Monday, January 02, 2023

The 2022 Wrap Up: What Are Your Goals for 2023?

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

It’s a new year, and time to take a look back on what we accomplished, and set new goals for 2023.

Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are starting off 2023 with new vigor and purpose.

As for me, well, I feel kinda bad for 2023. I have such expectations for it. It’s unfair of me to put so much pressure on it to be a better year than 2022 (or let’s be honest here—better than the past five years), but I’m doing it anyway. I’m ready for more positivity and optimism in my life, and I’m hoping this new year will arrive with some.

I didn’t do a wrap up or goal list last year, so I went back to 2021 to see what my goals and accomplishments were. It was interesting to see where I was as 2020 rolled into 2021. It started off well until July, when life imploded health-wise for me and my husband.
What’s interesting, is that the questions I asked myself two years ago were the same ones I debated throughout 2022:
  • What do I want from my writing career?
  • What goals will help me achieve that?
  • Are my current goals worth the time they’ll take to accomplish?
  • Where is my time and energy really going?
  • Where is my time and energy best spent?
I’ve thought about these things a lot since January 1, 2021, and ultimately, I decided to turn fiction into a “professional hobby” for a while and focus on nonfiction for 2023 (if not longer). I’m just spread too thin with all my projects, and while I love fiction, the nonfiction is a stronger career path for me right now.

I’m not abandoning fiction, however. One of my crit groups meets weekly, so I write two chapters a week, which is enough to get one or two novels done a year. I’m also co-writing a RomCom project with a friend just for fun. We write when we can, and if it takes us years to finish this, so be it.

So I’ll spend a few hours in the morning writing fiction, and the bulk of my day working on nonfiction and the website. I’ve been doing that the past several months, and it’s been a productive balance.

Here’s what I hope to accomplish in 2023:

  • Write and publish the new nonfiction writing guides (all 10 would be ideal, but I’ll take what I can get done)
  • Launch the new websites
  • Do the final polish on my middle grade fantasy and submit to agents
  • Indie pub the MG if the traditional route doesn’t work out
  • Finish the science fiction detective rewrite
  • Start a new novel
  • Clean up my mailing list and do a re-engagement campaign
  • Grow my list by 25%
  • Continue with my marketing and business efforts to grow book sales by 50%
It’s a lot, but I think it’s do-able. The big unknown is how many writing guides I can do.

Let’s look back at my 2021 goals and see how I did:

Revise the final draft of the science fiction novel: Still working on it. I’m halfway through this now and delighted with how it’s going. I’ll have this done this year for sure, as this is the book currently going through my crit groups.

Write the first draft of book two of science fiction novel (pie in the sky goal, but it would be nice to do this by end of the year): Nope. This won’t happen this year, either, but it might be the new novel I start in the second half of the year.

Write the first draft of a new middle grade novel with crit group one (we do a chapter a week, so this is doable): Nope. But I did re-write my MG fantasy (again) and I’ll start submitting it to agents in 2023.

Write a first draft of my urban fantasy series with crit group two (if we manage to get together. If not, this won't happen): Nope. I decided to streamline my life and stop trying to write/revise two books at once, so both my crit groups are reading the same novel. One is reading ahead of the other, which has been very effective and efficient. But this could also be the new novel for 2023. I have three series now, so really, any one of them could be my next novel.

Begin writing my new writing book series (if I get one or two done, great. If not, I’ll at least make steps toward that): I made solid progress here. I outlined the entire series and got chunks of several of the books written.

Continue working through business development plan (far too many things here to list): Yes. I did more work here since this took less brain function than drafting a new book did. I have my 5-year plan outlined and I’m happy with the direction.

Considering how little got done between pandemic and the cancer and health issues, I’m fairly pleased with what I did accomplish. The hard part moving forward is not going right back to trying to “do it all” and burning myself out again. But I’m doing so much better there now, so I’m optimistic on that front.

So what about you? How did your 2022 go, and what are your goals and plans for 2023?

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