In my 2022 Writing Manifesto, I wrote:
I want to spend the next 10 years of my life writing books that provide readers with an escape and hopefully a bit of inspiration for when life gets difficult. Books that the teen me and the teenager in me still, would love to read in one sitting. Every day, I will try to appreciate how much my writing has improved and not feel daunted by how much better it can be.
It’s a proclamation that lacks specifics.
What type of escape? What kind of inspiration? What did the teen me love to read?
In trying to answer the questions, I realize my actual answers are incredibly different from what I imagined them to be.
By escape, I mean set in a fantasy world inspired by Taoism and Chinese mythology.
By inspiration, I mean characters who gradually gain desirable qualities through hard work.
By rereading books the teen me loved, I realize nearly all of them feature incredibly dysfunctional relationships! Relationships that I definitively would not want future generations to emulate. Going forward, I will be writing books the current me loves to read.
Additionally, I demanded too much from my first completed book. I wanted it to be eloquent, thoughtful, surprising, and inevitable. Currently, I’ll be ecstatic if I achieve thoughtful and surprising. I’m hoping my first draft will be completed by the end of December!