Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Writers’ Resolutions

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Jan• 03•24

Like many people I’ve been thinking about resolutions and goal setting for this new year. I’ve got two: move more and write more.

And I’ve been thinking about my niece Naomi who died almost three years ago at 42 from cancer. It was a brutal, horrible death, in the midst of theĀ  Covid pandemic so she was going to endless appointments alone as the cancer spread to her liver and bones. Her mother, fiance’, closest friend, and dogs were with her when she died smiling. A fashionista, she was cremated with her favorite heels and her never-worn wedding dress hanging in her closet.

Typing this I’m shedding fresh tears at the memories of how ravaged she was in the end, how few people were able to be with her since her immune system was so compromised, how she wanted us to remember her as she was–young, beautiful, funny, kind, talented. Alive.

When she was dying–it was about 15 months between her initial diagnosis and death–I couldn’t read anything that required focus because I’d open a book and words just sort of swam around. It wasn’t until the summer of 2021 that I began devouring books and welcoming that solace.

And I couldn’t write much because it was as if there was no moreĀ  sky.

And discovered the tenacity of grief.

I still cannot believe she is gone.

So my resolution to write more is intensely meaningful.

I’m hoping that your resolutions around writing don’t stem from loss, but that they are still deeply meaningful.

Keep writing, keep dreaming, have heart.


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