Hello friends and welcome to the first 2023 edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.
First of all, let me say it is good to be back after taking a much needed break for the holiday season. It’s been a rocky winter thus far to say the least, and I definitely needed to unload some things from my plate while I navigated the various stressors.
But, it’s a new year and regular readers and friends know that new beginnings are a source of creative energy for me, and even though these boosts tend not to last as long as I’d like, I’m still going to make the most of the moment while it lasts.
A Year In Review
At the start of 2022, I outlined 7 goals for myself ranging from the extremely basic to the ludicrous. They were, in order of importance:
- Write 160,000 words for fantasy projects
- Write 8 novellas for Scribd
- Finish every book I started (no DNFs)
- Read three books a month
- Start selling my non-exclusive novellas
- Dabble in podcasting
- Release a serialized novel
Yeah, I managed to accomplish all of two of these (launching my Patreon to sell my novellas, and starting The Ballad of Mercy May as part of Drabble Rock).
I honestly have no idea how many words I wrote toward fantasy projects but my estimate is south of 30,000. I also did not even come close to my eight-novella goal for Scribd, though in fairness new editors and new pitching processes contributed to that. I came close to not DNFing anything – I only DNFed two books by my count and both of those I actually wanted to finish. However, I neglected to read them in a timely fashion, so they were returned to the library before I could. My bad.
As for reading three books a month – well, that was never going to happen. And podcasting was well and truly the most outrageous idea I’d had, so I’m not surprised nor even remotely disappointed that that didn’t occur.
All told, it wasn’t a tremendously productive year, but considering everything my family and I have been through over the last six months especially (not to mention the toll my mental health has taken), I’m going to take my two successes and run with them into 2023.
However, if you think I’ve learned from my mistakes of aiming well beyond my limits, you’re sorely mistaken, because I’ve got a whole new slate of ideas and goals to not meet by the end of the year! Dive in with me as I set myself up for failure yet again:
1. Blog Every Day
Alright, so this one seems a little crazy and maybe it is, but I’ve actually been building up toward this goal for the last several weeks, even months (aside from this December hiatus that is). And the word blog might be a little broad; many posts will be Drabble Rock related for example.
Basically, I just want to get myself on a schedule so that I have something to post every day.
- Monday: Monday Motivations
- Tuesday: Drabble Rock prompts/drabbles
- Wednesday: Mercy May installment
- Thursday: Topic-centered blog
- Friday: Freeform Friday – which is to say I don’t have any ideas for this day, so it’ll be a little random, at least to start
- Saturday: Mercy May installment
- Sunday: Weekly Writing Roundup
Mostly I just want to get into the habit. Posting once or twice a week was not rigid enough and made blogging less of a priority. By making my blog part of my daily routine, I hope to grow my page and boost my motivation, which has always been structure and accountability based.
Sub-goal: Double the blog’s followers to 250 by the end of the year.
2. Write 500 Words of Fiction Every Day
This is pretty straightforward. I have long wanted to get into a daily writing habit, but have often succumbed to the pitfall of setting too high a word count. So, I’m setting my sights a bit lower. Do I hope to write more than 500 a day? Of course, and it will actually be necessary during my deadline periods.
Speaking of which, this year, I am not going to delineate between paid writing and personal writing. As long as I’m being creative, I will count it toward my words for the day. By the end of the year, if I keep up this goal, I will have written almost 200,000 words. That’s pretty dang good, if you ask me.
Stretch goal: Finish Daughters of Necessity by March 31st. I estimate I’ll need about 90,000 more words to finish, which would double my daily word count to 1000. Tough, considering everything else on my plate, but I think I can do it.
Stretch goal #2: Draft the first installment of my urban fantasy novella series, Seekers of Empyrean, during April’s CampNaNoWriMo IF Daughters of Necessity is finished.
Sub-goal: Maintain a daily word count tracker.
3. Read 1 Book a Week
Alright, I admit this one is a little crazy, especially considering I didn’t even come close to my three-book-a-month goal last year. But, I’m gonna try it again. Why not?
First book on my list: The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso.
4. Diversify Revenue Streams
Its almost a meme at this point, right, but its something that has been on my mind of late. I want to be a fulltime writer some day and the majority of fulltime writers have multiple sources of income. I took a big step in launching my Patreon last year, but I’ve still got a lot to learn and a long way to go in making it successful. Expanding my content there is going to take some more thought and care, so I’ve decided to add another potential brand-builder to my repertoire.
I’ve also decided to launch a RedBubble page. I’ve been mulling over designs and things for several weeks now, and though it might be yet another venture that doesn’t go anywhere, I’m still gonna try.
Sub-goal: Attract at least 5 non-family/friend Patrons.
Of course, these aren’t the only goals I hope to accomplish this year. Some are personal, some are unquantifiable, and some are too small to list out, but they all add up to one mission statement for 2023. When I am doubting myself, when I am struggling, when I am wondering if what I am trying is worth the effort, ask myself, “Why not?”
Why not try to read fifty books this year, when I usually only get though five?
Why not launch a RedBubble when I barely know what’s involved and how to market myself?
Why not commit to writing three books this year? I mean, I’m not, but… why not?
Because I’m sick of asking myself, Why not me?
Well friends, starting tomorrow I’ll be back on my regular content posting schedule. I look forward to finding out what 2023 has in store, and what sort of opportunities I am capable of creating for myself. I hope you all join me for another year of writing. Until next time, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.