• Prompt: In 2021, I; In 2022, I

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 49 comments



    Writing Prompt: Fill in the blanks: “In 2021 I ______” and “In 2022 I ______.” Your responses do not have to be about writing & reading! Take it where you want it to go; let it take you wherever it wants you to go.




    I’m writing this post December 29, but by the time you read it you’ll be in 2022.

    How is the new year so far? Should I even bother stepping into it or is it just as sketchy as 2021 has been? Please report back ASAP.

    Rather than the standard “New Year’s Writing Resolutions” post, I want us to look forward and back at the same time, through a simple — or is it not-so-simple? — fill-in-the-blank prompt.


    In the comments below, I’d like you to write two paragraphs.

    The first one should begin:

    In 2021 I ___________________

    Take it wherever you want it to go.

    You can write about your 2021 writing and reading accomplishments and disappointments, your literary highlights and your lowlights.

    But it does not have to be about writing and reading! Write about something you missed out on; something you didn’t miss out on. Write about that time your mask slipped down just as you were sticking out your tongue at a stranger. Write about that time you went to the grocery store and loaded up on TP but were then constipated for weeks. Write about who you were at the beginning of the year and who you were when it ended, mere moments ago.


    The second paragraph should begin:

    In 2022 I _______________

    I considered “I will,” but that puts a lot of pressure on us.

    I also considered “I want,” but that narrows the possibilities.

    Maybe the best answer is simply “am”? In 2022, I am. Because you’re still here. You’ve made it! Celebrate that.

    And then fill in the blanks in the comments below.


    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you reach your creative potential. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres. Browse our book coachingmanuscript consultation, and publication assistance services, and sign up for your free writing consultation today.

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    WriteByNight writing coach and co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has written about books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others.


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    In 2021 I moved into a new house, found out about a small mouse.
    Put my boyfriend to bed because he was a louse.
    Now its 2022 and I’m about to be a spouse.


    In 2021 I survived, barely, bearly

    In 2022 I will do it again, maybe

    Sid Kemp

    Ah, I can hear the low growl of a hibernating bear, irritated, turning in her sleep.


    In 2021, I made the effort to get well
    In 2022, All new, so only time will tell


    In 2021 I self-published my novel set after the world’s fall, then watched the world continue to fall. It made it hard to carry on, but I did, beginning work on the sequel. As best I could, I helped some other writers with their work. Inspiration slipped in between the cracks from time-to-time, prompting ideas I would like to build upon. Like starting a drawing lessons book to try to recapture an ability I had in my youth. The intent being to do my own illustrations because I can’t afford an artist. So 2021 was definitely a year of ups… Read more »


    Raymundo, you are an inspiration, you made it happen. May you prosper with your desire to get back into drawing. You’ll be a great teacher. My website is yet to be launched, I’m thinking this month.


    Keep going. Websites are just another medium to express yourself.

    Stacy Nakell

    In 2021 I got a book contract (editing and coaching help from WBN!) to publish my book Treating Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors: An Integrative Psychodynamic Approach in the Routledge Focus on Mental Health series.
    In 2023 it will come out and I will shift my focus to providing an online training series for other therapists!

    Paul Dubay

    In 2021, I fully retired from public service and happily entered the world of “self-service”. My new and unchartered adventure has allowed me more free time to focus on writing, meditation and family. As 2021 came to an end last night I immediately felt the excitement of facing fresh new challenges for the year to come.
    In 2022, I am committed in my determination to complete my novel first draft and begin the editing process. This new year will bring continued health, happiness and prosperity for me and my family.

    david lemke

    I’ll jump back to 1/1/20 where we started a lifestyle change (not a diet per se) and I lost 45 lbs. and felt better, despite all stress and covid. The stress screwed with my writing which ground to zero. 2021 felt promising, I was able to write again, finishing the first draft for “Vermin” a fantasy novella about a smart ogre who wants to write. (Ogres pride themselves on being stupid and look upon any ogre who displays intelligence with fear and hate.) This last year we continued the lifestyle change, but only lost six pounds and ended up only… Read more »

    david lemke

    I have my offices to write in. Toolshed; snowblower, lawnmower, shovels, etc. We want to explore wineries, restaurants, specialty food stores, sites, historical landmarks, architecture, scenery, fairs.


    In 2021 – New Year’s Eve, I sat with my husband in our flannel plaid pajamas. He was comfortable in his big old brown recliner and me on the couch. We watched as the ball dropped to hail in the New Year. (Did you know that greater than 70% of America stays home to watch the ball drop?) A comfortable old pair, we thought about the previous lifetime of New Year’s Eve’s we spent together. Holding hands as the ball dropped, I couldn’t help feeling how rich my life has been. As an old lady now, I could look back… Read more »


    its good to be thankful for the simple joys of life


    in 2021, in addition to working full time at Mercy Health Boardman hospital, I worked on my next novel: Plan of Care–a Charity Cristy Story.
    In 2022 I hope to publish it!

