a new day’s sun, I anticipate new opportunities and new pathways once again. I’m cutting back on submitting to the Casper Journal; WREN has assigned me only three articles for the entire year (though that may change); my weekly pet column is dormant for at least a few months while the newspaper undergoes layout and management changes; and I won’t know about Crossroads until mid-year. But, what I looked upon at first as negative I’ve now re-focused to the positive. I’ve been contacted and contracted by a state senator to write new releases and ghostwrite a few guest editorials for him. I’ve also been asked to contribute at least two stories on veterans for a special Wyoming Veteran’s project. So, not all my freelance opportunities have disappeared; new ones have emerged.

Baby New YearEven though there aren’t as many freelance gigs this new year as last, there is advantage to this more “quiet time”: ability to re-focus on my books as well as help my husband with some writing projects for his business. I now have five manuscripts in progress (including that pet rescue romance started a few months ago), and I am determined to finish them. Two manuscripts that I started more than three years ago simply need to be reviewed and edited as I completed the drafts in 2013 and just left them on the shelf because I wasn’t sure which publishing direction I wanted to go and 2014 became very busy. I am two-thirds of the way done with two others (both children’s books), and the pet romance is still in its infancy since I didn’t write as much during November’s NaNoWriMo as I had hoped. So, I have new writing goals for 2015, and I am excited to see where these stories, projects, and new pathways (including developing an emailed newsletter for my husband’s Alzheimer’s video business) take me.

How about you? What do you hope the new year has in store for you, personally and professionally? What are some of the goals and hopes you have for 2015 and into the future?


Happy New Year

Gayle & Mary outsideGayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, and two dog devotion boos: Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God and Devotions for Dog Lovers 2: Sage Advice. She is also a contributing writer to five editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, including the August 2014 dog book The Dog Did What?. She also writes for WREN (Wyoming Rural Electric Network), Crossroads, Creation Illustrated, and Our Town Casper magazines, as well as for the Casper Journal, River Press, and Douglas Budget newspapers. She’s also authored a guidebook for owners of blind dogs, available on Kindle. She has a passion for pets and volunteers for and donates a percentage of her writing revenues to several animal welfare organizations. Her speaking engagements include presentations for children and adults about the lessons people can learn from pets. Visit her website at


Dog Devotion Book_Cover_Final   Dog Devotions 2 Book Cover Sage Advice Cover   Blind Dog Ebook Cover_updatedMay2014   Walking_FrontCover_small   SageBigAdventureFront-small   SageLearnsShareFront-small


13 thoughts on “New Year Brings New Goals and an Uncertain But Hopeful Future

  1. Sounds like you had wonderful opportunities in 2014 and that new–and different–ones lie ahead. As you know from my New Year’s Eve post, this year is about finding balance for me. Setting that goal and working toward it feels really good. All best wishes for a successful and happy year, Gayle.


    1. Thank you, Stephanie, for your kind comments. Yep, balance is something I’m striving for in several aspects of my life during 2015, including my writing — I overextended myself in 2014 and though the writing opportunities were great, I also have a “regular” part-time job so I’m having to cut back some on the interviewing and writing for others in order to sustain some balance this year. I do look forward to what lies ahead and I wish you all the best this year, too!


  2. Gayle, go for it. That romance novel and other stories are going to be winners. I gave up goals and resolutions a number of years ago, instead I have directions. My direction this year consist of more writing and time outside. With direction I am able to get things accomplished but have the flexibility to adjust as new options open. Doris


    1. I like that, Doris: direction — great word! I’ve kind of lost direction, as well as balance (see my comment to Stephanie) and I think you both have great insight that I will incorporate into my life this new year! Blessings to you, and perhaps one of those “directions” will be getting together again in Denver or CO Springs!


    1. Thank you, Abbie, for your comments and thoughts for your new year. I encourage you to work on that memoir — I believe you can be an encouragement to other caregivers and spouses. Best to you as well!


  3. Hey, Gayle, sounds like you will have a full freelance writing slate in 2015 in spite of the changes various publications announced. In the early ’90s I did some speech writing for a mayor. About the same time I became involved in a citizens committee formed to save a Civil War fort and wrote news releases and put together press kits for them. Happy New Year to you and your family.


  4. Thank you, Mike, for your comments and encouragement; I truly appreciate it! This will be a different avenue, working with the senator, and I look forward to what other doors may open. Happy New Year to you as well!


  5. You had a very full agenda last yar and what sounds like a very full one for 2015. Good Luck with those plans, Gayle- they sounds fantastic. The broadening out of your writing skills to ghost write is very exciting – though you may never get any proper recognition for it, yet I hope you do! Happy New Year to you and all of your family.


  6. Gayle, this is such a good post about losing chances and gaining new ones. I always make my writing resolutions the first week in January, so I’ve got today and tomorrow to get started. My 2014 resolutions were way too unattainable, and with being sick I got absolutely none of them done! This year I plan to take a different approach and do baby steps. I am so proud of you for the challenges you’ve met and faced head-on and for the success that continues to surround you. You deserve it! Happy New Year, please keep us updated!


  7. God is blessing you Gayle in many ways. You are stretching in your writing career and will get better and better. Flexibility for both of us in writing is essential as life throws detours at us. I am so happy for your new opportunities. I too like the word direction, as resolutions are difficult for me to remember to keep, and sometimes beyond my control and will power!


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