Another year has come and gone, and boy… what a year it has been. Parts of this year feel like they belonged to last year, and in many ways this year has felt very long. How could so much have happened all in one year?? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a look at how this year stacked up against my expectations.
2022: An Overview
I split last year into three parts relative to my camp job, and I’m tempted to do a similar thing with this year… except I’m not certain where the divisions would fall, lol. I can say there were a lot more “seasons” to this year than usual; I’m on my 7th “seasonal” playlist of the year, as opposed to my regular 3rd or 4th. (Yes, I use music as a measuring stick.)
My “stewardship” theme lasted through some of the year; it turned out not to fit as well as I’d expected, so at some point I fell back on my theme verse of Matthew 6:33. I did a better job of stewarding some of my resources than others, I think.
The lack of hope that I had at the end of 2021 was definitely helped by the changing of the seasons, and God provided a lot of joy through work, my book release, and renewed appreciation for some amazing friendships. Plus some new relationships and opportunities, but we’ll get to those momentarily. ;)
Work was a pleasure this year! It’s certainly had its rough patches. A horse farm job I had for an early portion of the year turned out to not be the best fit after a while, but it was certainly not the worst opportunity and it helped to fund my book release. Calligraphy Guild’s release itself was so much fun, and it’s been amazing to see the response from readers. A HUGE thank-you to my street team who have been rock stars at getting the word out about Calligraphy Guild!
I was also thrilled to get to work with so many editing clients this year! One book I got to work on was genuinely my dream project. I could not have asked for a more perfect match, and it was so exciting to be part of the process of polishing it. And every last author has been an absolute pleasure to work with, with such unique projects that I am so grateful to have been part of. I cannot wait to see where these authors go next. (In case you couldn’t tell… I love my job.)
Oh! And I started a new novel project. It has kind of hit a wall at this point, but it was super exciting to get started on and I’m hoping to do more with it in the coming year as I’m able to turn my focus back toward writing as a whole. Which has been something of a challenge because…
I have a boyfriend. He is amazing, and I love him to pieces, and it has been such a blessing to get to know him better and better, to support him in his interests and his work, to share interests with him, and to have his support and encouragement in my own work. He’s an ever-present reminder that God is faithful… and that God has a sense of humor, because while I was resigning myself to my singleness for the time being and putting my oddly specific “I’d like to get married when I’m 20” wish back in His hands, He was preparing my boyfriend to ask me out. Go figure. (Lesson learned: Put stuff back in God’s hands and His timing will work out better than you’d even dare imagine.) So yeah. That’s been lovely, and I’m super excited to see how God continues to direct that relationship. ^-^
But I’ll stop gushing now and get to the more practical stuff. ;)
2022: Goals in Review
Finish 2 drafts of my non-fiction project
I haven’t even finished one draft yet. However, this project is moving forward–albeit slowly–and I’m very happy with how it’s coming along thus far.
Publish Calligraphy Guild
DONE!!! I am so so so so so excited that Calligraphy Guild is now finally in readers’ hands–and a growing number of readers’ hands! This book was such a labor of love, and I am so encouraged to have the opportunity to hear feedback from readers that it served exactly the purpose I’d hoped for, that God is using it exactly the way I prayed He would–and then some! I truly could not have asked for a better release. Thank you to everyone who helped make it what it was. And if you haven’t read Calligraphy Guild yet, I hope you will; I would love to share the magic with you.
Send out quarterly newsletters
This was a much more manageable goal than the monthly efforts I’d been putting in before! Quarterly emails allowed me to remain consistent without getting discouraged, but also allowed the freedom to email more when I had more content. I think I’ll be keeping this model in the coming year.
If you’re not signed up to my list yet, you can sign up here!
Write 12 new short stories
I announced when I made this goal that I might end up ditching it partway through the year depending on priorities, and that turned out to be accurate. I did write a piece of flash fiction and attempt to start a longer short story, but short stories weren’t a big focus for me this year.
Do 4+ blog collaborations
Lavender Bleu guest posted on the topic of language.
I hosted a blog tour for Calligraphy Guild‘s release.
I also participated in some other authors’ book releases (Nadine Brandes’ Wishtress and Victoria Lynn’s Once I Knew specifically), guest posted on Kingdom Pen, did a tag, and participated in a link-up, but I didn’t quite reach the four intentional collaborations I’d hoped for.
I do love working with other authors and bloggers, so if you’re a blogger and you’re interested in collaborating in the coming year, shoot me an email! I’d love to work with you. ^-^
Go to Realm Makers
This still hasn’t happened yet. This year it was due in large part to the awkward timing of Calligraphy Guild‘s release; if I’d tried to publish a book in June and attend a writing conference out-of-state a month later I think I would have gone insane. Now I know when not to release a book if I’m aiming to go to Realm Makers that year.
