Updated: Jan 12
Hey hey hey my foxy folx! Happy New Year!!!
I know we're all heading into 2023 holding our breath, afraid to see what fresh disaster awaits us. And that's fair. the past few years have been absolute hell on so many levels. For me, 2022 was a year that allowed me to regain a bit of balance. There were several things that didn't go as planned. Friends and family shifted. There were disappointments and not nearly enough wins. But, in the end, I came out okay. It was, unequivocally, a year of quiet progress.
Looking back at my main goals for 2022, I wanted to complete two zero drafts, revise and query Harpy Girls, and start a newsletter. How many of those goals happened?
It's not even like, it was ZERO. I accomplished none of them. Not for lack of trying. Querying went off the rails and I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen with that project, though I'm still holding out hope it's salvageable. Especially since I have 60% of the sequel drafted. (tbc, I have no regrets with writing the sequel. It's been fun and I love it and that's its own reward) All of my summer drafting time in 2022 was eaten up by family emergencies (everyone is *mostly* okay now!). I didn't get to settle into drafting something new until NaNo, which went super well. But alas, I was unable to finish the full draft in 2022. And the newsletter just kept getting pushed aside. I'm keeping it for 2023 as a 3rd quarter goal, especially with the way Twitter is headed, I want to make sure I can reach my three fans and update them with how things are (or aren't!) going.
Despite my apparent lack of success, I feel as though I made a ton of progress with my writing and my writing career this year. I've made great friends and connections, expanding my writing circle. I learned a new way of outlining that REALLY WORKS for me. I had (and am still having) fun drafting Edria's New Groove (aka, Harpy Girls II). And I signed contracts for my first official paid writing gig, which, fingers crossed, I'm optimistic about. If nothing else, it should be fun.
So, what do I have up my sleeve for 2023? Last year, in 2022, I knew my word the instant I saw it. ADVENTURE. And I think, for the most part, I did have adventures. In doing so I put myself first. I made decisions based on what I wanted to do or not do and I was so happy. This included setting boundaries and sticking to them even when people didn't like my choices. This year, it's been a bit trickier to nail down my word but I've finally decided it's EXCELLENCE with the full theme being "Committing to Excellence."
This resonated with me because I don't want to just write. I want to write well. I won't settle for less than what I want (which yes, does make things harder) but that's what I want. 2022 really taught me a lot about my boundaries and what I am and am not willing to compromise on. My writing is a no-compromise zone. That doesn't mean I'm not flexible, but I won't put it on a back burner. I've set up three writing related trips (two writing retreats and one festival!) so far and am working out details for a third one in August. Giving myself the time and space to get away from my house and my daily goings on really helps me to recharge creatively, so this year, I'm traveling. And aside from one of those trips, Bellamy gets to travel with me. Which makes me happy. I really don't like not being with him. I joke a bit that he's my emotional support wolfhound, but facts are facts and when he's not around I feel a bit lost.
What is on my 2023 Agenda? If 2022 taught me anything, it's not to OVERPLAN because I will not, no matter what, accomplish what I set out to do. So 2023 is about doing less. Just look at this picture of my 2022 Q1 plan vs my 2023 Q1. Silly me thought that not only would I revise a whole 95k manuscript, but that I would completely draft another 100k manuscript 😂 Who was I kidding? Even better, I kept overbooking myself quarter after quarter, until finally in Q4, I corrected my mistake. For 2023, my first quarter goal is just to finish my zero draft of Edria's New Groove & to query Harpy Girls--the querying part will depend on what revisions look like, so I'm planning for success here. But in the end, if I need to tackle a revision into Q2, I can make that happen. For my social category, it looks like I've added tasks, but it's actually just that I've broken down several of them.
Finish My Zero Draft of Edria's New Groove (Q1)
Revise and Query Harpy Girls (Q1/2)
Zero Draft of Pony Death Gods (Q2/3)
Revise Tarnished Hearts (Q2)
Create Revision Plan for ENG (Q3/4)
Create Revision Plan for PDG (Q3/4)
Social (Media) Goals
Maintain Weekly Instagram Post Schedule
QueerKidLit Chat's first Wednesday of every month
Publish one blog post per month
January (2024) Newsletter
In Person Writing Group
Write a Pitch
Outline the story & Create Characters
Create and post 2-3 chapters a month
This looks like a lot, but it's actually not. The social/media goals I have are things that I'm currently already doing and have become automatic. I love taking a day and getting all my book pictures taken and then posting on Instagram is pretty easy. One blog a month has been sustainable for me, and for the writing group, I just have to attend once a month. Storyloom is something I'm going to ease into, starting with having chapters posted in February and building up from 2 a month to 3 a month. If it doesn't work out or I hate it, then I'll stop. There's no pressure there, just opportunity.
As for writing, revision is my jam. So even though I'm not *excited* to revise Harpy Girls again, I am ready for it. Same for Tarnished Hearts (I am excited for this one though). I love my cursed girls and really think revising it will better place it in the publishing market. Plus, I want to apply the skills I've learned in the past two years to it! I've drastically shifted my quarterly writing goals to having only ONE writing focus per month of the quarter, something I learned from trying to do too much last year.
As far as 2023 is concerned, I'm ready for it. I don't feel the same sense of impending doom I've had these past few years. What are your writing goals this year? How do you stay organized and on track? I'd love to hear from you, so drop a comment below. Happy writing y'all! My fingers, toes, and eyes are all crossed for you!