I thought I would take a moment to wrap up 2022 and talk a little about 2023.
2022 was the year I was going to publish my first book.
Then my father-in-law passed away which meant an impromptu two-week stay in Virginia helping my husband and mother-in-law plan his memorial service and adjust to the new normal. I was able to write a bit while navigating that detour and ended up staying pretty much on track. If everything went as planned, I I would still be able to get the first book published and the second book drafted before the end of the year.
Then my uncle passed away in July.
That was the event that sent my world to a crashing halt. As executor of his estate, I headed off to Los Angeles and walked into a mess that would take me over six weeks to navigate. I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice to say there was a lot of cleanup that needed to be done, both literally and figuratively. I don’t think I wrote more than one hundred words total the entire time I was there. When I got back to Tennessee, I was both physically and mentally exhausted. I was distraught. When I finally sat down to reread my draft and start revisions, I couldn’t do it, The story fell flat. I put it away for a while and came back to it…. twice. Same thing happened.
So I rewrote it.
Then I went back to Los Angeles for three weeks and the same thing happened. I put that project aside and worked on another project. I wrote an entire draft and was pretty excited about it. Then I realized what I had written was some sort of contemporary post-apocalyptic zombie fantasy that was a complete one off from anything else I had even thought about writing. If I published this book, I would probably be starting from zero when I tried to publish my paranormal fantasy a few months later. I really don’t want to start my career confusing readers on my genre. So I went back to that first project and rewrote parts or it again.
All that to say, Book One is not getting published this year and Book Two is not even started. I have a couple of notes for ideas that I need to move from B1 to B2, and that’s it.
My epic plan for 2022 was shot all to hell seven months in. It was soul crushing. I even let myself pout about it for a few days before I shook it off and got back to writing. Ok, I may have done some retail therapy at Erin Condren. More than once. For a month or two I was getting that retail therapy in every week that had days in it. Yeah, it was pretty bad. On the bright side, my 2023 planner lineup is strong.💪
Moving on to 2023
Book One has been reverted back to what you would call a hefty outline. It’s pretty much a spreadsheet with columns for each plot line and room for notes and questions.
I was doing this in Plottr, but I got too involved with color-coding everything and spent more time than I’d like to admit playing with colors. Once I get the story mapped out, I’ll probably copy it into Plottr and go from there. I love almost everything about Plottr, but two of my favorite features are that I can change the size and flip the orientation. I use the plot lines to structure the plot but also to mark where changes in POV take place, which scenes each character is in, and for where things like symbols and clues fall throughout the story. You know what? I think I’ll make a Plottr video.
This brings me to my plans for 2023.
Writing the first few books in my planned series is my primary goal, but I also plan to up my social media and content game. I’ll still be writing blog pots but I’ll also be sharing YouTube content. I have my first few videos planned and I hope to start making them next week. There is a small chance I’ll have to be in LA, in which case the videos will start the second week of January.
Another thing I want to do is develop some of my story ideas into outlines and short stories. I work better when I allow myself a day away from my primary work in progress every once in awhile. However, I like to write, or work on something writing related everyday. I hope working on some of these other ideas might be a great way to accomplish two things at once. If you’re curious, some of these ideas include things from this list:
🧩 Found Families
🧩 Forbidden Romances
🧩 Love Triangles (I know, I know, but I can’t help it, I love this trope when it’s done well!)
🧩 Villain Romances
🧩 Twisted Faerie Tales
Another thing I want to do is get more involved in online writing communities and possibly even find a local group of writers to meet up with. I love the communities I am involved with, but I don’t contribute much. I tend to overthink my comments to the point where I decide it’s just easier not to post at all. Ridiculous, I know, but I guess that while I’m an extrovert IRL, I’m a socially awkward introvert online.
And that’s my #WritersLife plan for 2023. I’d love to know your plans for next year! If you’d like to share, drop a comment below or join the conversation on Instagram.
Happy New Year!