The year, 2022, had its challenges, but I still managed to accomplish the goals I set in January. My biggest challenge awaits in 2023, but that’s for next week. This week is a review, and just a little boastful. Some might consider my not having published a failure, but I’m not going to rush when my progress is steady.
There are always mental health battles, especially in May, and I also weathered a cancer scare and tragic loss late in October. Yet, the year, as it pertains to my goals, was a success. I’m proud of that.
So, what’s productive look like?
January through October were my editing months and I averaged from 6.23 to 7.46 hours per day. That’s seven days per week. For me, there’s no taking time off. I wanted that when I worked jobs I detested. Instead, drafting/editing is an art, craft, passion, and purpose.
Who wants to take time away from any of that unless they have to?
Writing is also my anchor in difficult times so the last two months of the year I drafted a novella and four short stories.
Let’s look at the five goals I shared in my January 4th, 2022 blog post.
1. Maintain my physical health
Nailed it! My health is the best it’s been since before I my lungs were damaged and my lung disease appeared in 2009. In fact, I recently timed myself while walking in the snow! for two miles. It took 38 minutes. Not bad for someone who was told in 2010 she’d live the rest of her life with an oxygen tank. There was also a glowing assessment from my doctor.
2. Protect my mental health
Despite the previously mentioned challenges, I nailed this too. As planned, meditation, walking, and yoga were all key. In addition, I’ve a small book for writing affirmations, the writing journal where I encourage myself, and the notes and reminders I post around the apartment.
The second half of this point was self-doubt. My productivity is testimony to my having managed it, but I know it’s never completely gone. That’s okay. I know vigilance and I know how to be proactive.
Another key is training myself to respond in the moment rather than spiral. The big test came when tragedy struck in late October. The next day, numb and crying, I walked. I also cried through meditation and yoga while embracing my emotions.
Sloppy, tearful healing is better than the alternative.
3. Updating and investing in resources
Updating my worldbuilding resources is a continual process and I did fair to good. I also created quite a few new ones.
Another point here was to invest in Wonderdraft for mapmaking. I was still using PhotoShop Elements (2008) at year’s start and knew I’d lose it after updating my computer, which I’d delayed. I soon discovered Wonderdraft wasn’t compatible with my computer.
The next month, I rallied, first investing in Affinity Photo, then upgrading my computer. In retrospect, Affinity was the better choice because I could still work with my existing maps. Affinity also allows me to make covers, mood boards, and so much more. A win!
As a bonus, I started using ArtBreeder to create character portraits, which I can then touch-up in Affinity.
4. Improve my editing skills
This was my most vague point and my greatest success.
- I read a lot, but topping my list was Tiffany Yates Martin’s Intuitive Editing, the gateway to all that followed.
- I adopted a lot of ideas, but few were as important as Targeted Editing, which is now its own stage in my process.
- Speaking of process, I now have a self-editing process (editing plan). It took much of the year to develop, but now exists as a companion to my drafting process.
- A lifetime subscription to Pro Writing Aid followed, which is compatible with Scrivener.
Related to editing was not only going through all my novels, but completing a critical Continuity Edit of Kovenlore Chronicles. They were drafted from 2016-21 and inconsistencies abounded, especially when events in later books prompted changes in the earlier ones. It’s another example of taking the prudent approach.
5. Update my self-publishing knowledge
I’m always reading posts about the self-publishing process. This year I started participating in a couple of online groups with self-published authors. That exposure is inspiring and providing additional insight. Even so, publishing will be better addressed next week.
I religiously kept up my writing journal for the fifth straight year, filling the book I’d purchased for it. Next week (and year) I’ll start another book.
In November, amidst all the chaos at Twitter, and while still in the depths of grief, I joined Mastodon. It was awful timing for me, but necessary. I’m still on Twitter, but at this point spend more time on Mastodon.
Long needed, I better defined my genre as Otherworld Historical Fiction. There’s much more contained in my stories, but that makes a good base.
Oh yes, my titles project. Two of the seven Kovenlore novels were changed, but I pulled myself back from the brink of stupidity and didn’t rename the others. Similarly, I renamed two Pannulus novels to acknowledge their connections, thus creating the Pannulus Mysteries series.
Logically, that all led to creating a new Ontyre Story Universe chart, which I always create in Scapple, a mind-mapping software the Scrivener folks make.
So, there’s my look back at 2022. Next year promises to be a huge challenge, but that’s for next week.