Robertson reflects on 2020

This year was certainly different. The author looks at being a writer, some of the pitfalls along with the good and looks back at 2020 in the field.

When you are an author, your opinions are often under a microscope.

Everything you write is unalterably there in black and white to be dissected, minutely examined, torn apart or criticized. I am as human as anyone else and can assure you I make my share of mistakes or more. Without anyone at home to edit my material, mistakes can creep in very easily. Material-wise, I flatter myself that if someone shows me I’m wrong or my information is incorrect, I’m glad to change my opinion. After all, truth is truth and nothing else really matters, whether you care for the truth or not. Sometimes it is a bitter brew.

Having said this, it’s only natural I feel some trepidation writing any article, especially where opinion, personal beliefs and interpretation differ so widely per person. So any article I write on any subject is open to criticism and I receive my fair share. No one enjoys eating crow, deserved or not.

During the Christmas season, most of the cards and letters you receive in the post bear best wishes and offer hope that the upcoming year will bring one health and happiness. At least most of them do, but not always if you’re a writer. The majority of times the nasty comments have no return address or name at the bottom. Very interesting.

But, the greatest number of comments I receive by far are very supportive and helpful. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of you who stop me in public to visit, email me or call to express your support. As I’ve mentioned so many times, if it weren’t for this encouragement I wouldn’t continue to write; knowing someone is looking forward to reading your article has become the strongest incentive for me to sit down at the computer and get to work.

Having two newspaper deadlines a week is always hanging over me. I no sooner complete the stories than I find myself worrying about the two due the following week. Sometimes one struggles to come up with a subject that’s not overly repetitive. Sometimes you just seem to be empty of inspiration. You never know how full the well is going to be on any given day. I wish more of my readers would contact me when a large buck or fish is taken by them, their son, daughter, father, grandparent or acquaintance. People seem very reluctant to let me know about their success when I would be thrilled to write a story about it. Feel free, in fact I encourage you, to email me with any successful outing you have. My address is at the bottom of every story in the paper.

I’m not sure what 2021 is going to bring us. Hopefully, life will return to a more normal flow and we won’t have to remain so isolated. Our day-to-day existence has certainly changed and I really wonder how many of these changes might continue. Businesses must realize many workers can function very efficiently at home. Will the demand for office space take a big hit? School is now home study in many localities and this is a big change from study in a classroom. My grandchildren are progressing, but it’s much more of a challenge for them and especially stressful when they are striving to receive high marks. The additional responsibilities placed on parents during this home study is incredible. God bless those who have jobs at home and are trying to fulfill employee and classroom responsibilities at the same time. How they do it is simply amazing to me.

Last spring, so many people were in the woods hunting spring gobblers it was nuts. The gobblers were harassed almost constantly and hunting was difficult to say the least. What this spring will bring is anyone’s guess.

On the other hand, I thought 2020 was the best year trout fishing I’ve had for decades. Pressure was lighter than normal and the trout were plentiful. I spent many days on the streams and lakes with excellent success. At least COVID didn’t screw that up.

I can’t say I noticed much of a difference during deer season. Everyone came to camp if they were in good health, we had no problems and enjoyed good success. Others may have found themselves in more difficult situations unfortunately, but we were lucky health-wise, thank goodness.

With the New Year upon us and the times so uncertain, it’s difficult to make plans and set goals. Nevertheless the Earth will continue to spin and follow its orbit around the sun. Spring will come, then summer, fall and, alas, winter again. I am taking the opportunity to remember all the good times I had this year and the blessings I enjoy. Just having a roof over our heads, family and food to eat is a blessing we should be especially thankful for. Times were tough, but many lessons were learned and an appreciation for everyday things we took for granted realized. Visiting during the holidays wasn’t possible for so many; how precious we are one to another was a real eye-opener.

This year, I think I’m going to make it point to let everyone I love know how much they mean to me and how much I miss them. Perhaps that’s the lesson we all needed to learn this year.

In any case, no matter what situation you may find yourself, I wish you all the best as we hope for a far better 2021.

(Wade Robertson, an outdoors columnist for the Times Herald, can be reached at


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