Did you set any New Year’s resolutions for 2023? If you did, how are you getting on?
I really enjoy setting my resolutions for the year ahead. They might not be set in stone, and I might not be successful in keeping them, but there’s something quite cathartic and exciting about the process. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking goals off a list when you achieve them!
My general resolutions are the standard ones: get fit, eat healthily, travel, remember to take my vitamins etc. But I’ve also set some specific writing resolutions too. This year is different for me because I currently have no firm book deadlines or publication days (at the moment, anyway!) It was the opposite of last year when my diary was jam-packed with various editorial deadlines, publicity events and not one but TWO book publication days for Stone Broke Heiress and Stuck With Him. So, here are my writing resolutions for 2023…
I’ve now set an approximate date with my agent, which feels realistic and doable. I’m roughly halfway through my manuscript, and I’m feeling good about it now after a little wobble thanks to the dreaded imposter syndrome (I had lots of messages about that after this Instagram post – amazing to hear how many of us struggle with it!)
This is a common struggle for any author, especially as many of us also juggle day jobs (not to mention family commitments, social lives, domestic duties, leisure time – the list goes on!) So I’m trying out a new tactic this year. I’ve set aside designated days to write, but with no goal to hit during this time. I hope this will take off the pressure I sometimes put on myself to reach set word counts by certain dates.
I don’t know about you, but I always find my writing is better when I’m reading regularly. I tend to average 30-40 books per year (thanks to Goodreads tracking, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue!), but I want to try and get into the habit of reading every night before bed. It’s such a lovely way to switch off and unwind (unless you’re reading a tense thriller, of course…)
Last year, my friend Steph Sowden and I booked a few nights at Gladstone’s Library to get some headspace and focus on our manuscripts. We had an amazing time, and I think the change of scenery did wonders for my productivity. I’m definitely going to book another trip again this year. Gladstone’s Library is such a special place – you can watch the video diary of our writing retreat on my TikTok and Instagram.
One of the best aspects of being published last year was the writing friends I made. I feel lucky to have the most wonderful circle of author buddies. In a tough industry like publishing, having people to talk to who understand the ups and downs is golden. I love meeting fellow writers and making new author buddies.
There have been times when I’ve been so stressed about a deadline, or tearing my hair out about a tricky plot point, that I’ve resented writing. Sometimes those situations are unavoidable (like immovable deadlines, for example). However, other times I’ve discovered that I’m not enjoying it because instinctively, I know something isn’t sitting right with the plot or the story or a certain character. I always find I do my best work when I’m really enjoying it – when I believe in the story and the characters, and when I know a reader out there will love it too.