My Life, Read, Write

Hello 2023 – Writing Life Update and A Look at the Year Ahead

Hello and welcome back to my blog and Happy 2023.

I know, traditionally speaking, this welcome to 2023 post seems a little delayed. Usually, posts like this occur in early January and are full of optimism and a lot of goal-setting.

However, I have found that over the last year, I’ve learned a lot about myself, how I work, and what I need to do to be more in tune with my natural rhythm.

I have mentioned previously how my writing seems to appear in seasons. But I’ve now realised that my mind and body also follow seasons. Winter, for me, is a time to rest, recover, and reflect. It goes against my nature to start wanting to set goals to start January when we are in the depths of winter for another couple of months. Instead, I have slowly worked through the seasons of my life, looking at the changes I want to make, the life I want to live, and the steps I can take to get there. I’ve looked inwards and seen areas where I need to improve and be rather honest with myself about a lot of things. As such, I feel like it has been a period of transformation in the way I think and what I know I need to work on in 2023.

Now spring is around the corner, and it is like for me to start putting my action plan and steps in place, ready to start fresh along with the new blooms and greenery of the season.

I wanted to share with you what you will expect to see from me this year and what I intend to implement in my life to take me closer to my dream life.

Writing Life

This year I am hoping to get a few projects finished including two standalone short stories, 1 short story which is part of a series, a novella that sits within my Crestwood Falls world and to start the second book in that series. I am also currently working on a thriller. I am unsure how much I will get finished but these are my main writing goals for the overall year. I am very much a mood writer so having multiple projects help me to feel like I have something to work on for how I feel at that moment.

Later this year I am planning a 2 night stay at the glorious Gladstone Library to get some writing done, this will be the first time I have sent myself on a writing retreat and I honestly cannot wait.

I have also been offered a scholarship on a course which I will give more details of in my next post, but I feel like this will be life-changing for me.

Publishing Life

This year will see the release of my first-ever novel. My debut will be Crestwood Falls and is currently getting beta read ready for feedback and the next steps of editing. Ideally, I would like to release another story but at the moment I am unsure which that will be.

Speaking of Crestwood Falls, here is my wonderful cover. I shared it across social media late last year but I have not shared it here yet. It was designed by the wonderful Miblart, who I highly recommend for cover design.

Blog Life

You will continue to see book reviews as this is something I enjoy sharing, I would like to share more of what I read between the blog tour books as I tend not to share those here.

I will also be posting reviews of courses I have taken and am taking such as Publish and Thrive and HB90, both by Sarra Cannon at Heartbreathings. Reviews of Masterclass classes I have taken and will be undertaking along with my feedback and review for workshops and other sessions that I watch and take part in.

I am sharing more of my writing and ramblings, along with things I am learning to understand about mindset and writer wellbeing, especially when relating to chronic illnesses.

Health and Wellbeing

This is my trickiest, yet most important focus for 2023. It has been almost a year since my last surgery and a year since my major surgery which thankfully has been a success. My Crohn’s however, is still difficult to manage and alongside that, I have various other health issues such as chronic fatigue, deficiencies, and a lot of bone pain (yet to be diagnosed with something specific but undergoing tests). However, I am making a very conscious effort to put myself in a good place mentally, working on creating a positive mindset and outlook. I aim to exercise more, eat better and drink more water. All things which when I flare tend to get left aside.

I plan to practice slow living and working hard in my allotment, a place I can spend time, cultivate myself and the ground and grow fresh produce for us as well as to give my daughter a place to enjoy the outdoors safely.

I want to get out of the habit of allowing myself to feel guilty about taking downtime away from writing and home care to enjoy things that I miss and instill creativity within my soul such as watching tv series and films, playing games like Hogwarts Legacy (which I have been dabbling with and love), Minecraft and Sims4. I have a hard time relaxing as I always feel like I should be doing something productive but it just leaves me exhausted and then on top of my illnesses even less gets done. It is a vicious cycle I aim to break this year, even though It will not be easy.

I am looking forward to what 2023 will bring, to watch myself tick off small goals which paint part of a bigger picture. Listening more to my body and soul about what is needed and learning to ignore and dismiss the brain goblins that are always waiting to knock my confidence and tell me I am rubbish and not doing things right.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and I would love to know what your plans for the year ahead are int he comments below.

Emma-Louise x


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