It’s the end of another 12 months, and what a year it’s been! 2022 has had its high points, but also its lows. Professionally it’s been grand, putting out my first self-published translation, and getting shortlisted for the Kindle Storyteller Awards. Personally, it’s been a rollercoaster, losing my dad and being ill and in hospital twice. I’m hoping for a smoother personal year in 2023! With that as the background, did I achieve everything I set out to do? Read on to find out…
1. Writing & Publishing
Original goal: Write and publish three lesbian romance novels: my Christmas romp, London Romance Book 9 and an untitled romance.
What I achieved: My Christmas romp turned into The Christmas Catch – and what a romp it is! I knew the mystery book would be set at the vineyard I visited in November. It turned into It Started With A Kiss, which was shortlisted for the Kindle Storyteller Award 2022 and sold a lot of copies. I didn’t manage to write London Romance book 9 – I started it, but then I stopped. It’s being shifted to 2023’s roster. I also wrote a different book I hadn’t intended, my football book, which is currently at 90k. So while I didn’t publish three, I wrote three. I’m calling this category a win!
Original Goal: Publish three new translations: two Portuguese, one German.
What I achieved: I had one new German book, Weil Es Immer Loch Liebe Ist, and one in Portuguese, De Volta Para Voce, published via my German and Brazilian publishers. I also went into unchartered territories, hired a translator and self-published my first book in Italian, Prima Di Dire, Si Lo Voglio. It was scary and exciting in equal measure, and I’m glad I did it. Expect more translations incoming for 2023. Win.
3. Podcasting & Audio
What I achieved: I kept up the podcast, and we’re still going strong into 2023. I also published audiobooks of Change Of Heart and It Started With A Kiss with brand-new narrators, who both did great work. London Romance Book 9 is yet to be written so it didn’t get published. However, I put out Christmas In Mistletoe as an audiobook, so I did get three over the line! Win. Going well so far, isn’t it?
4: Health & Wellbeing
Original Goal: Do regular yoga. Keep up my personal training and start running again. Stop doom-scrolling. Take planned breaks and holidays.
What I acheived: This category is not where I did my best work! My yoga fell off a cliff with all my health issues, as did my personal training and running goals. I’ve put on weight this year which is an inevitable consequence of my health issues. That’s the way it is sometimes. I plan to get back on track next year. I’m also still doom-scrolling. There’s a whole lot of doom in the world. However, I managed to slot in a number of trips: Jamaica, Paris, Dublin, and Portugal twice. I also did a writing retreat in Whitstable and one in a caravan one, so that’s great. I’m off to Whitstable again in Jan. But overall, could do better.
Original Goal: Crack advertising. Do some price promotions on other sites. Get to some author events in real life. Do my Clifton Strengths.
What I achieved: Eeek, this was not a win either. I’ve put advertising in my goals for the past four or five years. This year, I’m officially parking it. Who knows, without pressure, maybe I’ll finally give it a go! Price promotions didn’t happen because of my background life issues. Same thing for in-person author events. However, I did do my Clifton Strengths and had them analysed by a certified coach, which made me understand myself more. So a win to finish this category!
Original Goal: Master cinnamon rolls & make honeycomb. Read 50 books. Do more weekend walking trips. Invest money in the stock market.
What I achieved: Baking has not taken top priority this year. But there’s always 2023! However, my reading has gone through the roof, which I’m so pleased with. I’ve read 44 books so far, with still a couple of weeks to go. Not quite 50, but a good effort. I’ll do the reading challenge again next year as I’ve loved reading more. I’m a happier, more content Clare when I read. Walking didn’t happen as much as I’d like, but I did invest some money. A mixed bag, but I’m thrilled with the books I’ve read.
With everything that happened this year, I’m really proud of everything I achieved. Financially, I’ve had my best year yet despite only publishing two English language books. This shows the power of my back catalogue working well, and also that publishing is a long game! On top of that, I kept up my newsletter and podcast every two weeks, and I published ebooks, print books, audiobooks and translations consistently. Win! Big achievements were publishing my first translation via my company, Custard Books; being shortlisted for the Kindle Storyteller Award 2022; and finally, getting more translation contracts signed. I’m looking forward to what me and my company, Custard Books, can achieve in 2023. Bring it on!