Looking to Write More in 2023: My Why

2022 is almost over.

I am a bit more than grateful to see this year end. A few unexpected health challenges in the form of an ovarian cyst that burst in the spring and dealing with carpal tunnel this late summer/early fall plus losing our 2-year-old dog, Radar, presented some major disappointments. 2022 has not felt like a year full of hope and joy, so I’ve been working on turning around my attitude in the face of adversity. Writing helps me refocus my energy and I love reflecting on my journey of personal growth.

Here are some things about 2022 that remind me this year wasn’t all bad:

  1. We made two extra partial payments on our mortgage.
  2. We set aside enough money for a mini vacation. (More to follow in January.)
  3. We’ve regularly set aside money towards a 2023 fall vacation to see friends living out-of-state.
  4. I found no cost writing inspirational materials courtesy of a local public library:
    • Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay by Adair Lara
    • The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English by Lynne Murphy
    • Steering the Craft: The Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin
  5. Many of the new recipes I’ve tested are quickly becoming family family dishes.
  6. My friendships at work at thriving as are my friendships outside of work, making Arizona feel more like a place where I belong.
  7. My family and I are trying to be better about staying in touch. (We do just fine on social media, but we’re more of an in-person bunch and everyone avoids picking up the phone.)
  8. I found new vegan cheese options I like:

My journey with carpal tunnel syndrome is not over, but I am finding the condition easier to manage. On days where it hurts a bit to type, I throw on my arm brace for a good hour or more. It’s not like I am backpedaling and needing to wear it everyday and I take that progress as a good sign. My weightlifting journey will take a bit more work to get back up to my former strength level and I’ve accepted that situation is something I cannot change.

As I mentioned earlier, writing is that tool in my tool box that helps me reflect on where I am today, my future path, and the spaces I’ve occupied in the past. I seriously considered getting a dictation technology to help me move forward with my writing due to dealing with carpal tunnel, but right now, it’s looking like I may not need that option just yet. For work, I get by using an ergonomic keyboard. At home, I try to be mindful about using my phone to draft small notes for my writing projects. When typing on my phone for more than ten minutes or spending more time typing on my laptop, I usually wear my arm brace. The end goal being yours truly is going to keep up writing, both because my work life requires it and my personal life is fulfilled by this activity.

Now I have pretty sloppy handwriting, but I had to scribble this little sentiment as I listened to Find Your Unicorn Space by Eve Rodsky on Audible. (No ad talk here. It was a purchase made from our own wallets.) I love that this piece of knowledge that was shared doesn’t quantify success as a writer. It’s not about the size of the audience. It is not about the amount of money one earns by selling their writing. It is not about being a professional or amateur writer or a student in the classroom. One can be a writer without worrying about how the world perceives it. The notion of enjoying the journey and less the accomplishment (i.e. the published book or articles) is something I’ve needed to work on appreciating more. The times I’ve wanted to focus heavily on completing the memoir in X timeframe, my writing suffers. When I take my time to think of what I want to say, reinforced by ideas springing up from reads like those mentioned above, my writing better expresses who I am.

I want to roll into 2023 feeling more like me. Right now, I occasionally make time to write once a month here on the blog. I won’t call it a resolution, but I think it would be nice to get back to writing more. I don’t promise two or more posts a month, but I plan to write here and there what speaks to me. Since this passion project is an unpaid endeavor, maybe that will mean a good post is 300 words and another month what I wish to share, equally good in a different way, will be 800 words or more. I realize I’ve been too harsh on my writing practice. The freedom I have by writing what I want versus others who are paid to write to hawk a product or service is a freedom I haven’t explored as much as I should. This active pursuit of public writing started back in August 2014, so I guess the best thing to say is I’ll see you again in 2023. I love writing for the sheer love of personal expression and that’s my why to keep up this habit.

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