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My Two Cents on 2023

Hello there my lovelies! It's Sunday, and New Year’s Eve so I thought it only fitting to give you My Two Cents on 2023.

2023 has been filled with many ups and downs. Goals have been met, surpassed, and I've fallen short, but today I celebrate the wins…


Today I’m giving you a recap on how I did with my 2023 goals, and maybe (if it doesn't get to wordy) looking forward to the year ahead.


A look back at 2023


Growth

This year I've grown exponentially as a writer!

I continued to work on my skills by entering writing competitions, writing, editing and keeping up with this blog. I've also produced a series, and a novella, which have taught me SO much about self-publishing, but more on that later.


I've also grown a person, my kids are growing up—one left for college, one is a junior in high school (and planning what her future will look like), and my youngest started Kindergarten. I got another promotion at my real job, this time to management and that has taught me more about myself than I could've ever imagined. Our family has learned to adapt to my husband’s frequent travel schedule, and while I miss him like mad, I'm proud of how we have both grown this year. We have been together since we were barely adults, so being apart this much has really forced us both to take stock on how much we've always relied on each other.


Ultimately, real life has been an exciting challenge (to put a positive spin on it), which has made it a hard year for juggling my writing goals. But part of my growth this year has been my ability to give myself the grace to let things go. I’ve learned its okay not to hold myself to my deadlines, and even though it still isn't easy to let things go, I beat myself up far less about it in 2023.


New Friends

I've made so many new writing friends in 2023!

This year I was recognized in two of my writing friends Acknowledgents in their self-published, debut novels! The recognition isn't the important part, but it just proves the point I'm constantly trying to drive home, which is you cannot do this writing thing without a tribe! So if you're a new writer, reach out, find your people, and if you want me to be one of them, let me know! I have learned a lot from my friends! They gave me the courage to self-publish and without them, I would have made WAY more mistakes.


(P.S. If you haven't read Play Your Part by Kathryn Kincaid or Head Over Feels by Rebecca Chase go check them out! They're both sports romance by a couple of AMAZING indie authors who need your support-the links to their books are above)


I also had a friend who was signed by an agent this year (I like to think in some small part because of my help and commiseration). I got a cool gift from my author idol for my 40th, coupled with an amazing editor I’ve clung to like a bad rash (😉 to you Simply Spellbound Edits), and I grew my social media audience/friends like never before! Basically, 2023 has been a good year in the friends department!


My Two Cents (my blog) Achievements:

Because of all my new friends, I was able to far surpass my goal of having 5 guest bloggers in 2023! I started welcoming guests in January, my first guest was in February, and I managed to get 11 guest blog posts, by 7 different guest bloggers (some of our favorites posted a couple of times). We had articles/stories by award winning authors, indie-authors, professional editors, and writers just starting in their career/dabbling in writing for fun. If you haven't had a chance to check them out, here is a link to all my guest blogs for 2023.


I also had a goal to post one blog a week, (52 blog posts total) this year, and I fell a little short with only 43 (44 including this one). Considering how much happened in my personal life, I count that number as a HUGE win, and I don't feel a bit ashamed about it.


It was a great year, and I know next year is going to keep being great for My Two Cents!


Subscriber/Newsletter Achievements:

I set a goal of having 150 subscribers this year, and toward that end, I started a newsletter in 2023. The year started strong! Starting in February, I put out a newsletter for every month, but when things got hectic in my personal life, it was one of the things I had to let go. Ultimately, I only missed October and November, so I think that I didn't a pretty good job! If you haven't gotten them all, be sure to catch up on the year here.


As for subscribers, I didn't quite reach my goal of 150. I fell just barely short but I think it mostly because that was one of the things I let fall off my radar. I started the year actively trying to gain them, but I let it go pretty early. Ultimately, I had a smaller but loyal group of subscribers, and I feel good about the number of followers I got this year. If you want to subscribe, click this link, I'm going to give away one more free book bundle for 2023, so you still have time!


2023 Writing/Editing Achievements:

In 2023 my goal was to “write as much as possible.” This very loose goal made it easy for me to surpass it! This year I turned one of my short stories into a Kindle Vella (which I hoped to finish, but I haven't quite gotten there). I also wanted to write at least 3 short stories, which I did, and one I loved so much I expanded it to a novella! I didn't really have at word/story goals beyond that, but I would say, ultimately, my achievements this year were far more than I could've hoped for. Which leads me into my next topic…


2023 Publishing Achievements:

This year took a sharp turn in my publishing goals. I started the year with the goal of publishing one of my books, as well as getting picked up by an agent/publisher. I tried querying, and ultimately got a ton of nibbles, but no bites. They basically confirmed my worst fear, which was that the publishing world is far to crowded with romance, and in order to get picked up, one’s book has to have an extremely hooky-hook, OR it has to find the right publisher/agent at just the right time. My romance series is neither of these, so after much contemplating, I finally decided to take the plunge and change my goal to self-publishing.


I didn't quite get my romance series there in 2023, but I did however publish a Kindle Vella story Someones Always Watching. It's a departure from my normal writing and is a Thriller/mystery about a woman who wakes up from an ordeal meant to kill her, and finds her husband and son missing. In the aftermath, a strange man shows up to “help” her, and she must unravel what happened, and who the hell he is, all while battling the repercussions of her injuries. 33 episodes are currently available on Kindle Vella, and even though I haven't quite finished (like I'd hoped), I'm trying to finish it, and get those episodes up soon.

I also published a novella Irish Whiskey in 2023! It's a romance, about a small-town bar owner with a complicated relationship history, and a newly settled Irish immigrant with a checkered past. It's short, and the romance is coupled with a lot of intrigue, but I've been told that it's one of my spicier books! If you haven't had a chance, go check it out for free on Kindle Unlimited! It will be on sale for $0.99 for the first week in January, and for a limited time, the paperback it also on sale! Plus, tomorrow, I have surprise for Irish Whiskey lovers, because I'm releasing the discreet cover to start the new year off right!

The steady stream of royalties from these two sources have also helped me head toward my other goal of 2023 which was publishing me romance series The Nashville Singles Series. Book 1—The Cupcake Cowboy is back from the editor and is scheduled to go my proofreader in January.

There is a release date reveal on the horizon, and it is in the works! I can't say more right now, but it's on the way!


Other Achievements in 2023:

I think I've bragged long enough, so I won't keep going, but ultimately, I'm proud of my accomplishments in 2023. I was planning on looking forward to 2024 in this post too, but because I've gone on so long, I am going to turn that into my first post of 2024!


So, I think that’s about it folks! Long story short, 2023 has been an exhausting, exciting, and ultimately wonderful year. I can’t wait to see what 2024 brings for me as a writer, a woman, a mother and human in this crazy world. 


Happy New Year friends! 



XOXO

-Rose Rayne Rivers


Comment below and tell me how you did on your 2023 goals? And what are your goals for 2024?

Also, let me know if you have any topics you want me to cover in the upcoming weeks!




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