Happy New Year! 2023 is upon us and a fresh new year is a blank writing pad, or a blank first page in a Word document, to a writer.

As I always do at the start of a new year, I reflect and then assess. I have so many ideas for books I want to write – but deciding which one to prioritise is the trickier part.

Stories are no good stuck in a writer’s head. It’s better to have a first draft out than to be pondering an idea. Jotting down an overview to write later is a step in the right direction, or a chapter plan is even better. My goal for 2023 is to keep up the pace with my writing. I published two novels in 2022 and hope to keep up my output of at least one novel a year as a bare minimum.

Why? Mainly because if I don’t get my stories written down then they’re at risk of never seeing the light of day. It’s a bit similar to my to-be-read list; often I have a pile of books that I’ve bought, but not yet started, and then I buy more. The chances of some in the pile never getting read increases each time I do this. It’s the same for my novel ideas. I have a notebook of ideas with some from as far back as 2009 and I really need to start whittling it away, or a few may never get written. Of course, I always prioritise the ideas that grab me the most at any given time – The Fairy Lights, for example, was an idea I came up with in December 2021, wrote within six months and published in November 2022. I can imagine all my other story ideas sitting in that notebook for over a decade, shaking their papery fists in a jealous rage at my fourth novel for usurping them. Yet, it was the story that I was most excited about at that time, so I went with it.

What’s the goal of this post? Mainly to say that you can expect to hear about more completed novels from me in 2023 – or at least, it’s an expectation I have for myself. I hold myself to quite high standards. Let’s see how this pans out!

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/75c5a1ad6956/leilanie-stewart-author-info

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