This website is about offering creative writing advice. Well, mostly it is. But I’ve decided to share a summary of my creative writing year here instead. Something personal. Unfortunately, I have to say that 2023 has been a disappointingly infertile year, and I hardly worked on my novel this year.
Other parts of my life are going well. I’m renovating a house, spending lots of time taking on new tasks that I’ve never had the chance to do before. In the house, our garden, and barns (a couple of which are the size of our house). The idea of creating a home with my partner is very fulfilling.
My work as a non-creative writer has gone well, too. I’ve built new relationships, been part of some exciting projects, and earned well. I can’t complain, even though I do.
But I haven’t found the time to work on my novel. When I studied Creative Writing at University, I spent all my time writing fiction and poetry. I was obsessed.
That’s the best argument for studying something like Creative Writing – the degree permits you to spend all your time doing something that can sometimes be easy to put aside. It was a lesson to take creative writing seriously and a lesson that I am currently ignoring.
Only recently, though. My ‘serious writing’ mindset continued with strength after University. I shaped everything in my life around my writing. Work only mattered because it supported my creative writing. I lived in a country with a low cost of living to afford me more time to write.
It worked, and I had my novel published.
But I haven’t been living for my creative writing in 2023. I’ve been living for other reasons. I suppose next year will tell me what my novel and writing really mean to me. Returning to it will be more difficult if I have another year without writing.
But I think 2023 was just an exceptional year – too many hours of paid work and a lot of time spent thinking about the house. I think next year will be better.
And maybe that’s why I’m writing and sharing this here. It’s a way of owning up to what would have been totally unacceptable to my University and post-University self. It’s the first step in making damn sure that 2024 will be more creative.