Posted by: devonellington | January 2, 2023

My Answers to the 2023 Questions (So Far)

image courtesy of  Arek Socha via

I hope you’re having a strong start to the year, in spite of the Mercury and Mars Retrogrades. I did some work on the Questions for 2023. While I’m not sharing everything (there are a few things I’m more comfortable keeping private), I’m sharing a good bit of it:

Assess 2022. What are the major highlights? What are the big disappointments? How do they weigh against each other?


Participating in Word X Word’s World’s Largest Poem Event

Creating and Reading a piece on “Landscape” with Word X Word

Having friends visit (safely) after years of pandemic separation

LEGERDEMAIN, the serial

Wrote some short plays

The playwrights’ workshop that launched multiple ideas

Weekly Thursday morning meditation sessions with Be Well Be Here

Plenty of online cooking classes with Chef Jeremy Rock Smith

Licensed some radio plays

Launched THE PROCESS MUSE on Substack

Finished the first draft of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH

Held boundaries

Gently dipped my toes into some local artists organizations and events

Started seeking out and applying for artist residencies again

Did a lot of internal healing and growth work

Joined CreativeGround


Didn’t finish edits and prepare the submission for CAST IRON MURDER

Only finished drafting one novel

Didn’t build as much local community as I hoped (this was partially pandemic-related; I skipped or withdrew from many in-person opportunities due to lack of COVID safety protocols)

People, in general, were a disappointment, in the collective sense. Not the locals, who are pretty cool, but the general population.

Given your GDRs for 2022, what did you achieve, what are you still working on, and what did you release?

–I started studying Italian, but Duolingo was not the right choice for me. There’s not enough context of explanation. It’s about repeating what’s on the screen, and I felt I didn’t really learn. I had to let it go. So I have to figure out another way to learn.

–The hoped-for trips to Ithaca and Montreal were cancelled due to high COVID risks. Teaching at CCWC was moved on online, which was a relief.

–I got involved, a little bit, with Word X Word, which I really enjoyed. I had some involvement with Assests4Artists, which was fun and useful. Again, because of pandemic concerns, there were plenty of events I skipped, so I’m disappointed that the risks were too great to try to build better community.

–Dropped the ball on the direct mail postcards too often for the freelance work. I need to course correct that this year.

–The daily yoga practice was inconsistent, and, again, because of COVID risks, I couldn’t take in-studio classes as often as I would like.


Overall, the positives far outweighed the negatives. While I’m still pretty much of a recluse, I like most of the people I’m meeting, and the inner work has hopefully set a solid foundation to build more community this year.

Looking at 2023, consider these:

What is your relationship with the ongoing COVID pandemic? How will you continue to protect yourself, your family, your community?

I continue masking and not attending in-person events that I feel are high risk. I will do so as long as I feel is necessary.

Where do you need to change things on your path? Is it work? Is it nonwork?

I’m really tired of bullies, especially those who claim they are “doing good” but demand everyone “do good” in the exact way they want everyone to do so. There are plenty of people online with whom I am disengaging because I’m tired of their crap.

I also will continue to strengthen my boundaries, so that I am not forced into situations where extroversion is demanded of me “for the good of the organization” and I’m miserable.

What creative explorations do you plan to make in 2023?

I want to do more creative exploration in multi-disciplinary forms. I want to work with words and/in different forms, do more with textiles, collages, soft sculpture, etc. In addition to upping the writing.

List 3 goals for 2023, in any area of your life. Underneath each, list 3 active steps to start the work they need.

Try 1 new cookie recipe every month.

–Actively seek out new recipes

–Block off time to try new recipes

–Recruit family, friends, neighbors as tasters

Refine and Redefine My Freelance Business. I need to step away even more from what no longer works for me on creative or financial levels and seek out what does.

–Tighten the target on direct mail campaigns and make sure they go out on time; be faithful in follow-ups.

–Update/create media kits for the different aspects of the work on projects and get them out/up on the website.

–Build my local network, then expand to regional, while still building the wider remote network. I’ve either relied too much on local or too much on far away.

Grow My Substack and other online presences with steady, high-quality content

–See what each platform does best and target specific content for each, while interacting more to build contacts

–Keep up and get ahead on LEGERDEMAIN, and keep building that audience, expanding into new markets

–Write the proposal to Substack for tiered/bundled content

–Seek out more online teaching opportunities.

Keeping working on the house/garden (I had 4 goals to share, not three)

–Make my bedroom into a sanctuary

–Take the time to design the porch and the back balcony garden areas

–Reassess, rearrange, refresh furniture and accessories more often.

Find My Personal Style (okay, so there are 5)

I feel like the past years, living in my previous location, I lost all sense of my personal style. I got so tired of the bullying and the relentless “you’re not rich, so you’re worthless and deserve nothing” attitude there that I tried to fade more and more into the background. In my previous life, before the last location, I had to wear black a lot to work backstage, so I loved playing with color and trying all kinds of mix and match and vintage styles with some new pieces. I have all kinds of interesting and unusual jewelry picked up in my travels over the years. I want to start playing with clothing again, and figuring out what makes me feel comfortable and beautiful.

List 3 dreams for 2023, in any area of your life. Underneath each, list 3 active steps to start launching them.

Plan a trip to Gladstone’s Library for 2024

–Put away money each month

–Figure out a date and book

–Prepare which projects will be done there.

Land at least one residency

–Research potential residencies


–Decide which projects lend themselves to residencies best

Take a chance on a real creative stretch

–Not sure if that will involve taking a class, or just taking a risk on work, and then putting it out there.

List 3 resolutions for 2023, in any area of your life. Underneath each, list 3 active steps to start your commitment.

Continue to build holistic wellness routines

–Grow the yoga and meditation practices

–Expand my repertoire of healthy recipes

–Disengage from toxic people, both online and in person

Grow my business, creatively and financially

–Listen to my instincts

–For freelance work, raise prices and vet potential clients more thoroughly

–For non-client creative work, look for better placement.

Rest & Vacation

–Stop treating myself like I have to “earn” rest, time for yoga, etc.

–Stockpile work/earnings to I can take time off without financial pressure

–Remember that “no” is a complete sentence.

What do you need to release, in any of these areas, to clear your path to achieving your goals, dreams, and resolutions in 2023?

Release reliance on algorithms. Part of that means educating freelance clients away from data and metrics based, and focusing on longer-term goals. Another thing I have to release is being cruel to myself.

What is one new type of creative endeavor you will play with during 2023? (And the emphasis here is on “play.” We don’t build in enough playtime for ourselves).

Working on multi-media/multi-disciplinary art forms, finding new ways to tell stories that use words, but within three dimensional spaces (not theatre or film-based).

What is one stretch goal, dream, or resolution that you want, which will probably be a multi-year endeavor? What is one small step you can take this year to get it going?

–This one, I’m keeping private for now.

As always, take your time to think about it. Only share, in January, what you feel comfortable sharing.



  1. […] I’ve spent so many New Year’s Eves being unhappy that a quiet one was just what I wanted. I did some noodling on two projects as I try to find out if they are viable. I uploaded what I feel comfortable sharing with my 2023 Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions over on that site. […]

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