2022 was a year full of contradictions when it came to writing. There were fulfilling milestones – finishing a rough draft for the very first series I ever worked to publish, finding online communities to join, succeeding with my NaNoWriMo goals – and then there were just absolute clunkers. I went on a stretch of several months with zero desire to write, and it was only through sheer will that I did any writing between April and July at all. And some of that writing was just planning, some of it was blogging, some of it was little scraps to stories only in their infancy. But on the whole, I’d like to think that 2022 ended on a positive note. I got back on the horse, so to speak, and finished the ride on my terms.
So where does that leave me going into 2023? It leaves me looking for ideas outside of the box, and a desire to explore more about creativity than just the act of writing itself.
The second half of 2022, I didn’t do much in the way of social media except for the occasional Twitter chat with my writing friends. For some reason, I simply had to be away from social media. It had become too much, too invasive into my process, and so I stepped away. Now, though, I’m looking at social media in a different light. If I learned nothing else in 2022, it was that I still need to find those connections, and writers groups that I really click with can be hard to find.
Currently, I have 14 writing goals for 2023. They’re numbered, but that’s not the point. The point is to remain open to new ideas, to remain flexible, and to remain kind to myself. I’m only planning on one deadline related project – NaNoWriMo in November. The rest, well, I’ve set a goal, I’ll work towards that goal, but I’ll also be aware of when I need to take a step back.
This lesson, though rough to learn, is one I think a lot of us would-be writers go through. It is so much to take in as a would-be writer – we have to be the muse, the writer, the publisher, the editor, the marketer…and the list goes on. It can be only too easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. I will add on one more item to the long list of hats we wear: we must also be our own wellness coach. It can be fine and dandy to be told what must be done, but at the end of the day, we know ourselves best. And sometimes the very best thing we can do, is nothing at all. Sometimes we need that step back, to be able to take a deep breath of the air around us and simply appreciate the rich smell of the trees.
January is all about resolutions, and I’m going to tweak that to make it all about setting goals and making plans. First goal was to set goals, so mission accomplished. But what comes next? Creating a plan that remains flexible, and that just might take a little bit of work.
Until next time.