This post is coming in at the beginning of the new year instead of the end of the previous because I wanted to maintain my December hiatus and kick off the year with a bit of an introduction to the things I’m hoping to accomplish in my business (and beyond) in the coming year. This way, hopefully I set the tone for what to expect in the coming year of Scribes & Archers and everything attached!
This past year was a crazy one, one that didn’t really go the way I expected–but it was a year that I’m incredibly grateful for!
2023: An Overview
I got engaged at the very end of December 2022, which means that the first half of 2023 was spent primarily on planning a wedding and strengthening the relationship with my now-husband. I didn’t have a lot of bandwidth left for other things, though I did still accomplish some things beyond the wedding and my relationships. (If you’re interested in wedding pictures, check out this Instagram post.)
A lot of relationships changed this year–especially in that first half of the year–whether growing weaker or stronger. The life transition has definitely been a process of growing and adjusting, letting go of some things from the past season and grasping hold of the new blessings God’s placed before me. I’m especially grateful for my family, my husband, and their stability and support through all of those changes, and my husband’s patience with my low days and continued experiments toward effective homemaking.
The latter half of the year was much more stable than the first half. Settling into married life did take a couple months, but we established functional rhythms in time and it’s been such a blessing to step into my dream role of homemaking, host friends in our home, and otherwise enjoy being a wife. Not that I’m perfectly consistent in being conscious of that blessing, unfortunately. Consistent gratitude is a habit I’m working to rebuild, and it’s especially hard during the dark, cold winter months. Thank God for grace and the power of His Spirit!
As things stabilized, I was also able to get more done in the latter half of the year as far as writing and writing-related endeavors are concerned. There are a couple of projects I’m especially excited to talk about, which we’ll get into both with last year’s accomplished goals and my goals for the upcoming year!
2023: Goals in Review
Finish 2 drafts of my non-fiction project
I still have yet to finish the first draft of this project–though I am at least making progress again! And the more time wears on, the more reminders pop up of how helpful this book is going to be when it’s done, lol. (Hopefully that doesn’t sound arrogant… but I haven’t seen any other worldbuilding resource that works through the worldbuilding progress in a systematic, integrated way.)
Finish the 1st draft of Lightning
I accomplished this in early November! It’s definitely a rough draft, but it’s written! This was my first completed novel-length 1st draft in four years, so it was especially satisfying to hit the point of completion. I’m really excited to complete this story with Thunder and go back afterward to polish up this world that’s lived in my head for so long.
Finish the 1st draft of Lightning‘s sequel
Lightning took longer than anticipated, so I’ve only gotten partway through the outlining process with Thunder, but it is underway and I hope to draft the whole thing in the coming year. After that, the plan is to take a worldbuilding break before coming back to edits!
Send quarterly emails
This was successful! This spacing seems to work well for me, and I’ve managed to send a fair number of emails in between as well. If you’re interested in getting those quarterly (and additional) emails, sign up for the newsletter! The first quarterly update email for this year will be going out tomorrow.
Post at least twice a month on Scribes & Archers
My posting had started to fall off by the end of 2022, hence this goal. I failed in January (1 post), May (1 post), and July (intentional hiatus), but otherwise maintained consistency on the blog! And I accomplished my goal of hopping back on the wagon, as a whole, so the purpose of this goal was accomplished even if the details weren’t perfect.
Attend Realm Makers
As predicted, I was busy getting married and going on my honeymoon in July and thus did not attend Realm Makers. But, y’know… I got married, so I’m not disappointed, lol.
Do 4+ blog collabs
- Romance trope collaboration with Kellyn Roth and Grace Johnson
- Critique for Grace Johnson at the end of my “Crafting Emotional Resonance” series
- Guest post from Rose Atkinson-Carter: 5 Types of Story Structure to Help You Outline Your Novel
I also got several books for review this year, but I don’t generally count those as “blog collaborations” since I don’t directly collaborate with the authors when it comes to most of those. Remembering to reach out to people about collaborating is still something I need to work on.
Write for Story Embers
This still has yet to get bumped up high enough on the priority list to actually happen. But collaboration is something I want to place a higher emphasis on in the coming year, so you may see this happen in 2024.
Edit for 4+ clients
I didn’t do any editing this year, but that was at least partially intentional. I didn’t really promote my services much this year because I was busy planning a wedding and then adjusting to getting married, so I didn’t have a lot of extra space on my plate for new editing projects and I was intentionally specific about what outreach I did toward acquiring new projects.
Add 12 new students to The Worldbuilding Toolbox
This goal was omitted from the beginning-of-the-year list, but I want to talk about it now. 12 new students did not enroll in The Worldbuilding Toolbox, but there are nine new students enrolled in the course! And I’m working on a new program that I hope will serve my worldbuilding students even better… but more on that later.
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.”
“LOL” is right. XD I read about half this.
Read 10 new-to-me classics
I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. That was the only new-to-me classic I got to this year. But it was pretty good! Much more interesting in the second half than the first, as a whole. It did inspire a budding story idea, though, too.
