Twenty Twenty-Three – The Year of Courage & Chasing Dreams

Every year, I think long and hard about my New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes I make huge goals. Usually I do not accomplish them. But the act of making goals and trying my best to apply them is something that I actually really love, so whenever it’s the start of something big–say, for instance, a new year–I sit down, think about the Me I want to be in a year, and make some goals to get me started in that general direction.

This year, I have a lot of areas I want to grow in. Emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually. This is gonna be a year of growth, peasants. I’m already calling it.

“…it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”


Last year, I made many, many goals. And I’ll be the first to admit that I hardly accomplished any of them. (except, perhaps, the typical read 22 books bit. I’ve read about that many within the past two months because of StoryTime at the library!) My book, Project Sunset, is still massively unfinished. I never sent it to betas like I intended, and I most certainly did not query any agents! (talk about terrifying) But I’m still plugging away, and within the past two months I’ve made more progress towards this manuscript than I did within the first 10 months of the year. It’s been a long, drawn-out process, but I have confidence that 2023 will be the year I finally–FINALLY–complete this manuscript.

mostly because I just want it DONE already. but also because I’m a determined hobgoblin and have promised myself a reward if I’m a good girl and finish it within a timely manner…

Anyone who’s been here since my days at Smudged Thoughts will know that I am nothing if not overly zealous in my goal setting trends. I have enormous dreams and create goals to match, but this year, we’re trying to take a more balanced approach. And by this, I mean we’re trying out Quarterly Goals! I don’t know if I’ve ever tried goal-setting in this way yet, but I’m excited to reevaluate in a few months and see where we’re at! (and let’s not even mention how much the accountability increases when I know I have to take a good long look at my goals in a few months…)

*as a bit of a side note, a lot of things at my job are measured out in quarters, so I figured since I’m learning how to plan things out in quarters at my day job, it couldn’t hurt to also utilize that skill in my writing? I guess we’ll find out!

twenty twenty-three goals – quarter one
january – march


I have a few writing goals for the first quarter of 2023–specifically in regards to this blog and my WIP, Project Sunset. Clearly, I’m trying to finish this manuscript soon, and I also want to find a good blogging-storycraft balance. It’s not something I’m naturally good at, so please brace for minor experimentation. XD

goal one – finish Project Sunset by the end of this quarter

If I can get this story drafted up and sent off to my Alpha and Betas by the end of February, I will be a very happy Kenzie, indeed. It will also free up space in my brain to start plotting out and drafting some new stories, which I have been DYING to do for a very long time now. Of course, this will then mean that I have to pick one of my other stories to spend the next two years of my life with, and that’s going to be an extremely difficult decision… But alas–we shall burn that bridge when we get to it!

goal two – maintain a 1-2 post schedule every week

I genuinely don’t know if this is going to work or not, considering the fact that I have so many stories in my brain begging to be loosed on the world, but I tend to find that my propensity for writing all of the things is congruent with how active I am on the blogsphere. As soon as I can write my stories and find a healthy way to share my love of books and writing with the world through this platform in 2023, it’s over for you peasants… (or maybe it’s the beginning of something grand? idk man.)

goal three – write and publish another story with HAVOK

This was one of my highlights for 2022. I would love experiencing the joy of seeing my work in print again! I have some flash fiction story ideas brewing in my mind meats, so we’ll see if any of them come out onto the page within the first three months of the year…

I’m also hoping to do more short story writing in general in the coming year! This is a goal I always seem to carry into the new years, but apparently something about 2023 feels like it will actually come true this time? *shrugs* I guess we’ll find out!

**side note #2: does anyone else find it odd that I’m just as surprised as everyone else if/when my goals are actually achieved? No? Just me? Okay then…

CHALLENGE – write every single day in 2023

This writing challenge is more for the whole year than just the first three months, but I wanted to share it just for the accountability! My friend, Phoebe, and I are undertaking a “write everyday for a year” challenge–and I’m simultaneously nervous and excited! Apparently she’s already accomplished this challenge before, so naturally I can’t be outdone and must complete it this year in order to regain my supreme authority over our friendship, but I digress.

I will probably do a more detailed post on this challenge later in January, but if this is something you’re interested in following along with or hearing more about, definitely shoot me any questions down in the comments! Perhaps it shall become a year-long series…?


Now that I work at a library, I have never been more scared of my TBR. It is constantly growing and evolving, and lo and behold, I can’t keep up. I’ve tried. It’s not working. (if y’all have tips hit me up.)

Currently, my goals for reading are very simple. They include:

goal one – read 10 books

Now, this year I decided to include all my library StoryTime books into my tally, since this pushed me over the edge of my reading challenge when I was certainly going to fail. However, I’m not sure I want to do that again this year! There are so many books I want to read–most of which I’ve been trying to read for years–that I really need to sit myself down and finally do the thing. So for 2023, I want to read 23 non-work- related books. Whether they’re Middle Grade, Young Adult, Non-Fiction… heck, even if it’s a Picture Book that I read just for me, I’m gonna count ’em. But if I’m doing it for work, it will not be counted into my personal reading challenge total. (this way I stop slacking and actually get some good reading done, lol!) So we are starting with a simple 10-book challenge for the first quarter! Is it excessive? Probably! We’re gonna shoot for it anyway!

goal two – review, review, review!!!

