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This time last year, I was writing eight, 10 hours a day, trying to finish the first full draft of my book. I still find it hard to believe how swiftly it went from (in my eyes) general mess to final manuscript. Now it’s started showing up on 2023 anticipated book lists, further proof of how much can happen—and change—in a single year of writing.
There’s a question I often ask in classes I teach, a question I’ve put to readers of this newsletter as well: What is one thing you can change, one thing you can do, to benefit your writing life? This whole year has been that for me—a risk, an experiment, and, ultimately, a gift.
When I launched I Have Notes, I had never been able to write every day; sometimes, it was a stretch to average a few good writing sessions a month. But over the past year, as I’ve worked on my book and shared my thoughts and advice and essays and interviews with you week after week, hardly a day has gone by when I haven’t written. Some of that writing was messy and will probably never be seen by anyone else. Some of it was the best I think I’ve ever done. All of it flowed from a steady practice that has given me faith like I’ve never had in my work. My book is coming out soon in part because I was able to take this time to write with and for and alongside you.
I want to express my gratitude to The Atlantic and to all of you who’ve shared this space and read along with me this year. Whether you’ve been here since the beginning or signed up only recently, whether you’re one of my regular correspondents or prefer to lurk quietly, please know that I deeply appreciate you choosing to spend some time with me, and I hope you’ve found something in this newsletter to encourage or nudge or even push you further in your own creative endeavors. You’ve made this experience a joy, and you are the reason I want to stick around. I will be writing and sending this newsletter in the new year, though not weekly—I’m aiming for monthly. I will also be publishing and promoting the aforementioned book, trying to get a start on my next project, and contributing to The Atlantic, Time, and other publications. If you’d like to follow my work elsewhere—or find out whether I will be in your area on tour for A Living Remedy—you can also find me on Twitter, Mastodon, and Post.
Thank you so much for reading, for subscribing, for sending in your writing questions, for sharing your hopes and goals and frustrations and reading recommendations with me. Keep looking for the stories and books that will feed you. Keep showing up for your writing and creative projects, and try to be as patient as possible with yourself as you do. I’ll have more notes for you in 2023.