WriYe 2023: Year in Review

So here we are again.

To be honest I could copy and past a lot of last years ‘year in review’ and it would apply. I’ve got to the end of another year and I feel like I’m no further forward towards my dream.

I started the (2022 goal post) by saying that in my review of 2021 I had put “that I really didn’t want to get to the end of the year and be disappointed again – but I was.” – that is the dream and it is yet to be obtained.

2022, Year in Review

And as I said – here I am again. Another year, another disappointment.

Something else I found interesting in my review last year was this gem re: writing courses:

I felt like I had learned things. Then reality hit me in the face when I started drafting as it was like I couldn’t hold onto what I had learned. I could do it in the exercises but I couldn’t apply it when I was trying to draft my story.

2022, Year in Review

As funnily enough (it’s really not funny) I had the exact same thing happen this year when I went through writing craft books. It all makes sense! Then my writing seems to be worse than ever as I just utterly fail to apply it. I did listen to myself as in that review I said I needed to revise (as maybe then I’d learn things) and this year I did start a revision (it still needs to be completed but I started).

By the looks of things I didn’t do a goal post on this blog (I of course did one on my WriYe progress thread). I know why that was because as I noted in my ramble about ‘fresh starts’, in a post I did make in January, my depression had spiked/slumped and I was in a bad way. That continued until May really, and then I had surgery, and then a month later emergency surgery to repair a problem. I didn’t feel up to doing much of anything until September and by then I think I’d mentally given up on the year.

In desperation in October I decided to plot a new project. I covered this in my NaNo posts but TLDR what I wanted more than anything was to find my ‘writing joy’ again. Spoiler – I did not. I realised I think when I talked about it, that it wasn’t the fault of the writing project – it’s a mentality thing. I have said numerous times so I could quote lots of posts of mine, that I know things logically but subconsciously clearly don’t implement that knowledge – the old knowing something, and feeling something being two different things.

So many people have told me I need to be nicer to myself. I took HB90 and for the most part I don’t think it’s really helped, but I do find Sarra Cannon is good to listen to and I am really trying to internalise her points. I complained in my 2022 review that I don’t like who I am, and the whole point of setting goals was to be better, and so planning them based on who I am wasn’t going to get me where I wanted – but planning them based on a better version of me isn’t happening either. I don’t like to choose, I want to dive in and be productive and get everything done that I want to do – but I can’t. I don’t have the spoons. I plan to do everything but inevitably I don’t do a lot of things (and feel bad about it) and so I am ‘sacrificing’ projects all the time, just not intentionally.

I can’t find it here but I know I have posted in my WriYe thread a few times about letting go of things that ‘don’t serve me’. I said that about the fanfic. That as much as I liked it, in a lot of ways it was poison/a crutch, and I had to let it go. I have done that. I wrote one baby fanfic (about 2k I think) but otherwise stuck with having quit. I get such FOMO about the challenges on WriYe because I want to participate in the community, but for the most part they are distractions. For the regular monthly writing ones, I’m either writing or I’m not and the challenge doesn’t affect that. For the monthly themed challenges unless stars align and I’m in the right place, it is a distraction to the schedule I need to set based on my personal projects. Ever since I joined WriYe I had an ambition to one day get 100% on the challenges but I need to let that go. The community is fantastic, and I’m sure I’ll be allowed to lurk even without participating in the challenges.

Perhaps what 2023 lacked in substantive progress, it has made up for in some mental leaps. If I can move forward more realistically, and build up slowly (rather than thinking I can dive in day one and do everything), then hopefully I’ll get to a better place by the end of the year. It’s hard, it’s a constant battle. I have such intense anxiety about world events (climate, politics, AI in creative industries etc.) but there’s not much I can personally do about those things. Just being afraid all the time because of it, isn’t getting me anywhere. I can’t change all the time I have lost (like how 2023 didn’t go how I wanted). I need to focus on things I can change – like patterns of behaviour which don’t serve me. I don’t know if I will be successful in this (as I already noted in this post, knowing and feeling are different, and this is hardly new information I’m batting around).

I wanted to close this year out but to be honest I am more interested in writing about next year. What’s past is past, but the future is wide open.