On 2023

This is going to be a post about musing on some boundaries I’m setting in 2023 because I’m tired and creatively spent.

2022 feels like the year of A Lot. Changes in publishing as an industry, stability in terms of my living situation, some truly terrible health scares within my immediate circle of friends, and reading. So much reading. A quantifiable but still ludicrous amount of reading. And writing! I finished an entire revision, and finally figured out the direction I want my art to go in.

The problem that’s emerged: I cannot produce art at the level that I want it to be while balancing the amount of reading I’ve been doing.

It seems like 2022 is also the year more and more people have been talking about burnout, both creative and professional, in ways and volumes I simply haven’t seen before. My focus here will be within the realm of publishing (for the first time in my life, my day job and studies are not the problem). So much of this industry is predicated on the reciprocity of free work, with some people eventually making money. Part of that free work is blogging, which, honestly, I have no intention of getting paid to do. While it’s fun, it is costing me in other ways, giving me that Bilbo butter on toast feeling without a break in sight.

In order to find more creative fulfillment for myself, I’m going to be pulling back hard on keeping up with reads from the current year. I know the market and landscape, probably better than a lot of peers. That knowledge is not serving me, and I’m not sure it ever has. I enjoy reading. I enjoy hyping up my friends. But it’s a very different type of reading than what I need to develop as a writer.

To be clear, dear reader who might also be a writer I consider a friend, so many of you write cool shit. Works that are creative and that push boundaries on what’s existed in publishing. But it’s not all for me in terms of creativity, and that’s okay. Works can be cool and delightful without necessarily filling the well. I’ve been learning that the hard way. And my well is dry.

I started this blog to yell about the books I like and want to share (hence the complete absence of reads that are three stars or less). I made it as a place to curate my tastes and what I like. But in the last two years, it’s turned into a Katamari Damarcy ball of staying on the bleeding edge of things coming out. The works on the horizon aren’t necessarily in line with the works I see coming out from me. It’s exhausting, and it’s a problem entirely of my own making.

So, next year, I’m putting some hard limits on what I’m reading, but, more relevantly, on the blog interviews. I’ve done 47 in two years. For people bad at math, that’s approximately one every two weeks. It’s a lot! And it’s proven too much for me. In 2023, my goal is to only do twelve. I do not have all those slots filled, so if we’ve been in communication already–you’re all set.

Because English doesn’t have enough terms, there’s nothing better I can say than I’m sorry for biting off way more than I can chew. This is a move in shifting my creative consumptions, exposure, and production to a way that helps me grow and rest.

Thank you for understanding.

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6 thoughts on “On 2023

  1. I completely understand how you feel. I found myself having problems keeping up with posting blogs. I work three jobs (one full-time and two part-time) on top of writing my first novel. It’s hard to figure out the time to also write blog posts. Thank you for sharing this. I know it’s not easy.

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  2. Pingback: December 2022 Reading Recap | Jo Writes Fantasy

  3. Pingback: My 2022 in Reading: Jo Needs a Nap | Jo Writes Fantasy

  4. Pingback: 2023 Bookish Hype Train | Jo Writes Fantasy

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