Write for Story Embers
I still have not managed to do this.
Write for Kingdom Pen
Write for The Rebelution
Revive my editing services
Yes! And I am so excited about it. I’ve gotten to work with five authors this year, and I’m hoping to work with at least as many next year. I have adjusted my services for 2023, so check out my editing page for the latest details or to book your spot!
Read 100 books
I’m at 58 and counting, but I’m not going to make it to 100 this year, lol.
Read 10 new-to-me classics
I reread The Fellowship of the Ring, Around the World in Eighty Days, Prince Caspian, and about half of The Two Towers, but the only new-to-me classics I’ve read have been Evangeline and The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (which I have quite enjoyed and which have prompted along a poetry habit).
Take 2 CLEP tests
I’ve returned to my disinterest with the idea of college and therefore this took a very back burner.
Have a 365-day Duolingo streak
Nope. Not even close. But I have kept French music on most if not all of my seasonal playlists, so I’m not totally abandoning French no matter what I do.
To be fully honest, I completely forgot about this goal. I did not have the energy for this at the time I would have needed to plant and upkeep a garden, anyway, so there was just no way this was happening. But hopefully in the not-too-distant future.
Complete two crochet projects
I’ve completed three, actually! The twin-sized blanket I was working on at the end of last year, a baby blanket that I gave to a couple at church just before their daughter was born, and a Christmas present for my boyfriend. And the hope is to get a few more blankets, a tote, and a pair of fingerless gloves made as Christmas presents for other people on my list. (I’m very pleased to have rediscovered my interest in crochet.)
2023: Concrete Goals
As always, this list includes only the more relevant and/or interesting goals on my list.
Finish 2 drafts of my non-fiction project
Finish the 1st draft of Lightning
The sci-fi novel I started this fall. Check out the book page for more info!
Finish the 1st draft of Lightning‘s sequel
It’s a back-to-back duology, so I want both books drafted together and edited together.
Send quarterly emails
And whatever else I come up with to help and/or encourage y’all. Sign ups are here.
Post at least twice a month on Scribes & Archers
‘Cause I’ve rather fallen off the blogging bandwagon and I’d like to fix that. I’m not sure I can jump right back into a post per week, but twice a month should be doable. (And hopefully I’ll get back to once a week as I regain momentum!)
Fix site shop
My WooCommerce plugin broke and thus my site shop is broken and I haven’t had the energy to fight to fix it. So for now my books are available only through Amazon, but I’d really like to fix that sooner rather than later. I’m hoping to have this goal completed by the end of January.
UPDATE: This is fixed! Direct orders are once again available for customers within the U.S.!
Attend Realm Makers
I have doubts about this happening due to some other life stuff that might happen and make attendance difficult, but it’s going to keep getting put on the list until it happens.
Do 4+ blog collabs
Write for Story Embers
Edit for 4+ clients
If you’re looking to get a book edited next year, I’d love to work with you! Details and booking here.
Read 52 books
A more modest goal for the coming year, which I’m pretty sure I can surpass but which I won’t be flailing to hit if something unexpected happens, lol.
Read 10 new-to-me classics
More Longfellow, maybe. Along with the C.S. Lewis essays that have been teetering on my TBR, Plato’s dialogues alongside them, and the Jane Austen I’ve been intending to read for years, among other things.
Finish 2+ crochet projects
Probably the Christmas presents I have no chance of finishing before the year is out.
Write 12+ poems
I’ve started four in the past two months that I just need to finish, and I have more assorted poem starts from times long prior, plus I’ve had plenty of inspiration the past couple of months and I’m liable to only start more, so… this goal shouldn’t be too difficult. I just need to sit down and coax my words into proper rhyme and rhythm.
2023: General Hopes
Matthew 6:33 remains a core verse I want to remember: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” And in a similar vein, 1 Corinthians 10:31 — “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I have a tendency to focus on blessings without enough appreciation for the One who gives all good gifts, and I want to be better in the coming year about remembering where my gratitude belongs and Whom I ought to be pursuing first and foremost. Essentially, the same principle that Andrew Peterson addresses in Adorning the Dark when he says,
“We may want something harmless, but if it’s out of place, if it comes before the right thing, then what’s benign becomes malignant. We want the wrong thing.”
In the coming year, I’d like to establish a balance between my online presence and my in-person community. I love blogging and editing and having discussions with other authors online, and I really want to do better about fostering those relationships and intentionally investing in the success of other authors. But I also have an amazing in-person community that I want to pour into the same way, and I hope to be able to pour into both with a lot more intention in the coming year.
And there’s a decent chance I’ll be planning a wedding for some portion of 2023, so… that would be very exciting.
So that’s about the gist of this past year and my hopes for the coming year. Now I want to hear from you! How was your 2022? What was your biggest win? What are you most excited for in 2023? What’s your most ambitious goal? Comment below!