Writerly Reflections on 2019, Hopes for 2020

Hey. It’s been a minute. I’ve intentionally gotten on here (and social media) less the last two weeks to enjoy family time over the holidays. The few times I have checked in, I saw a lot of posts about how much 2019 sucked. To them, I’m sorry things aren’t going well, and I truly hope the year to come brings you peace and happiness. As for my last blog of 2019, I’d like to reflect on the things that were good, what I’ve learned from the things that weren’t so good, and what I have to look forward to in 2020.

So, uh, yeah. Less do dis.

In 2019 I…

  1. Got to spend a lot of time camping and hiking
  2. Read a few amazing authors for the first time (Blake Crouch, K Chess, Ken Follett…)
  3. Finished my novel, Switchers
  4. Started reaching out to literary agents
  5. Started christophertallon.com
  6. Got to be a guest on a podcast
  7. Started planning my own podcast
  8. Made my neighbor’s kid cry
  9. Started sending my youngest to preschool
  10. Watched/helped my second youngest learn to read on his own
  11. Heard my second oldest learn to play the violin and ukulele
  12. Watched my oldest play club soccer for the last time
  13. Watched my oldest go through the senior year of high school and college prep stuff
  14. Saw my friends prosper and do new and interesting things

What were the successes of 2019?

I thought 2019 was pretty good…

Being outdoors is (almost) always a good thing. I got to camp and hike with just my wife, my family, and some friends. There have been years, mostly when I had really little kids, where I only got out once or twice–if at all–so this year was great!

If you’re like me, finding new authors who speak to you is a success. I highly recommend the authors I mentioned above.

Finishing the book was weird, but a success. I say weird, but I mean it in a good way. It’s like this, kids: When you’re actively writing a novel, it kind of feels like it will never end, and, in some ways, feels like the most important thing in the world. It’s constantly on your mind. When you have time to write and don’t, you can almost feel the characters saying, Bro… I’m just waiting for my story to go on while you’re over there watching tiny house videos on YouTube. Then, when the book is finally done, you’re like, What the f–k do I do now?, and feel totally lost for the next few weeks until some new characters lease out your brain and become familiar. Then it’s rinse and repeat.

What else? Oh! The website and blog. Ok, I know the numbers for my site ain’t got nothin on the really successful ones, but, uh…shut up.


Since putting launching the dotcom website in June, I’ve had almost 600 views. Again, I know some site’s do that in a day. But for a guy that has no idea what he’s doing–with his website, and in general most of the time–that’s pretty darn good.

What wasn’t that great?

Is that how you feel about 2019?

Sometimes things don’t go the way you want or expect. That’s life, I guess. I was hoping–even though I knew better–that my book would immediately get an agent, immediately get published, and I could start cashing checks for doing something I love all while wearing sweatpants. It’s been a few tries now, and I still don’t have an agent. I’ve written all about it already (not once, but twice) so I won’t go in detail, besides to say I not discouraged, if anything I view the process as a chance to grow on the business side of professional fiction writing.

I made my neighbor’s kid cry. Yeah–didn’t feel good about that. I tried to jokingly tell a kid they had to go to the back of the line at the bus stop. The kid thought I was serious and started crying. Not my finest moment. I apologized to the kid’s mom, who said it was fine, but I think she quietly hates me now. What did I learn from this? I’m not funny to kids, strangers, or at all. Leave the jokes to funny people. My bad, yo. My bad.

I’m staring down the idea of one of my kids not living in my house anymore. And possibly never again.


I’m ok.

My oldest is legally an adult and will be on her own before long. She’s cool, though. She’ll be alright. It’s me I’m worried about.

What am I looking forward to in 2020?


I’m looking forward to starting a new podcast. After being a guest on one, I got talked into starting my own. It’s going to be a show that interviews creative people, highlighting their work, getting to know them, and peering into their creative process. Still needs a name. (Submit your ideas in the comments!) I already have several guests booked, but always looking for more–writers, artists, small business owners, musicians, comedians…anyone whose creativity compels them to do cool stuff.

I’m looking forward to more camping trips. Reading books with my kids. Picking up the guitar more often. Learning and trying new things. Getting published (fingers crossed). Losing some damn weight. Watching my kids grow. Building a writing shed! Travelling. Meeting new people. All that stuff.

In closing…

I’ll keep writing, stop making other peoples’ kids cry, and, if all goes well, I’ll have a book to try and sell this time next year!

I hope you’ve learned and moved on from the bad stuff of 2019, treasured the good things, and have a healthy, positive attitude about the things to come.

See you in 2020, homies!

-CT (12/31/2019)

Thanks for reading!

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