Out of the dumpster fire of the last couple of years, the phoenix rises. This may not be the firebird we want, but it is the firebird we deserve. On the shimmering heat of the burning trash, it rises, and with it, we have hope for a bright new future in 2023.

No matter what this year brings, it’s our choice whether we take it as the opportunity to rise up above it, or hang out down with the stink and the ooze. Can’t make the time to write every day? Grab a prompt over at More Odds Than Ends and write once a week.

Need a market for a short story? Check out Raconteur Press and their anthologies, the Baen short story contests, or collect several shorts and release them as a collection. Join forces with other writers, and share information on open markets – the Book Club With Spikes has a channel specifically for this purpose. We also share information on editors, daily accountability, book discussion, book promos, and much more. It’s not the only place like that on the web, but I know it best.

Need to learn more about the business of writing, publishing, and marketing? Read this here blog on the regular. Listen to the Writer Dojo podcast. Ask questions in the comments (please! We always need new topics) here, or in a trusted writer’s group. Be aware that some large online writing groups are, well, see that there blazing dumpster? Yeah. Fly out of that crap. Don’t let it stick to your feathers. Fewmets may sound cool, but you don’t want to roll around in dragon poo.

One of the downsides to going Indie is that you’re on your own. One of the upsides is that you don’t have to wait on anyone, and there’s a community of us who have been there, done that, happy to share tips and tricks with you.

So let’s make 2023 the year of new beginnings. Personally? I’m going back to what worked beautifully for me in 2019, and keeping a daily spreadsheet/journal. I have a big erasable calendar hung on one wall of the office, to see the year at a glance, all the better to put publishing goals in my face. I’ve got fun stickers to use on that, incentivizing myself to do stuff like exercise and write and so forth. I have a 4×8′ whiteboard on another wall to keep track of plots, story ideas, graphic design deadlines, honey-do list (for my husband, but also me), blog topic ideas, and some art a visiting child drew for me that will be preserved forever. If you don’t have room for all of that (and most won’t – but I designed this office around that white board, for one) then I highly suggest you look at Google calendar, and use it’s notifications and alarms to keep you on track.

I’m also going to be tracking my reading. I have my library all unpacked and available to me, I have goals that require I settle down with some solid research, and I love that sort of thing. So reading will be happening. I have some other, very specific projects I’ll be working on with friends… more on those as they start to unfold in the New Year.

Just do me a favor, eh? If you feel like you’ve fallen down on the job, don’t beat yourself up. Dust yourself off, figure out what tripped you if you need to, calibrate, and go at it again. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough. For all that we’d like our phoenix to rise from some aethereal bonfire in the enchanted forest… it’s much more likely to be coming up from the neon-lit alley that smells of things you’d rather forget existed.

Flap harder. You don’t want to stay here. Let’s see what 2023 has to throw at us, and how we can learn aerial combat if we have to. Sure, we might lose a feather here and there, but not all of them.

All images in this post belong to Cedar Sanderson, and were rendered with MidJourney.

35 thoughts on “Fewmets

  1. Thank you, Cedar. My goals for this year are simple. First, I hope to write once a week, at least, and keep up with it after I get home. And second, try and get something publishable together. We’ll see how I do.

  2. I have to admit, having started posting here at MGC has actually been a big help. It’s too easy to be isolated and let your local problems bury you, and that ain’t healthy. So, here’s to a brighter 2023!

    1. It is interesting to change your focus from own-writing or even a small local writing group (which is going to be a strange mixture anywhere) to the broad, even global, community of writers we reach with this blog. It’s probably warped my development, doing this for several years. Welcome to the club!

  3. Although we forget it from time to time, those of us residing in the metro Atlanta area have the Phoenix life cycle at the center of our history. Today, if we think about it at all, though, it’s because we wish the rebuilders had put a more intelligent road grid in place in the ashes and rubble. We did save some money by naming every street Peachtree, except for the streets named Lennox, but that’s not the same.
    Such BEAUTIFUL artwork! And the message I’m taking from, it is that the fire is inevitable, but it’s up to me what I rebuild.

  4. Well, I have a range of goals for 2023: write 4 x 100k novels, fully landcape my house, start a small business, visit all 50 states, and run a marathon. Or write 200 words per day, spend 30 minutes per day doing yard tasks, and get one honey-do done per week. I hope to fall somewhere in between the two 🙂

  5. Goal is write something every day. Doesn’t have to be a big word count, I just need to put my seat in front of the keyboard and get something out.

    Especially since I’m trying to keep the gears turning on current WIP, and that does not seem to happen if I don’t put hands on keyboard.

  6. Collections sell better than individual stories and it’s practical to give them dead tree editions but you may want to release short stories individually.

  7. I am irrationally tickled pink– and also florescent blue and purple, with some green– at the image of a phoenix rising from a dumpster fire.

      1. Now someone needs to write an urban fantasy with it.

        An anthology of Phoenix from the Dumpster Fire would, I suppose, be too much to hope for.

  8. My goals for the year:
    Regular writing: 1 poem/day, 1 short story a week (already up to 17 so far, so continuing the streak), And a little bit on novels every day. Hoping to write 3 novels in this year (not unreasonable at my normal writing speed and normal length of 70k-ish length if I can get the regularity up.)
    Publishing: Get Bearskin and Maze of Spirits out, and see if it’s feasible to do a regular publishing schedule of poetry books.

  9. Another organizing place is Notion (Tis free up to a certain level), it also allows you to have “team” members for letting family see calendars and todo lists. Taggle is more Kanban board like, very simple and very stripped down, also free. There is Effie that is supposed to be more writer-centric, but it wasn’t for me (I’m very particular about these things). Trello is also free to a point. And there are a number of paid things like MindMeister, MyDraw, MasterMind, etc, depending on how your mind works.

    If you are super into planning and organizing I recommend the HeartBreathings youtube channel. She is a full time indie author and planning/author coach. Lots of step by step advice for Kanban boards, planners, setting goals that make sense with the time you have, etc. Been watching her for about 6 months now.

    Still in the process of solidifying my goals (rather than wishes), as well as doing my final house clean for the New Year (Don’t clean on New Year’s day or you sweep all the luck out the door!)(Feng sui). But, I think that once I do solidify them that they will be strong and doable and move the needle, finally!

    Happy New Year to all!

  10. My main writing goal for 2023 is to complete the WW2 story arc for the ‘Republic of Texas Navy’ series, ideally keeping up the one book every 6 months pace I’ve managed so far. Then I need to start on the Cold War / Space race story arc that Will . Not . Leave . Me . Alone!! :-p

  11. Gorgeous firebird, color and wing – wise. Is MidJourney one of those AI art engines? What prompt did you use? I showed the top imiage to the kid who has OPINIONS about firebird art, and it was approved.

    Would it be possible for someone to discuss the business of licensing for translation and what pitfalls there might be? What the contracts would be like, or anything?


      1. The kid then saw the lower image and muttered about ‘raptor beak’ and ‘chicken feet’, but still… At least it’s not the peacock look.

  12. I am aiming to write every day. I’m putting together a publishing schedule for myself that will keep me on track with getting the multitude of stories that are running around half-dressed with yesterday’s breakfast smeared on their shirts, corralled and into readable form. And maybe put together some short stoires along the way.

  13. I have my Japan trip to get through, and then I will start releasing my series on Vella. And at the same time, try to buy a house so we no longer have to share a wall and a driveway ever again.

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