Hello and happy Wednesday!
We’re already two weeks into 2023 . . . it feels so strange! As I’ve been working on blog posts and articles recently, I’ve found myself referring to 2022 as ‘this year’ and needing to go back and correct myself once I noticed it. So that said, if I mess up in this post, please point it out, haha.
So far this year (yes, actually this year), I’ve done a fairly good job of keeping up with my writing goals. I scaled my goals back for right now, to allow for wedding and moving prep, but I’ve still been able to write some blog posts and articles and organize some materials.
I also totaled up my writing wordcounts for 2022. This is something I’ve been sharing for the past couple of years (2020’s wordcount is here and here, and 2021’s is here), and it’s always interesting to me to examine how my writing patterns have changed.
2020 was my year of new projects and trying things out, and had a huge fiction wordcount as a result – around 275,000 words! That included two full-length novels, one industry-formatted screenplay, four short stories of varying lengths, and one full-length novel rewrite. I started blogging at the end of 2020, so my non-fiction wordcount was sparse.
In 2021, instead of working on new drafts and rewrites, it was mainly editing (and you all know how much I love editing…right?). My fiction wordcount dropped to 68,308 words. However, my non-fiction wordcount grew to about 137,1089 words. That was when I started blogging consistently.
So what happened in my writing in 2022?
I didn’t write much fiction last year, unfortunately. My final fiction wordcount for 2022 was 23,712 words, and that really only came from some misc. story-writing, and another partial, final edit of Cabin Girl. I’m really missing my fiction writing now!
As far as specific projects go, I can’t list as many as in previous years. I honestly didn’t work on very many new things. I believe my list of projects includes: lots of work on Cabin Girl, the first chapter or so of the Cabin Girl sequel (!!), outlining for a Rapunzel retelling story, and writing about a quarter of a fantasy novel that I took to a writers conference.
I think a big reason for my lack of fiction writing was that I didn’t have as much free time as I thought I might. Between work schedules, church obligations, dating and getting engaged (and starting to plan a wedding), migraines, and what felt like a million other things, I wasn’t feeling very creative.
(I know there are other writers who deal with those things and still accomplish lots of fiction writing, so I’m not saying those make it impossible. They just made it harder for me.)
I’ve also found that the more I use my imagination and write fiction, the more my imagination works and makes me want to write more fiction. So the reverse applies too. When I get out of the habit of being creative, I find it harder to spur that creativity again.
But this year, I’m really aiming to write more fiction again. Working on Cabin Girl is still a huge goal, of course, but I want to be better about letting myself write too, not just edit. I know it would do my mental health a lot of good to be immersed in creativity and imagination again. I love story-telling, and it’s crazy how much I can miss it!
Unlike my fiction, my non-fiction wordcount skyrocketed in 2022. I wrote 173,558 words, and I’m super curious to see how much of that keeps up into 2023. 2022 was a year of primarily blogging, sending newsletters (though still not as many as I should . . . sorry subscribers!), and writing Medium articles.
Like I mentioned, when I don’t feel very creative, it’s usually easier for me to sit down and write a factual, more to-the-point article or blog post, than it is to write a story. So that’s what I’ve focused more on this year. And it has been an encouraging year of growth in those aspects.
I’ve made my first profit writing non-fiction through Medium (my first profit writing fiction was The Toymaker’s Doll), and although it hasn’t been much, it’s been something. I also saw my website views consistently climb into the thousands over the past six months, which is not something I thought would ever happen.
And I have gotten better overall with consistency. There have been months that I’ve struggled and fallen short, but there have also been months where I’ve written a Medium article every day, worked on Cabin Girl several times a week, and blogged 4-6 times a month.
This year, my main goal when it comes to writing is to figure out a more manageable balance between both fiction and non-fiction. I need to do more fiction writing again, for all the reasons I mentioned earlier, but I also want to stay consistent with my non-fiction.
So stay tuned this year as my soon-to-be-husband and I hopefully figure out a better schedule for me when it comes to writing. I’ve been praying about it, and am really trying to keep my heart and mind focused on what God would have me do through my writing. If I’m not doing what He wants, I can work and work and still accomplish nothing valuable. I’m looking forward to seeing where He guides me in 2023!
And regardless of what I’d have liked to accomplish last year, I still managed quite a bit of writing, and am super grateful for all the chances I had to share my thoughts and heart on the page/screen. Thanks for being part of my story!
If you’re a writer, I’d love to hear about YOUR writing! What have you been working on, and have you learned anything new in the process? Please let me know in the comments!