    Christina Del Pozzo

    In 2021 my body decided to remind me that I had a less than perfect body. My body and I had many serious conversations regarding my youthful abuses of said body. Month by month, we adjusted my actions to be in tune with my body’s needs. In 2022, I am fully aware of my physical needs. I am cognizant of poor eyesight, arthritic joints and the fistful of medications I am required to swallow to continue functioning as a human being. I have adopted my aunt’s view of reaching the ripe age of 100; “I am out-living my body parts.”… Read more »

    Elissa Malcohn

    In 2021 I (a) inhaled 123 books (including several novellas and a couple of book-length monographs), blowing my previous record out of the water for the time I’ve been keeping track; (b) undertook and completed the second year of my writing experiment, which began in 2020 with 366 and continued in 2021 with Framed; (c) began a new experimental WIP, in an entirely different format; (d) continued being active in causes I care about, mainly from home; (e) breathed a little easier (though still from behind masks) with the help of two and then a third jab of Covid-19 vaccine;… Read more »

    Barbara Mealer

    in 2021 I didn’t get everything done that I wanted, but I learned a lot and got tons of things done. I did end up with another three horses (two were rescues). I got my office walls up and ready to paint, I have all the trim and fun things to go in it. I lost a sister and brother-in-law, both from cancer.
    In 2022, I will have my office finished, I’ll have another book published and two more ready to go. The horse shelter should be finished and I’ll be well on my way to writing and publishing more.

    Barbara Mealer

    I worked on editing and practiced self editing on a shorter manuscript. It’s difficult best. I decided to try Fictionary for the basics and it’s good–like using the story grid in visual mode. The book I thought was fairly well put together–not even close. It really showed up my short comings. So will start on the revisions in about two weeks. That is one I want ready to publish along with the second book in the trilogy. They are written but are in rough draft form. I did get a draft of a sci-fi/fantasy book written for Nano and part… Read more »

    Sid Kemp

    In 2021, I lived,and tried to write.
    In 2022, I write and live – or, if not, no biggie – I won’t let a little thing like death stop me from writing.

    Sid Kemp

    Thanks, David. So far, for the last two weeks, fiction is only bubbling in the background with no production. But I’ve written a haiku about the moon each day for over two weeks, working on a one month cycle.

    Kris Lindbeck

    In 2021 I video-taped a conference presentation, then went to the conference anyhow . . . just before Omicron.
    In 2022, I’ll do writing goals: I want to finish revising my long-form fairy tale _The Moon’s Daughter_ and also write all or most of (knock wood) an academic book I have been working on for over half a decade, in one way or another.

    david lemke

    My shed. Dave, what was your I did, I will?

    shed 1.jpg
    david lemke

    Well, my shed has a window and plans for a work bench, but I’m not sure if I will have permanent electricity. If I need light or power or pneumatic power, I run a cord or a hose through a wall. My writing production has fallen this year and over the holidays, but I have written some.

    Lori Alexander

    In 2021 I wrote a few thoughts in my journal.
    In 2022 I found an old journal with the following attempt at Haiku.
    Contained within you
    The secrets of life complete
    Your journey begins

    Lori Alexander

    I do remember writing in that journal. Several of my friends and I decided to informally meet to write. We would set group challenges and meet again to read aloud what each of us had written. The challenges were fun and insightful.


    I am having a hard time last year and now.
    In 2021 I drove my aunt to see mom in the hospital and rehab. We managed to move into a new house in a new state.
    In 2022 I brought mom home from rehab. She is in a hospital bed slowly falling. It’s really hard to watch. My husband and I have been here about 3 weeks. My sister came on Sunday and my brother is coming tomorrow.

    heidi selig

    Dear Friends, kind Folks, Sorry I’ve caused you worry. My computer forced updates for three days unstoppable, then the hard drive failed. I’ve been without that machine of hope and devastation for over a week. Afeared of cellphones. To put the icing on the poop cake, the oven blew my roommates’ minimal hair and eyebrows off then went kaput. The microwave failed with a dancing bowl of almost hot soup which upended then oozed like a slow Vesuvius eventually onto the floor while sending delicious rivulets down the file cabinet to my dog Finster McCrabbey Lonestar who was already practicing… Read more »

    madeline benham

    Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry to hear of these troubles. Aren’t neighbors just the worst? Well, next to wildfires and a global pandemic. Hang in there. It’s weak, but it’s all I can think of right now. Spring will come.

    Madeline Benham

    In 2021, I finally reached age 65 and retired. In 2022, I will make my writing the main part of my life.

    Christina Del Pozzo

    For the past (too embarrassed to say) ## years, I worked to write 4 linked books covering the same characters and catastrophe. I was never pleased enough to present it to anyone. I did send one book to a publisher and was not accepted. Once again, I had bitten off more than I could chew. At the end of 2021, I decided that I would change the book into a single novella. My goal was March 17 – my birthday. I did it! I am now on my 3rd edit. My new goal is to send it out by my… Read more »

    heidi selig

    What a terrific accomplishment. GO you!!

    Christina Del Pozzo

    Thanks, Heidi. I’m not quite sure which drives me more: You’re never too old to gain courage. Or I’m old and foolish enough to think I can become a published writer.

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