Tuesday, December 27, 2022

I Did It! 2022 Edition

For the past nine years, I've tracked my annual accomplishments via an annual I Did It! list, originally inspired by writer Lisa Romeo. Previous posts can be found here: 2021 (Apocalypse Year 2) 2020 (Apocalypse Year 1), 2019 (including decade-in-review), 201820172016201520142013. Let's jump right into 2022's I Did Its! Shall we?

Writing I Did Its!

My first book--Uphill Both Ways: Hiking toward Happiness on the Colorado Trail--was published, hurrah hurrah!

To all those people who say that publishing a book doesn't change your life, I say pppppbbbbttttsssttt! Almost nothing could be better, except maybe holding your newborn baby in your arms--I don't know, it's been a while since I did that ;-). Anyway, Oh, happy publication day and month and year!

Book Publicity Activities in 2022:

(See all past and future events here and read/watch/listen to interviews and recorded events here.)

I also did some more revision on Book Two, which I mention having completed drafting in last year's I Did It! post, and I decided to illustrate it (I was wavering for a bit) and began work on those illustrations, basically, teaching myself how to draw in pen. I'm still a bit wishy-washy on how I feel about the results so far, but I'm making progress. I also drafted a book proposal for Book Two, which I haven't sent out, due to working on getting enough illustrations done to my satisfaction first.

I began Book Three, meaning I outlined it and began the research, which is really just a LOT of reading. I've also drafted a very sketchy intro and part of Chapter 1. It's a book I've been dreaming of putting together for nearly two decades, so I'm excited to finally be making progress. 

I started the year with a plan to focus on writing short pieces (essays, stories, etc.), since I couldn't wrap my brain around the idea of a big book project while working on promotion of Uphill Both Ways, but obviously I overcame that block and ended up working on two book projects after all. My plan was to write one short piece a week, in addition to a flash piece on this blog ("Flash Friday"). That did not exactly come to pass, but in a file labeled "2022 Short Works," there are 15 documents, 11 of them complete pieces. In addition, I wrote 5 "Flash Friday" posts, for a total of 20 partial or complete short works, or just shy of two per month (and one of those "short" works is nearly 10,000 words).

This practice probably led to an improved submission and publication rate over last year:

  • Submissions: 16 (double last year's rate)
  • Acceptances: 3
  • Rejections: 8
  • Publications: 9 (so much better!). They are:

(As always, the submission/acceptance/rejection/publication numbers don't add up due to carry over from year to year, not everything published having gone through a normal submission process, etc.)

Other Writing I Did Its!
  • 11 Newsletters (so far)
  • 44 Blog Posts (including this one)
  • I continued working as Literary Reflections editor and senior editor at Literary Mama
  • The writing group I started in 2021 (Maine Writers and Knitters) got together in person about three times and once over zoom, including one fantastic field trip to a local historic author's residence/museum
  • I applied for two grants (and was rejected for both)
  • I completed just over half of a (self-paced) book coach training program
  • I gave a presentation and taught a workshop at my grad school alma mater
  • I taught a nature writing workshop to two different groups 
Travel and Adventure I Did Its!
  • I spent 10 days in Mexico (and didn't write about it much here on the blog; but I have an extraordinarily long essay about the trip that's in my rejections pile).
  • We went on our annual family camping trip 
  • C and I went on a 2-day backpacking trip, kid-free
  • C and I spent a weekend in Bar Harbor for alumni weekend, also kid-free
  • I took some small trips on kayak and on foot here and there
It took me a minute to remember that I went on a BIG trip at the beginning of the year, which tells me I'm either ungrateful or I need to go on big trips more frequently. I definitely need to work harder to make adventure a priority. And keep a list!

    Arts and Crafts I Did Its!

    My focus was on writing more than making, and my sewing machine spent most of the year tucked away on a side table under a dust cover. But I got some things done:
    • Finished knitting the gigantic poncho I started early in the pandemic
    • Made some tiny shoes and knitted a tiny sweater (and deciphered an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern!) for my niece, who was born in September
    • Knitted a runner hat for Z (and then the weather was warm through cross-country season, so he never had an occasion to wear it, officially, but he has worn it some since the weather has gotten cold)
    • Made a new duvet for C's and my bed
    • Made a fleece skirt, plus two more for gifts
    • Made a silly little (and totally impractical) bird feeder, just for fun

    Household I Did Its!
    • Deep-cleaned the kitchen in anticipation of Thanksgiving and houseguests
    • Cleaned and organized drawers and cabinets in the bathrooms--long overdue
    • Moved several boxes of books and bags of clothes to the used bookstore and consignment shop, respectively
    • Finally made inroads on cleaning the basement (the perennial to-do list item, which I claimed to have done last year--the inroads part--but this year I really made some progress)
    • Tried to be more systematic about menu planning and shopping so that figuring out what to have for dinner every night isn't such a chore; this doesn't make me excited about cooking dinner any more than I was before, but it makes it slightly less stressful
    • Worked on maintaining my houseplants in a healthier, less neglected state than usual (battling some pests like scale and spider mites), even moving a few from the sunroom to the living room to enjoy them more (and because they seemed to want warmer weather conditions)
    • Expanded my pollinator garden, fed it a few rounds of duck mulch, and largely stayed on top of the weeds
    Nature I Did Its!
    • Bird-Watching: 132 checklists and 114 species for the year (in eBird) as well as several new species sightings in Mexico (around 25)
    • Did a little butterfly and dragonfly wildflower watching
    • Taught a nature writing workshop to 3 different groups
    • Made 25 nature journal entries
    • Continued to serve on board of Maine Master Naturalist Program and helped organize their conference
    All-in-all a pretty good year (can't really complain when you've published a book)! It's occurred to me, for the first time after ten years of these posts, unbelievably, that in planning my goals from this year, I can think about what I want this post to look like next December and reverse engineer it so that I aim for what I'll have wanted to accomplish. For instance, I want to see more travel and adventure in my life, so I can set a goal of X number of hikes/kayaks per week or month and X of overnight trips and X real big expeditions. And then make it happen!


    1. Wow, that's quite an impressive list of "Did It" for 2022! (Glad to have been a small part of your year-end celebratory post, thanks.)

      1. Thank you, as always, for the inspiration, Lisa!

    2. I love this! And am amazed!! Marketing a book and submitting short pieces is a huge hustle in itself, but there were so many other amazing accomplishments on your list. Congrats!!


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