2022 is over. Time to look to the future with 2023!

Every year, at this time of year, I take the time to look back over the year that has just finished and check-in on my progress towards my ultimate dreams. It's a time when I remember the little wins that I might have forgotten in the wake of the chaos of life. And just like every year, 2022 was definitely filled with chaos.

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The Yearly Wheel Keeps Turning: Bring in 2022

It's that time of year again, when I sit down and look at everything that I had set out to do for 2021 and assess what I can do to influence my successes in the coming year. More often than not, I'm reminded of something that was a massive step forward that I had completely forgotten about in the wake of all the negative.

Between COVID-Delta and the constant stream of lockdowns, the crazy of copyright laws, the push for increasing diversity, and all crazy that has ensued in my personal life, there is only one thing that I can do: focus on what I can control and breathe. (Okay, that's two things.)

And my biggest lesson in 2021 is that I need to learn how to say "No."

Today's post is long, but it is what it is.

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Advice out of the mouths of babes

Some years ago, my daughter and I were having a conversation about what it was she would like to do for the coming year. She's a dancer, and at the time, she was interested in the idea of turning her dancing into a career. She was only 13 at the time, but even then, she knew that if she wanted to go professional, she was going to have to work hard to be the best she could be—and some.

The performing arts are just as competitive as the publishing industry, if not more so.

Anyway, I had received an email from her dance school about auditions for a competition dance team. She had never been part of a competition team, but she was being invited specifically to audition. When I asked her if she was interested, she hummed and hawed for a bit, then she said something that hit a little closer to home than she realized.

"I'm never going to make it if I don't take a risk and put myself out there."

BAM! The fist hit me in the gut, and she never lifted a finger. She was talking about her own dreams and her own aspirations, yet her words carried a message that was powerful.

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The #DigitalDetox Poem

#DigitalDetox number 7 was to write a poem. I'll detail my feelings about how the week went with this challenge in another post, but for the moment, I thought I would share with you the poem that was created.

It's not a masterpiece by no stretch of the word, but it's not a disaster either. However, there was a theme to it that sort of shows where my mental mindset is at the moment.

It was written while I was driving, using the dictation app that I discovered on my phone.

Enjoy.

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The Power of a Name

Within my writing circles, discussions about pen names have come up frequently of late. I guess it's because many of my writing buddies are turning their attention to self-publishing, and many of them have one reason or another to not want to use their real name.

In fact, if I think about it—I mean really think about it—none of my writing buddies publish under their real names. For one writer, it's because she wants to separate her publishing from her real life (so her students can't find her online). Another wants to protect her children from what could become negative backlash if other parents work out the connection between the two names. For another, it's because she wants to separate her fiction from her nonfiction. And for another, it's because their day job would be at risk if their employer ever worked out the truth about the nature of their fictional writing.

Regardless of the reason, it's always interesting to see how others come to the conclusion about what name they want to publish under.

And for me… I laughed at myself when I discovered that I had made the decision about my pen name back when I was just starting high school.

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