December 2022 Writing Update: Small Victories, Goals, and Looking To 2023

Welcome to the final Writing Update of 2022! Today’s post will not only give a recap of my progress since my last update, but take a look back at the year as a whole.

Let’s start with 2022 in review. Looking back at my writing goals, made at the start of this year, I ended up meeting half of them. While some might think that’s unfortunate, I see it as a success. Especially since I jumped back into graduate school in the middle of the year.

Large mug of hot apple cide on a coffee shop table next to the corner of a decorative laptop case

Out of my 2022, I accomplished my top priority: I pitched The Queen of Whitman Court. Multiple times. While I got a lot of rejections, it is still progress to be able to say I’m actively working towards getting a novel published.

I also kept up with a twice-a-month blog, another big accomplishment. Keeping up consistency, even as I started up graduate school again, feels awesome. I hope to keep up the same momentum and schedule in 2023. More on that in a bit.

I also set a tentative goal for 2022 that I ended up achieving: working on a new series, a revised version of The Myth-Keepers. That ended up happening, and will be the focus of my current progress update momentarily.

Out of the goals I didn’t meet, both were related to the Whitman Court series. Originally, I hoped to edit the second book of the series and write a new one. Honestly, I’m not too torn up about not getting to either of these. I needed the extra time to polishing The Queen of Whitman Court. Plus, my rediscovered enthusiasm for The Myth-Keepers is a big win, as I’ve struggled to find my footing with the series for many, many years.

What a great segue to talk about The Myth-Keepers! Though I wanted to finish a full draft of Book 1 by the end of this year, I don’t see that happening with holiday festivities cramming my schedule. On trend with the past couple of writing updates, my rhythm for the book is still stop and start, though I do now have a path forward that I think should work.

To help with brainstorming the project and give me time to tweak the outline without dropping momentum in drafting, I ended up starting a side story for the series: A Merry Myth-Keepers Christmas. Essentially, it was meant to be a stress-relief and character development exercise, letting me write a pressure-free tale about the main characters from Book 1 and their first Christmas as a found family / friend group. I only meant for it to be a short story, but it turned into a 12,000 word novella, which I will probably revise and release publically someday. (It has mild spoilers for Book 1, so don’t expect to see it anytime soon, but it is a fun story.) It was a useful experiment for me to learn how to write my characters well and establish motivations, hopes, fears, all that fun stuff. Though I’ve known these characters for a long time, as they came into existence over a decade ago, they’ve grown as I have and changed as their story has evolved. Writing my Christmas novella gave me insight on how to write the characters for Book 1 and work through plot issues I ran into.

Myth-Keepers Mood Board, which includes character and location sketches from over the years.
Myth-Keepers Mood Board, including character and location sketches.

So, now that that’s done and I have a revamped outline I feel decently confident about, my plans for the rest of December involve taking advantage of the break from academics to get in some intense writing work. At least…for a week. I’m aiming to get 4 to 8 hours of fiction writing work in a day, though 8 might be too ambitious for certain days, as I still have freelance job commitments, holiday events, and a few tasks I actually have time to knock out now that school is over. Regardless of how many hours a day I actually put in, the bottom line is this: I intend to be disciplined with my time and get back in the swing of writing Book 1. I’d love to get the draft finished in early January before the spring semester begins, but we’ll see.

Speaking of January and the New Year, I am fairly flexible with my 2023 goals. The Myth-Keepers is my primary focus, and finishing a full rough draft of this first book is my top priority. I’d love to get a round or two of edits in on the book as well. I also intend to keep pitching The Queen of Whitman Court and maybe go to a writer’s conference over the summer. And, as I mentioned earlier, keep up with twice-a-month blog posts. 2023’s blog schedule is filling up, as I have some ideas for fresh content focused on talking more about my favorite stories and recommending them. I’m going to experiment a little more with my blog content next year and looking forward trying something new. Also, 2023 marks my 5 year anniversary of this blog, which is pretty cool.

Whatever I’m working on with my fiction writing in 2023, my biggest goal is to keep up a consistent writing practice. Even if I only make small amounts of progress over the year, that’s still a victory for me. While I’m anxious to get published and really launch an author career, I’m trying to be more patient. I know God is in control of my life and there are far more important things than reaching my goals on my timeline. I will prayerfully and faithfully persist in my writing and trust the Lord’s timing.

While this is the last writing update of 2022, it will not be the last post of the year! Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Reading Recap in a couple of weeks. Until then, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!