This goal is vague, and that’s absolutely fine by me. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my time here on the blogsphere and from my Indie storytelling friends, it is that there is hardly a better way to support authors (of any publishing background) than by reviewing books. Spreading the word about books we love can move mountains in regards to getting some underrepresented titles in the hands of readers, and if there is one thing I want to do more of in 2023, it’s spread some positivity in the bookish community! No longer will I review books just because I feel I must. No longer will I not review books because I don’t feel capable of putting my words together incoherently! Will there be screaming? Yes. Will there be endless rambling? Also yes. But will I be spreading my love of stories with the world and simultaneously giving YOU guys some book recs that you may not otherwise know about? TRIPLE YES.

***third side note: do I feel somewhat pressured to read and review more books simply because I work at a library now? absolutely. do I think this is a bad thing and feel at all obligated to stop this madness? not in the slightest way possible.

quote of the year

Every year, I like to choose a word or quote to become my mantra through the year. Sometimes both! This year, I have selected a quote based on the word I’ve chosen for the 2023–or perhaps this word simply chose me. (when I was discussing the topic with my mom, this particular word came to both of us practically simultaneously, so therefore I feel like it’s serendipity at its finest.) That word is courage, and the quote comes from none other than Winston Churchill…

Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston S. Churchill

One of my favorite things to tell people–especially people who need a bit of a pep talk–is that “you can’t have courage without first having fear”. This may or may not be more so for me than anyone else, though, because let me tell ya, folks… I have a lot of fears. More often than not, we see courageous individuals as people possessing no fear, when in reality, they are simply scared people doing the hard things anyway, despite the fear telling them they should quit or backdown or not even try at all.

And I am so, so done with living in fear. Fear of perfectionism. Fear of failure. Fear of the outcome and therefore never giving it a try at all.

2023 is my year to step outside of my comfort zones and live apart from my fears–and I am so scared and excited.

Whatever your goals or resolutions might be, I hope that you’ll choose to step outside of your comfort zones, as well, and join me in this journey of fighting fear with courage! Whether it’s in your writing or just your day-to-day life, our time here is far too short to be scared of the unknown. Let’s befriend the monsters under our beds, shall we?

talk to me, peasants!

What are some of your new year’s goals or resolutions? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “Twenty Twenty-Three – The Year of Courage & Chasing Dreams

Add yours

    1. Aw, thank you! I’m definitely one for shooting for the moon when it comes to making goals, but my hope is that cutting them down to bite sized pieces every quarter will make them even slightly more manageable… 😅

      Same to you! Here’s hoping all of our writing dreams come true!


  1. I love EVERYTHING about this!!! Making quarterly goals is SUCH a fabulous idea! I do kind of section off my big goals with deadlines for them. It helps sooo much because then I’m not thinking, “Well, I have all year to get this done.” Which can, uh, make me procrastinate with the assumption that I have plenty of time. *nervous laugher* BUT I’ve never really made specific goals for each quarter like this. Brilliance!

    And all your goals sound AH-MAY-ZING! I’m especially in awe at you shooting to write every single day. :O That is so insanely admirable that you want to try to do that! I am cheering you on all the way!!!

    I also absolutely ADORE your chosen word for the year and the quote you shared with it. Those are things I needed to hear myself! I have some…pretty big and lofty and, gonna be real, downright terrifying goals for 2023 myself. But you’re so right in that we must step out of our comfort zones. That’s how all the spectacular things in life happen. It’s okay to be afraid, but not if we let it hold us back. YES. I just love this!

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am rooting you on as you tackle 2023 and spread it with all your amazing Kenzie-ness! It’s going to be a beautiful one, I can feel it.

    Happy New Year!!! ❤


    1. Dude, I SO do this same thing! In the past when I’ve had big goals (such as finishing a manuscript or even writing a long-ish chapter), I’ve pushed it off to the very end thinking I actually had more time than I did. THAT IS NOW HOW LIFE WORKS, SMOL KENZIE. WHY. WHYYYYYY. XD

      Meep! Thank you so much, Christine! I don’t think I ever would have considered it had one of the girls in my writing group not mentioned her desire to do it. I don’t know why, but it felt like I was meant to jump on board and try the crazy!

      YES!! Christine I am SO excited to see all of your goals and plans come to life!! There is not a single doubt in my mind that you are going to accomplish all of the things you set out to do. And I cannot wait for that day!

      Happy New Year, my wonderful Christine!! Thank you for always being such a point of light and happiness in my life! AND GO CRUSH THEM GOALS, GIRL!!! YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!! *gives you inspirational cookies*


  2. Oh my goodness, these are all fantastic (and probably quite challenging) goals! I don’t usually set goals for the year, but everyone else’s goals are making me think that maybe I should…

    I hope you do so well on the write everyday challenge! That sounds hard, and I’d love to hear more about how it’s going for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dude, you absolutely SHOULD set some goals!!! I’m a huge goal setter, and while I don’t typically reach them (because, as you’ve accurately assessed, I tend to make them rather lofty, lol!) it’s the whole principle of “shoot for the moon and you’ll land among the stars”! Goals help hold me accountable to something, even if I find myself diverging from the path halfway through! (and if you end up setting some, LET ME KNOOWWWW! I want to cheer you on!)

    Eep, thank you so very much! Currently I’m somehow still managing. It’s been crazy. XD But we’re at 34 days of writing consecutively, and that’s wild to me!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: