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Cheers To 2023!

Happy New Year!

It's been a bit since my last upload.

I brought 2022 to a close early in preparation for a Holiday Hiatus, a much-needed chance to regroup after some changes on my side of the screen and, perhaps equally if not more importantly, give my fiction some much-needed attention after months away.

I'm back. I'm refreshed.

And I'm ready to tackle 2023.

I've had admittedly lofty goals for myself in the past, like wanting to have signed with an agent by the end of the year despite none of my WIPs being anywhere close to query-ready. 2022 had me spread incredibly thin between the day job, medical stuff, and wanting to work on multiple projects at once. And while there are certainly pros to juggling so many stories, it also has cons that were especially prevalent. I struggled to focus and ended up going months without touching my fiction projects; if I did, it was only in small bursts. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my hope for 2023 is to rekindle the spark in my narrative voice and reclaim my love of writing fiction—and find my sense of self again.

So what does that entail?

Same as it was for 2022, my writing time will still be split between my ever-ongoing Regency romance endeavors and the blog.

I've always kept ahead of schedule when it comes to posts for the blog (ridiculously so at times).

Knowing I have several weeks at least planned if not ready to upload makes it easier when life finds a way to get in the way and things get hectic on my side of the screen. I'll usually have a minimum of three weeks prepared in advance, but sometimes more. Last October, I really revved things up and prepared 90% of my remaining posts for 2022 and a bit into January, save for my end-of-year reflections and this post so I could devote November to edits for Bound to the Heart.

Even though it didn't go as planned because Covid finally caught up to me the first week of November and I ended up doing my edits-focused NaNo in December, taking the need to prep content for the blog off my plate for that time made it easier to focus on fiction for the first time in months, and I made much more progress with edits than I expected.

Dedicating an entire month to writing projects is something I want to do more often this year, likely at least once each half if not quarterly, meaning that I will continue to stay ahead of schedule to accommodate that—just a few weeks more than I usually am when this designated fiction-focused month rolls around.

Blogging will look essentially the same as it has since I started in 2018, the way I'm approaching fiction is going to be a little different in 2023.

I've been a fan of juggling multiple projects for years now, and still think it can work well. It has its perks, but as I've come to notice as of late, it also has its drawbacks.

That's why for 2023, I'm reining myself in (and I realize I said this back in 2022, but I swear I mean it this time).

Bound to the Heart is going to be the only fiction project I'll be concentrating on this year. I'm in the midst of a total overhaul, rewriting the novel with a focus on making the narrative voice more my own and giving special attention to particularly weaker areas whether that means bolstering and deepening them or making major cuts.

Tempting as it will be to work on other things, in order to make the kind of progress I'm hoping to see this year with Bound to the Heart, it needs to be my sole focus when it comes to fiction. Granted, I expect I'll allow myself to jot down ideas so I don't lose them, but nothing beyond that.

Working on multiple stories at once means you can make progress with each of them. The catch is, you're typically only making small amounts of progress.

Concentrating on one WIP is going to be a challenge for me. As a writer who has upwards of a dozen ideas swirling around her head, it can be frustrating to not have the ability to be working on them all. But I also end up frustrated by the lack of progress I've made towards my goals because I've been dividing my attention between them.

Bound to the Heart is going to be the center of attention for the first time since its 2018, back when I was scrambling to finish the first draft as part of a semester-long research project. Nearly half a decade later, I've continued to develop my skills as a writer and have only just begun to figure out who I am as a storyteller, where my voice fits and what it sounds like. Rewriting Bound to the Heart has been quite the endeavor, at times challenging and eye-opening, but I already feel it's becoming closer to what I want this story to be.

I'm not aiming to be query-ready by the end of 2023. If I'm being honest, I don't even know if I will be beta-ready. But I hope I will have a mostly completed rewrite that could be ready for fresh eyes in spring of 2024.

Lastly, as I've mentioned a handful of times, I want to be more open about my writing, both on the blog and on social media. You'll see me talking more about my WIPs, especially Bound to the Heart and get more frequent updates about my writing mixed in with my other posts. How often these will go up remains to be determined.

With all the goals I've listed, all I truly want for 2023 is to find myself again as a writer and reclaim my love for storytelling. It will take time, but every journey starts with that first step. Even if that first step is shaky and full of trepidation.

I am excited for everything this new year holds. It's going to be a time of growth and healing not just for myself, but for my writing.

And I hope you'll come along with me.

1 comment

1 Comment

Jan 08, 2023

I like your new layout! I have yet to find my narrative voice. I am a research historian and we weren't taught to write creatively. Actually in high school I was advised against it and my AP tests were every so nicely not paid for because it was thought I wouldn't do well enough on the writing portion. It's just as well. I became a research historian and enjoyed my work (still do), but now at 50 and recovering from a very long bout with chronic illness, I've decided to chuck it all and write from the heart and work on my photography. I still will research and put my whole heart into that. I feel like writing short stories…


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