Happy New Year – Changes Are Coming

Photo of author Tessy Dockery with her guided journal outside in summer

2023 was a heck of a year. It was not the year I had planned, but it’s also forced me to take a close look at my writing and author business. As a result, some things are changing. So, let’s dive in with a fun little recap of the year. Then, I’ll go over my 2024 writing goals and the changes that are coming.

2023 — What Went Right

  • I built up my Fiverr portfolio. I will say, I don’t speak too much on what I do outside of writing. It’s been a back and forth thing for a long time with no real direction. But this year, I decided to put my nose to the grind and really build up a proofreading & developmental critique/beta reading portfolio on Fiverr. And I think I did that. I’ve solidly worked with around 200 clients and I’ve had some amazing experiences doing so.
  • I sold some books! I really haven’t done much on the marketing front for any of my books. A handful of Instagram posts–and that’s about it! But somehow, miraculously, this was my biggest sales year yet. And all I can say is thank you to my wonderful little audience. You mean the world to me.
  • I split my social media presence. This one might sound a bit strange, but for years, I’ve struggled with what to post on social media. My life is so varied and I write in so many different genres that have a lot of different audiences. Very little of it truly crosses over. So, this year, I created a new Instagram account. Now you can find me under both the @tessydockery handle and the @authortessydockery handle. The first houses my creative self-help stuff like my guided journal: Journal Prompts for Your Creative Breakthrough. The latter houses my fiction (which is also getting a refresh in 2024–but more on that in a bit). Suffice to say, if you love all of my content, feel free to follow both. But if you’re around for one or the other, that’s absolutely okay too!

2023 — What Went Wrong (And What’s Changing in 2024)

  • Time management. Okay, so, there were some mitigating circumstances in 2023 that made time management extremely difficult. Due to some family matters, I suddenly found my plate very full. Between that and the heavy workload, I found myself with little time to write, blog, and other things. The 2024 Change: To fix the time management thing going forward, I’ll actually be taking on fewer clients and scheduling things that I normally wouldn’t schedule — like writing and social media time.
  • I didn’t publish anything. In 2021, I published The Maze Date, and then in 2022, I re-published Journal Prompts for Your Creative Breakthrough in a physical paperback format. Publishing definitely brings a high that you don’t get any other way. And after publishing at least once in the previous 2 years, I had hoped to never have a year that I didn’t publish something. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out in 2023 due to the time management issues previously mentioned. The 2024 Change: I actually look to publish a few things this year. I’m already halfway through drafting a really fun fantasy novella about vampires and djinn. And it’s definitely going to be a series. So, I’m hoping to publish at least 2 of these books this year. Ambitious for sure. But I’ve got a great headstart.
  • Genre choices. Okay, so this one spans back to 2021 actually when I wrote The Maze Date. If you’ve been around for a long time, you were probably pretty surprised to see me publish a contemporary romance short story. I’ve always wanted to be a fantasy author and I haven’t published anything under that genre yet. The choice to write and publish The Maze Date has sent me down a confusing path. How do I balance romance and fantasy under one brand? It’s an uphill battle that I’ve decided to quit fighting. Because I never wanted to be a contemporary romance author to begin with. The 2024 Change: I am going full fantasy in 2024. Will there still be romance? 1000% — it’ll just be of the fantasy and paranormal variety. It’s time I get back to my roots. So, what about The Maze Date (and other romance stories simmering on the backburner)? Well, they’re getting an overhaul. Sometime in the next couple of months, I fully intend to unpublish The Maze Date and rework it to have… a bit of magic. I’ll be re-releasing it as part of my newsletter reboot. So, hopefully, it’ll be a fresh take for both old and new readers. As for the other stories, well, they’re getting some reworking too. I promise it’ll be worth the wait.
  • Social media. As mentioned earlier, I’ve split my social media up a bit. Because of that, it definitely takes more time to manage. And as I’ve said, 2023 was not the year of good time management. So, not a lot got posted to social media, which does actually make me sad because I love getting to connect with other authors and readers. The 2024 Change: To remedy this, I’m scheduling social media time. I’m scheduling when I’ll be creating content, when I’ll be editing content, and how long I get each day across the apps. It might still be a sparing approach, but hopefully, it’ll be a more consistent one.

Happy New Year!

So, with all of that said, I’m hoping we have a wonderful writing and client year ahead. I’m very excited for the changes. I’m definitely excited to start sharing stories with you all again. Thank you once again for supporting me on this writing journey. It’s been such a joy! And Happy New Year to you all!

TL;DR: 2023 was hectic, but here’s what went right–Built my fiverr editing portfolio, I sold books, and I split up my social media presence based on creative self-help and fiction. But some stuff went wrong too–time management, nothing published, genre choices, and a lack of social media content. Here’s how I’m fixing it: scheduling things like writing and social media time, and I’m going full steam head into the fantasy genre (no more contemporary romance). Happy New Year to you all, and thanks for your support!!

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