Yes, it’s been a minute since I last posted a blog. So much has happened in the last couple of years, with a lot of it pointing to beginning to blog again and a more concerted effort at social media (with plenty of limitations, of course, to allow for my sanity). I look forward to connecting with you, challenging you, sharing thoughts, and enjoying the creative life together.
Members of the Guild, my beloved writer’s group, have been choosing a word for the upcoming year for roughly a decade. We met during Christmas week for a wonderful time of talking, eating, dreaming, and thinking about how we want to live our writing lives in 2023.
Each of us had thought through our words, though one hadn’t chosen yet. One changed her word as the New Year approached. But we all pondered each other’s words, listened to explanations, and agreed that we had chosen well.
My word for 2023 is actually two words: Dare Bigger.
Much happened in 2022 to make me want to dare bigger in 2023. There were several major family events including my youngest’s engagement to the lovely Olivia. I underwent a faith challenge and made some theological adjustments. I turned 60 and had a huge party in my backyard with all kinds of food, family, and friends.
2023 promises to be big as well. For one thing, Chicken Scratch: Lessons on Living Creatively from a Flock of Hens launches on May 23. I admit to being a little terrified, but also committed to daring bigger to make the launch a success.
Another “dare bigger” challenge is my Journey with a Giant, a year-long journey with a person through whom I can grow spiritually, personally, and professionally. I have chosen Eudora Welty, a novelist, essayist, playwright, photographer, and short story writer who lived and died in Jackson, Mississippi.
In one of those synchronicity things, I found three paperback editions of Welty fiction and essays, a biography, and a nonfiction book about Welty’s professional relationship with her powerful agent—all on my own bookshelves. I thought I only had her books One Writer’s Beginnings and On Writing. And then, at Goodwill, I found the audiobook of The Optimist’s Daughter, which won the Pulitzer Prize, read by Eudora herself! Now I just need to find a cassette player because it was recorded in the early 1970s.
I’m also “daring bigger” when it comes to building a book consulting business. I dream of helping those who have a book in their hearts to get that book out there. In another synchronicity event (or God’s leading), three different people I’ve worked with or who asked for advice told me that I should monetize that advice and help. So be it. I’m always urging writers to take the next right step, so I’d be wise to follow my own advice.
There are a few other things I’d like to do in 2023, including but not limited to taking up knitting again, painting a piece of furniture, writing a book proposal for the next project, doing more crafty things, and continuing an exercise routine. There will also be a bathroom redo, elder care, less television and more reading, dreaming big and working on my mental health and strength.
What are your “dare bigger” dreams for 2023? How are you challenging and encouraging yourself to accomplish that life dream, that professional milestone, that personal goal? Have you chosen a word or words for the year? Don’t feel like you have to, of course. Such things aren’t for everyone and, to be honest, I’ll probably start to ease off around mid July. But I’ll regroup and start again on my “dare bigger” year as the cool weather approaches around Labor Day.
Would love to hear about your 2023 dreams and goals, and your words for the year. IM, DM, email, FB—however you best communicate, let’s talk about books, writing, life, and what’s coming in 2023.
Check out Chicken Scratch at https://www.broadleafbooks.com/store/product/9781506484136/Chicken-Scratch.