Once again I’m writing this a couple of weeks into the new year rather than having it written and ready to implement on 1 January. But better late than never, right? I feel like I need a bit of time in the new year to reflect on what I achieved (or didn’t achieve) in the previous year in order to actually formulate realistic goals for the new one. At least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
So here goes for 2023.
Despite plans to address my readers’ notes on Guide Us over the break, I didn’t ever get to this. The weather was too good before I went to the beach to want to coop up indoors working, and when it was shite while we were away, I didn’t have my computer with me so couldn’t work on it. I know… excuses, excuses. But I do plan to do this work before the middle of February so I can send the book to a couple more readers while I work on a query and synopsis. I would like to start querying this one by March.
I’ve become somewhat inspired again to work on A Stranger to Kindness, the book I started with the mute protagonist. It’s a tough one to write, given how dialogue-driven my books tend to be, but I plan to put some time into this one over the next few months. I’d love to finish a draft before July.
I’ve been reading through old stuff abandoned on my hard drive and am startled to discover that several things I thought I’d only written a couple of chapters on have 20 or more chapters already written. And some of it is actually not too bad…. I want to try and finish and polish at least two of these stories this year and get them out into the world. I haven’t published anything since the beginning of 2021 and I know how quickly publishing moves on if you don’t keep pushing those books out there. I currently have a couple of things on submission, but I’m not getting my hopes up…
I have a short story in an anthology from a major publisher that will be out in the Northern Hemisphere spring. I’m hoping this will be an opportunity to reach more readers and get my work more widely known and available. So my goal is to leverage the hell out of this and to make the anthology as big a success as I possibly can.
With less writing time available to me nowadays, I feel like short fiction should be a focus for me again. I may not have the time or energy for a novel, but short stories or flash fiction can be written relatively quickly and offer me a chance to explore new styles, genres and themes. I would like to be able to submit at least one piece of short fiction to a publication each month. But that of course means writing them first.
Outside my writing life, I plan to keep up my exercise regime and possibly even add to it. I am trying to lose weight (again), but even if I can’t get thinner, I can get fitter. I feel like I’m in a pretty good place with my fitness at the moment and would like to build on that, especially when it comes to weights. I’m ready to focus on getting stronger.
After not reaching my Goodreads reading target again in 2022, I have reduced it to 132 books for 2023. I’ve been reading more adult books recently, largely because I’ve read most of the YA books in the library and am waiting for some new ones to be added to the collection, and they tend to take me longer to read. I’m off to a good start though – by the time I went back to work on 12 Jan I’d already read 10 books in 2023.
I am still painting and want to experiment with using the techniques I’ve learned to create more than just canvasses. I work upstairs from a second-hand store, so plan to find things there that I can paint on (trays, vases etc) and created useful objects that are also beautiful.
I plan to continue my ambition of going to the movies at least once a week too. It looks like it’s going to be easy for the next month or so with something interesting coming out almost every week. Long may that continue! I kicked off 2023’s movie-going by seeing The Fablemans and I really enjoyed it. Such a love-letter to the movies and making movies – something I’m beginning to see as a trend for films post-pandemic. There are several other movies coming out in the next couple of months that also appear to be about the movies and their magic.
As well as films which I always go to, this year I want to embrace all the arts and go to things I don’t go to nearly often enough. I want to see theatre and dance and go to gigs. My son and I got a shared subscription to the symphony orchestra’s season for Christmas, so that’s a good place to start. And with my new job being in arts events, I hope I will get the opportunity to explore this space more.
I think that’s probably enough goals for 2023. We’ll check in mid-year to see how I’m progressing.
What are your goals for 2023?