Writing Process

2023 in writing

I’m doing so well with smashing my record for this blog — here’s the third blog post for 2023! 😉

It’s the last day of the year, and I know it’s a cliche to say this, but whew, what a year this was. From starting the year feeling sick to leaning into therapy, from getting diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition to seeing a BTS member in person at a concert, from finally attending events to getting back to writing again after years of using my creative energy to survive in the middle of this pandemonium (among other things).

Like I said, whew.

Since this blog is about my writing life, let me focus on the writing part because, yes, I did write something this year. I wrote a lot. It turned out that I just needed to be around fellow writers to get some creative energy — I attended #RomanceClass’s AprilFeelsDay, and I felt so inspired after that I immediately worked and finished a TypeKita fic (the platform is gone now, sadly, but I’ll figure out a way to post that somewhere) and re-outlined Meah’s book, which has been languishing in my hard drive for years. By the following week, I started writing, and it was like a completely new story, falling in love with it all over again.

A screenshot of a Notion page with half of a book cover on the left and a list of chapters on the right.
   I’m using Notion to write this project and one of the most exciting things is choosing an emoji for the chapter.

It was amazing. I loved it, and I missed that feeling so, so much. But I was also afraid that I’d scare that feeling away, so I was also very careful, and since I wasn’t allowed to be stressed because of my thyroid condition, I told myself that I had permission to quit at any point that I didn’t enjoy it anymore.

I think that was what made me enjoy the whole writing process more because it relieved a lot of the pressure. While I never got the feeling that I would actually quit writing it, just knowing that I could do it was helpful to my overall motivation. I think that the problem I had with writing it back then was I put so much pressure on myself to get it done, to finish and release it because it was something that people expected me to do. Which was fine because it was something I did, but I didn’t give myself room to play, so the writing sometimes felt like work, and the revising felt like pulling teeth. I forgot one of the reasons why I was doing this in the first place — I forgot to have fun.

It sounds so dramatic, but my experience in the past months of writing was the most fun I’ve had that even if I didn’t meet the deadline for finishing the second first draft of this book, I’m not as hard on myself about it. Years ago, I would’ve beaten myself up about it and been so stressed that it would paralyze my writing muscles, but now, I’m just…okay. It’s okay. Life happened, I had to write for work, and I questioned myself too much when I should’ve powered through…but it’s okay.

Sure, it would’ve been good to celebrate a finished manuscript and list it as one of the things I achieved in 2023, but it’s not there yet, and it is what it is. But you know what I could celebrate? That I still wrote something. That I had fun. That I think I found the real direction I wanted the story to take, and I love where it’s going. These are still worth celebrating.

So yeah, that’s 2023 in writing for me. Will I finish it next year? Maybe. It is one of my goals for 2024 because, yay, I have some energy for goals now! I think I will, but let’s see.

It’s the last few hours of 2023 on my side of the world, so I will go and maybe journal a bit more before we change years. If you’re reading this now, thank you for sticking around, and if you’re reading this in the future, then hi! 🙂 Happy new year, friends, and see you in 2024! 🙂

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