In 2021, I decided my word for my writing in 2022 would be ‘focus.’
Focus was something I really struggled with starting in 2019 when my husband was in and out of the hospital. 2020, as you can imagine, didn’t help those issues at all. But 2022 was possibly the most difficult year for me with writing.
I wrote two novellas last year. I love both of them. But it’s nowhere near what I usually manage to write.
Focus was probably not the best word to have picked.
Or maybe, it was.
I think, if nothing else, I learned a few lessons about being kind to myself. I definitely learned some painful lessons and taking a step back when I need to do so. And I also figured out when I need to push–and when not to do so when it comes to writing.
So, what did I manage by December 2022?
Farm to Fabre
Stubbed Toes and Dating Woes
How about 2023? What do I hope to achieve this year?
A Cosy Mystery novella trilogy (I’ve already wrapped up book 1.)
An Ace Romance
My word for this year is joy. To put that into action, my phrase for the year is finding what brings me joy in writing. Something I’ve found is incredibly important for me.
How about you? How did you manage in 2022? And what are you hoping to do this year?
I don’t remember when I started having a word of the year. Though, I do know I was inspired by a good friend, Lisa DiDio. But I often have two ‘words’ of the year.
One for my personal life and one for my writing.
This year I wanted to approach things a little differently. Well, maybe not differently, but more to expand on the theme. So instead of a word, more of an action or perhaps both? I’m not sure that makes sense but I shall attempt to muddle through my thoughts.
First? My words/phrase for the year…
Personal: be kind to myself
Writing: find joy in words
In all honesty, I’m not always as kind to myself as I should be. So that more than anything else is the focus of my personal goal for the year. To learn how to be kinder and more patient with myself. I imagine it’s going to be a bit of a challenge.
For writing, there are times when deadlines absolutely kill my joy. There are necessary evils but they often zap my energy and leave me floundering. I get so wrapped up in trying to rush through that I’m no longer having fun.
And enjoying my writing is incredibly important to my process.
I’m planning to do a little journaling this year to see how I progress with my intentions.
There is so much advice online for authors. The vast majority of it always seems to be focused on neurotypical authors. It’s something I’ve always found to be quite frustrating.
Much of that advice is often something that is no help to me at all. In fact, I’ve usually found it can be detrimental to my writing process. So I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve found work for me.
I’m not an expert in anything aside from my own process.
1. If writing blog posts feels like too much? Do bullet points.
2. Make a daily to-do lists and if even one thing is crossed off–that’s a win.
3. Do creative work in the morning. I seem to be at my most creative early in the day. Whatever your ‘on’ time is, do the writing stuff then.
4. If editing is causing anxiety, do one edit/one page/fix one issue per day until it’s done.
5. Using Pomodoro Study With Me videos as a way to get things done when I’m struggling to focus:
6. If emails are stressing me out, I close out my inbox. I’ve found the majority of emails can wait. The world doesn’t end if I can’t respond immediately.
7. Boundaries matter.
8. No matter what ‘all the experts’ say. I have to find a way to make social media work for me.
9. Some days, I just can’t write. There’s no shame in taking a break.
The ones I’ve been using are technically ‘study with me’ videos. But they work great for writing as well. I’ve also been trying to make sure I get up and stretch during the break time. I’m terrible at sitting for long periods without moving around.
If 2018 had a word for me, it would be unbalanced. At least, that’s how the last six months of the year have gone. You know when you set goals/deadlines for yourself, and things start to pile up? And then it’s like a snowball rolling downhill, and you’re the target?
That was me.
So, for obvious reasons, my goal for 2019 is ‘balance’.
Balance in writing. Balance in my personal life. All about balance.
(How many times can I use the word balance in one post?)
My plan is to tackle this issue in a few ways.
I don’t know about other authors, but I struggle with all recommendations for ‘how an author should author.’ All those ‘experts’ who have the latest greatest advice. I think you have to be careful not to fall down every single rabbit hole with them.
And it is SO hard not to.
There’s always the latest greats ‘everyone is signing up for it’ new social media app or site. Mewe anyone?
Here’s the truth we never want to accept. You can’t be on EVERY single site. You can’t follow every piece of advice. You can’t be all things to all people (I think Lincoln said that.)
You just can’t.
There’s only so much of my brain power I can give.
I’m autistic, balance is crucial for me. If I push myself too far, I shut down. It’s horrible for my health to continue pushing and pushing.
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