Insecure Writer's Support Group

Done and Dusted. An Author’s Year in Review 2023 #authorpreneur #IWSG #writerslife

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for another posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Learn more here.

This was quite a year. And I’m looking forward to resting in December.

I shared some of my lessons learned in my IWSG posts throughout the year:

I found a new podcast to listen to that spoke to me:

Quitcast for Writers with Becca Syme

I still listen to:

In April, Twitter just stopped working for me. I used Tweetdeck to schedule my posts in advance, my blog posts were set to share automatically, and so, too, my podcast. But I realised in April that my posts weren’t being published. At the same time, this silly dog image took the place of the bird on Twitter. And I couldn’t open Tweetdeck anymore. I joined some chats on Twitter about this, and it turns out some APIs weren’t being used/maintained which is why stuff didn’t work anymore. And the dog was some war the rich were having in their own little playground about bitcoin or something… So I’m out. Some things might still pop up on my account because I’m not disabling anything that has already been set up, but I’m not actively using it anymore. And I heard on the CreativePenn podcast that it isn’t even called Twitter anymore, but X…

This nicely ties into quitting things that were sucking my time and energy pennies. (You can learn about quitting things that don’t work for you and about energy pennies on Becca’s podcast and in her books.)

don't follow us on twitter miladyronel

In July, I learned that the IWSG Book Club was being ended. Though I had pulled back a bit after creating all the images for the year, I still tried to take part in the chats. But I do agree that it was time for it to end. With practically no-one reading the selected books, taking part in the challenges or even being active on discussion/poll days, it was a lot of effort for very little reward. Which also neatly ties into quitting things that drain energy pennies. You can read more about it here.

As for my book reviews, you can check out my April posts (link in A-Z section below) or in a post later this month — or just head over to Goodreads or BookBub!

I took part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge this year (again) but did it double. Yes, two posts for every letter. You can check out my Reflections post here (it also has all of the links to my posts). Suffice to say, I think it was a success.

During April, I got stuck with some of my folklore research, wishing for an assistant. And then I listened to an episode from the Creative Penn podcast about using AI (artificial intelligence) in this capacity and gave it a try. Now I use ChatGPT to help me with some of my research issues, cutting down on the time I manually Google stuff, making it easier to compile a folklore post. All writing is my own, of course. I’ve named my AI assistant “Root” after a character in Person of Interest that has an ASI as a main character.

Here are some episodes about using AI from the Creative Penn podcast:

Artificial Intelligence. Image credit.

If you want to take a look at my year in pictures, you can always head over to my Instagram account, but here’s a collage with the highlights.

photos of: galahad the peacock; ruby, stiles, meredith, caitlin and niklaus the rottweilers; libi and calto the friesian horses; covers of new non fiction prompt books by ronel

Looking at my goals back in January, I think I did okay despite burnout.

The big thing, I think, was getting two pennames up and running. Which is turning out to be quite successful — even if I don’t follow myself on social media, add my books to Goodreads, or mention them to anyone I know online 🙂

And being kind to myself, allowing myself to get things done at a pace that didn’t debilitate me, was the best thing I could do for myself.

Some of my books are now audiobooks! You can check out all of my audiobooks here.

Most of my books are digitally narrated (so through an AI) and it is marked on the cover as such.

Digitally Narrated through Apple Books:

All-on-all, I’d say this was a successful year. It wasn’t easy. There were times I wanted to hide from everything (being neurodivergent, this was in the form of curling up in a corner with a book and my dogs around me, blocking out the world). There was even a point — around July or so — that I thought being a chef would be easier than having to create stuff from nothing. But you know what? Writing is in my blood. And writing isn’t easy.

What goals did you achieve this year? What did you accomplish — especially writing-wise? Any setbacks or celebrations you’d like to share?

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7 thoughts on “Done and Dusted. An Author’s Year in Review 2023 #authorpreneur #IWSG #writerslife”

  1. I need to listen to Joanna Penn’s podcast. Sorry that Twitter isn’t working for you. I don’t use it much but am still there.

    And good for you to try to figure out a pace that’s not too busy for you. I hope you get some rest in December.

  2. Sounds like a great year 🙂 I agree that finding our own pace and not forcing ourselves to go at a speed that doesn’t suit us is really helpful 🙂

  3. I’ve been shrinking my presence on social media this year. I find it so frustrating with more bots than humans.
    Becca Syme is brilliant! I love her advice and her approach to life and to writing. She’s helped me settle into “me” and realize what works for me might be complete wacky to others, but that’s okay 🙂

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog last month. Sorry for not making the rounds then.
    Thanks for all the podcast recommendations.
    Sorry to hear that Twitter stopped working for you. I had to leave the platform for my sanity.
    Thanks for sticking with the book club for as long as you did. It was fun for a while.
    Thanks for the tips and links about using AI.
    Congrats on the pen names and audiobooks.

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