Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Time to Pivot - by Kathy Halsey

 I forgot I signed up to interview Becky Gehrisch on her adorable debut picture book ESCAPE TO PLAY and her very successful foray into self-publishing. But Becky was sick; I discovered a friend at a weekend graduation party contracted COVID. Oops! 

What to do? Make a new plan. Today I pivoted. Becky and I will talk about successful self-publishing July 13, 2022. You have plenty of time to anticipate our discussion and Becky’s tips.  I’ve pivoted lots these last few months. I’ve discovered being able to “pivot” is a useful tool for the writers and illustrators.   


Case in point, when I searched Pixabay for an image for “pivot” a few male basketball players showed up and arrow images, too. (I wanted a female b-ball player, btw.) 


So, I had to pivot and figure out how to use this image. I was making something out of what I had. This image looks like a wave or many iterations of how to end up at the same place. What do you see?

Maybe it’s time to change our game plan, adapt, or improve our practice.  It’s June! We’re almost halfway through 2022. If you’re like me, the last few months have gone so fast, I need to think about my shiny 2022 goals and find if they still serve me. If not, I’ll lean into change and redirect myself. (synonyms for pivot!)

Using myself as a case study. Here WAS my 2022 plan.

  1. Be my own book wife - turn off news earlier, read poetry, revise or write in the AM.

  2. Keep building on my way to “chunk” big goals into seasons. This past season was the season of exploration and trying new writing techniques.

  3. Continue with submission goals of 100 submissions in 2022 via, beginning with 5 queries a month.

  4. Keep my schedule light to feel creative: do yoga, walk, and don't take on extra responsibilities.

Where Did I Loose Direction? 

I’ve drifted out of #1, #3, and #4. But instead of chastising myself, I’ll be honest about what I know to be true! 

  1. The daily news makes me nauseous and raw. I am writing haikus to channel those feelings now. 

  2. I stopped querying for a month to prepare for the ABLA Big Sur Cape Cod Writers’ Retreat. I took 4 mss for that weekend and have more actionable advice on the work I’m sending out from top-notch agents and editors. 

  3. I’m back to walking with my husband and dog Scrappy Doo and going to volunteer at the church community garden.    

If you’re spinning your wheels or feel stuck in old routines, why not pivot? Give yourself permission to swim in a different direction this summer. How about creating a motto or inspirational phrase in Canva and using it as your desktop wallpaper? That’s what I’m doing as a reminder. Share your new course correction or motto in the comments.

Here's my new "seasons" mantra.


  1. This is such an excellent post, Kathy! I need to follow your example and get out my 2022 goals and see if they're still serving me. And I always like playing in Canva...

  2. Goals are good, but flexibility is essential. We need to be able to turn to something else if one project is stuck. Or, if we're stuck, try something else - for me, that's usually heading outside to clear my head. But sometimes it's reading a good book.

  3. Ohhh-I love this post Kathy! I've kept to most of my 2022 ideas, but I've also strayed. Things that I didn't expect kept bopping me. That said, I'm gearing myself to pick up what is still hanging and to move forward. You are my inspiration!

  4. Kathy, you are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing some of your goals, aspirations, and realizations. And, good luck as your journey continues!

  5. I loved this post. Very inspirational...mostly because I could totally relate! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great post, Kathy, as I look for direction for summer!

  7. Thanks for the inspiration. I am seriously in need of a pivot!