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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Pivoting Can Be a Good Thing

 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo property of the author

As we move toward a less restrictive world, I wondered what this post would look like? Would what I did and thought about during the past year of dealing with a 'pandemic' have changed me? Like many, I questioned myself about how productive and creative I'd been. A New York Times article about Brie Larson, of 'Captain Marvel' fame, and her 'pivot', solidified the topic of this month's post.

First, I set some ground rules for this retrospective. 

1. Beating yourself up for not being perfect is not allowed

2. Apologizing for doing things you're proud of. It's not bragging

3. Passing judgement on others who chose a different path.

So having set the parameters, here I go.

I was lucky to continue working part-time from home and then when we opened the Visitor Center, I had employers who did their very best to make sure steps were in place to ensure not only my safety but the safety of those walking through our doors. At the same time, it did cut into some of my 'creative' time.

Photo property of the author

I chose to take advantage of not only my surroundings but to share them with others. I've always enjoyed the outdoors and this gave me the opportunity to get out, walk/hike, and take photos of things that caught my eye. Believe me, I have trails that are stunning within a mile to ten from my front door. I am so thrilled this year afforded me the chance to realize how blessed I am.

Did I miss seeing friends? Well, to answer that question is a bit tricky. I call myself a highly functioning social introvert. Given a choice, I would prefer my own company and that of my pets to the outside world. At the same time, when I am with people, I truly do enjoy it, I'm just tired afterward. I will say, Zoom, despite the ubiquitousness of that platform, gave me the chance to participate in conferences and classes I would not have been able to attend in a regular year.

Photo property of the author

What about creative endeavors? Without being able to meet and write in person, I spoke with others in my Thursday writing group and we pivoted to an online Facebook model that is still going strong over a year later. The first novel is not completely edited from the first draft, but it's close. Two others are also well along to having a first draft done. 

I started doing author interviews for another blog and I truly do enjoy sharing with others what these amazing writers have to say. 

I've also learned that movement and learning are important to me. I've dug deeper into history topics that excite me. I started learning Spanish online thanks to Duolingo that I started just as the pandemic hit. For those who wonder, I'm still doing daily classes.

Photo property of the author

I've realized what my mother meant when I was speaking enthusiastically about how I'd changed after I left home when she said to me "No, you just remembered who you were." For me, this past year has been the chance to get to know myself better and follow some dreams I've had for some time. I guess the 'pivot' was a good thing for me.

And for fun, as the 'Hot' days of summer arrive, sit back, grab a book, and enjoy the day!


Doris Gardner-McCraw -

Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Western Writers of America,
Colorado Author League,
Women Writing the West

Angela Raines - author: Telling Stories Where Love & History Meet

Post (c) by Doris McCraw,  All Rights Reserved


  1. What a lovely post. You are so right about remembering who you always were. I always feel that people have achieved more over the last year than me, but on the plus side I got a puppy, so have been beautifully distracted by him.

    1. I love puppies and they are great distractions. One thing my mother would always remind me of, look how far you've come and the things you've done. For her it wasn't always about the output as the journey. For me, spending time with the pets is important to my overall health.

      Give the puppy a hug for me. Doris

  2. A thoughtful and thought-provoking post, Doris. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you. Sometimes I have to remind myself of what I truly did even if I don't always see the results. Doris

  3. Most authors I know are introverts. They're not antisocial or dislike people, it's just that socializing saps their energy because they give others their full-on attention and they listen. It's exhausting and they have to have time to recharge by themselves.
    My experience during Covid isolation wasn't quite like yours. My creativity crept away and my desire to read evaporated. I guess my pivotal moment is now when I feel I can write again. As far as socializing, well, I can't say I missed out on much since I like to be alone with my dog, but I do have a few close friends that I missed and that I'm getting to see again.
    It sounds like a great job for you walking the grounds and hiking the trails. A good chance to reflect.
    A lovely blog, Doris. Thank you for sharing your feelings and revelations about Covid. None of us will ever be the same as we once were. Mother Nature has taught us who's really in charge...and it ain't us.
    All the best to your corner of the universe...

    1. I agree with you on authors being introverts. We are just fine with our own company.

      I'm glad you are now getting to spend time with those who are close and special to you. It has been a challenging time. I'm the first to admit I am very blessed.

      We'd done a program to ascertain our various characteristics to facilitate our staff working together. Out of twenty staff I was the most introverted and had the strongest personality. In hindsight, this year has proven that they were right.

      Thanks for commenting and I wish you all the best as the years progress. Doris

  4. Doris,

    I, too, am absolutely content with my own company. The months of lockdown/social distancing/political unrest didn't make a ripple in my social life, since I didn't have a social life prior.

    However, mentally and emotionally, I've cycled through manic writing that produced a lot of words to not even being able to concentrate long enough to read more than a couple of pages in a book.

    I walk a couple of miles very day with my dogs. My route is always the same due to avoiding aggressive dogs that are supposed to be in their yards or on leashes. My route isn't particularly scenic and its appearance rarely changes, but I look forward to it every day.

    Pivot is a great descriptor for where we proceed from here.

    1. Kaye, there is a part of me that is balking at being around a lot of people again, but ...

      I can also relate to the ups and downs of this past year. I will say that the walks and Spanish lessons kept me on an even keel. (Just don't ask me to speak the Spanish. LOL)

      I'm glad you have your walks, even if they are in the same place. I love being outside. As for 'Pivot' we've been using that word at work this whole year. I finally decided to use it. Hope to see you soon. Doris

  5. Your mom sounds very must take after her. Great article.

    1. She was and to say I'm like her is the best thing I could hear. I'm glad you liked the article. Doris

  6. What an interesting post. I was surprised to learn your experience was so similar to mine - even the Duolingo, although I'm trying to learn Danish. Today was my 397th consecutive day. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ann, that is, well, WOW. I made it to 376 then some work issues got in the way, but now I'm back to I think 80. I keep saying I'm going to add Latin, but gotta get the other under my belt.

      I hope your pivots were as good as mine were. Doris