In the immortal words of John Lennon: “Another year over, and a new one just begun.”
Somewhere just before that he talks about it being Christmas (tomorrow is Russian Orthodox Christmas by the way), and then like a proverbial familial elder wastes no time in making things uncomfortable in the most judgmental sort of way:
“AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”
The more of these year-in-review type posts I read from friends around the internet, and the more of them I write myself, the more I wonder if Lennon hasn’t hit something prescient in his lyrics about the way we spend our time, and the pressure we put on ourselves to achieve, achieve, achieve.
Writing in 2022
Reviewing my Bookish things in 2021 + goals for 2022 post from last January, 2021 was a veritable cornucopia of writing, with a novel draft finished and a short story (Narmer and the God-beast) published on Amazon. Plus 85 blog posts and a couple short stories written for my newsletter.
142,341 words were written in 2021 and wow was it a wild ride.
2022 . . . not so much.
I bought a house, hunted for a new job (which I found! First day was this week!), and generally feel like I’ve been busier than ever with all things that aren’t writing.
However, my not so trusty writing bot implies that I managed to write MORE!! in 2022 coming in around 147,945. Career wise, I’m at 290,286 words logged, and I can account for 112,591 of them with what I know I worked on this year:
- 58,400 for 2022 on this blog
- 34,690 for this year’s Nanowrimo competition which I sadly did not complete
- 6,214 or there abouts for At the Edge of Legend. (newsletter exclusive)
- 3,687 towards Narmer and the God Beast 2 (pitiful lol)
- 10,000 ish for Farewell to Rusalka (newsletter exclusive) and Where the Lobsters Go to Winter (presumably for the newsletter but I never finished it)
The other 35,354? I’m not sure. So perhaps keeping track of all these words isn’t exactly a useful metric. However, of the goals I set last year, I am happy to say that I managed to write two short stories I’m pretty proud of (Edge of Legend & Farewell Rusalka) and one that I think I could be proud of with some editing (Where the Lobsters Go to Winter).
I think I achieved a more sustainable pace on the blog (only 1 post a week), although that doesn’t mean I didn’t hit rough patches. November and December seem to be particularly difficult with NaNoWriMo, holidays, and just general end of the year craziness/fatigue. If you’d like to read any of what I consider my “blog hits” for 2022, please check out my Moon Knight coverage, as well as my #WyrdAndWonder2022 posts.
2nd, I think my writing has really started to undergo a transformation in tone away from sort of serious stories set in one fantastical world to (hopefully) some more humorous stories set in a different fantastical world. This has been a very slow change, as I’m really learning an entirely new way to write, one that is (apparently) not natural to me at all. It’s taken a lot of work, and but I’m happy with the strides I’ve made so far.
Also, I feel like I have much better tools in my toolbox when it comes to revising my work. I will still need to practice this process a lot, but I think the foundations are there to really see some benefits moving forward.
As for 2023, my goals will be much the same as 2022:
- Publish Aegyptosaur, probably on Amazon considering querying was more or less useless (although I did participate in a few fun twitter pitches)
- Write NATGB2
- 4 exclusive pieces of fiction for the newsletter
- Finish drafting NaNoWrimo22 project (no 2023 NaNo project. I’ve had enough of that for a bit haha)
- Continue attempting to hone my craft and explore more humorous stories as I can.
I’m pretty happy with my reading numbers this year although I’m not going to set a goal to match or exceed them next year. I managed:
- 50 books read (7 more than last year)
- 14,265 pages read (1,075 (or 1 stormlight novel) less than last year)
The longest (and one of the best) book I read last year was Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee, while the shortest was The Angel of Khan el-Khalili by P. Djeli Clark. The most popular was Verity by Colleen Hoover, and boy what a wild ride that book was. I don’t have a review up on the blog for it yet, but I’d like to give a shout out to Sacha Black for The Anatomy of a Best Seller. Definitely the most interesting book on writing as a craft that I read last year.
For 2023 I’m going to be cautiously optimistic and shoot for 41 books read. Technically it is higher than my 2022 goal but I don’t want to over shoot and promise 51 books as I think I won’t have nearly as much time for reading with a new job and all the writing I have planned. We’ll see . . .
. . . Without any fear.
To abruptly come back to Lennon, I think my biggest hope for 2023 — regardless of what on this list I’ve accomplished or not — is to return to this time of year in 2024 and face down the question “and what have you done?”, without any fear. It is after all, just another new year (but let’s hope it’s a good one!).
What are y’all’s goals for 2023? Reading? Writing? Go ahead and post them in the comments. I’m interested to see what ya’ll have been doing. Until next week!
“I think my biggest hope for 2023 — regardless of what on this list I’ve accomplished or not — is to return to this time of year in 2024 and face down the question “and what have you done?”, without any fear”
I like this. Might have to steal it.
It’s yours! Good luck in 2023! Sending all the good things your way 🙂
Happy New Year! Congrats on the new job 🙂 Some of my goals for 2023 are to post a bit more and read more adult fiction/non-fiction (something like 75% of my 2022 reading was middle grade). Good luck with your plans this year.
Thanks! Good luck to you as well!