Finish 2+ crochet projects
I can’t remember what I did or didn’t finish in early 2023, but I finally finished the blanket I’d started for my sister prior to Christmas 2022 in mid-November of 2023 and I made a complete baby headband around the same time. So I did at least accomplish the two project minimum, lol.
Write 12+ poems
Nope. I got really into writing poetry in the fall of 2022, made this goal, and then lost interest in poetry sometime in the spring of last year. I did draft about three poems in the spring, but I never really want to look at them again to edit them. I have been more poetic as it’s been colder again, but I’ve only drafted a couple of new poems in full. Still, I’m grateful for the poetry practice in those few months, and I’ve enjoyed the apparent rhythm of writing more poetry in the colder months and setting it aside in the spring and summer.
2024: Concrete Goals
As always, this list includes only the more relevant and/or interesting goals on my list.
Open the Worldbuilders Guild for enrollment
For those of you who aren’t on my newsletter and haven’t heard, I’m developing a worldbuilding mentorship program called the Worldbuilders Guild! This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I didn’t have a functional setup for it until after I got married. As soon as I realized I finally had an open opportunity, I dove straight into figuring out the structure and content of such a thing. I have all of that down now; I just need to fill in the actual content necessary, test it with betas, and then it’ll be ready to launch to the general public!
If you’d like to get on the waitlist or even sign up to be one of the beta testers, check out the form below!
Do 4+ blog collabs
If you’re interested in collaborating this year, please reach out through my contact form and let me know! (Bonus points if you have experience with traditional publishing, btw.)
If you’re not personally interested in collaborating but there’s an author you think would be a great fit for me to reach out to, please leave your suggestion in the comments!
Finish the 1st draft of my worldbuilding book and send it to betas
If you’d like to be first to hear about the opening for betas, sign up for my street team below!
Finish the 1st draft of Thunder
Attend Realm Makers
I think this year offers the best chance I’ve had of actually getting to Realm Makers. Of course, we’ll see what plans God has in store!
If I do make it, I may try to query Lightning for traditional publishing, if only for the experience. But we’ll see; I’m not sure if the publishers at Realm Makers will want it, so it might not be the best to start off with in case I try traditional publishing more purposefully with a future project.
Start a new novel draft
I’m not sure what novel this will be, yet. The world of The Dark War Trilogy keeps popping back into my head lately, so I might try to reboot that project (as daunting as that prospect is). But I also have a weird apocalyptic novel idea I could work on, or I could go back to one of my other started projects, or rewrite something I’ve only gotten through a 1st draft of… There are lots of options, lol.
Just for fun, comment below with what type of project you’d like to see me work on next (or a specific project, if there’s one that has stood out to you over the years).
Reopen my editing services
While they were technically never closed, I want to “reopen” my editing services for more consistent booking this year. I miss editing, and I’d love to work on at least four or five projects this year, Lord willing!
If you’re an author in search of a line editor for a project this year, check out my editing services!
Read 52 books
Including Pride & Prejudice, nine more new-to-me classics, and a particular subset of the books I own but haven’t read (the latter list contains 38 books). If I manage to read all the books I specifically hope to read, I’ll be well on my way to accomplishing the full goal.
Crochet a garment
I’m not requiring myself to complete a whole garment this year, but I would like to at least dip my toes into garment-crocheting.
Write a short story in French
I have no idea if this is actually going to prove a high enough priority to be accomplished, but I think this would be a fun way to practice both writing and my French study.
Attend an Andrew Peterson concert
Not much to say about these. I just think they’d be awesome experiences, and I love Andrew Peterson’s work (as I’ve talked about before) and–from what I can tell–his worldview.
Visit the Library of Congress
I’ve actually never been, despite multiple trips to D.C. I’ve wanted to go for a while, and my husband actually promised the day after our first date that he would take me sometime, so we’re planning to take a day trip sometime this year.
Visit the Wayside
This is a place I learned about just last year when I found a book about it; The Wayside was the home of both Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott, and what classic-loving reader wouldn’t want to visit such a historic literary site? I just need to do my homework beforehand and actually read the book I bought about the house… as well as Little Women since that’s actually still on my TBR. I suppose that and Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (The Wayside was also the home of Margaret Sidney/Harriet Lothrop for a time) will be another two of the new-to-me classics on this year’s list! (I already love Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter… though perhaps this is a good excuse to reread it.)
2024: General Hopes
In the coming year I’d like to regain some of the joy and vibrancy I had when I was finishing up high school. I want to be adventurous, practice gratitude, get outside more, intentionally strengthen relationships and reach out to new people, renew my spiritual disciplines, maintain a beautiful home, serve more authors through my business (and serve the same authors in new ways), and (Lord willing) watch my household grow. As a extension off of renewing my spiritual disciplines, I’d like to get back into the practice of thinking on and discussing theological topics with more of an attitude toward learning new things instead of the stubbornness I’ve let creep in over the past year or two.
Overall, I guess it can be summed up by saying I pray God renews my joy and sense of wonder in Him this year.
How was your 2023? What are you looking forward to in 2024? Do you have any exciting goals or plans for the year?