Every year, I like to take a moment to look back at what I’ve done. Last year, I looked back and saw over half a million words; I looked forward, and saw a frightening spectre of burnout looming. At the time, I said this:
…it’s time for me to recognize that parts break from overuse. Another year like this will grind things out of me that I can’t get back. I love my work too much to let it digest me. For the first time, I’m setting a goal to write less next year than I did this year.
I met that goal, but before I get into wordcount and publications, I want to remember the more important things. This year, I tried to take every eighth week completely away from work. I only succeeded a handful of times, but every time, I felt something inside myself change; this year, I’m going to try to do a better job of taking that time away. I also committed to a few things this year to care for my body. I started stretching and going for walks most mornings; I figured out how to snack on vegetables; I cut my drinking in half. My body hasn’t thanked me, per se, but I can feel that our relationship is improving, and that’s worth it to me. I spent time with friends, deliberate time, and it made me less afraid of reaching out to people I care about; I’m going to try to keep growing that courage in the year to come. I used an intense form of trauma therapy to shift my approach to relationships into a healthier mode. I deepened a local friendship, threw a surprise party, and learned to bake cakes.
In all, I wrote 229,350 words in 2022. That includes two drafts of a novel, 17 comic book scripts, two short stories, three essays, three TTRPG contributions, and four pitches. That wordcount doesn’t include the work I did on Stone Soup, which ran a total of 95 features this year, including the weekly digest, interviews, guest features, and Supper Club recipes.
I started working with my comics co-creator, Liana Kangas. I was nominated for some awards; Se Buscan Mujeres Sensatas won the Ignotus, an incredible honor. I published a novel, two short stories, two comic series, and three essays. The novel was named one of the best horror novels of the year by Book Riot, Paste Magazine, Cosmopolitan, CrimeReads, and NPR. I was named one of the five best comic writers of the year by Comic Con.
If you want to read any of the things I published this year, you can:
- Just Like Home, a novel about origins and hauntings
- The Daily Commute, a short story about bees and anxiety
- When the Tide Rises, a short story about disability in an underwater company town
- The Vampire Slayer, my reboot of the Buffy comics in a universe where Willow has accidentally stolen Buffy’s Slayer powers
- Know Your Station, an original comic series in collaboration with Liana Kangas about the ultra-rich being murdered in space
- On Loving Monsters, an essay about what it means to love and be loved by monsters
- An Invitation to the Weary, a love letter to short stories
- I Don’t Know What A Sympathetic Character Is Anymore, a cranky little diatribe
In 2023, I’m looking forward to continuing on a trajectory of rest. I’m going to walk more, cook more, eat more vegetables. I’m also looking forward to the Personal Canons Cookbook, which is already shaping up to be something truly special. If you’re not already subscribed to this newsletter, I hope you’ll consider it! If you sign up for a free subscription to Stone Soup, you’ll get:
- The Personal Canons Cookbook, a series celebrating the recipes that make us who we are
- A weekly round-up of my favorite things from around the internet
- My favorite books of each month
- Occasional guest features
- Career updates and announcements
If you sign up for a paid subscription, you’ll get all that, plus:
- Early access to Personal Canons Cookbook recipes, including my notes on trying them for the first time and suggestions for dietary-restriction friendly substitutions and modifications
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- Monthly writing/coworking dates, during which time we’ll spend a couple of hours creating things in tandem
- Access to a lush backlog of paid content, including recipes, book recommendations, playlists, and exclusive original fiction.
Right now, I’m running a year-end special! You can get a paid subscription at a 20% discount. This sale will run through the first week of the year.
Thank you for joining me in 2022. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.