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.