I’m trying my best to stop blaming things on years.

We all piled on poor, plague-ridden 2020, started-with-Capitol-riot 2021, and now economic-fallout 2022 is lined up in front of the firing squad. Does it help anyone if I pile on that? Looking back on 2022, sure, it could have been better. Making a living was more difficult this year, but I’m still okay. I even managed a short vacation in July, which is highly unusual. I started actually spending more time with my wife, developed a new hobby, started doing something other than working, watching TV, sleeping (repeat)… I did some writing, sold a few poems…

What else?

Looking back at older New Years Resolution posts I learned that I have not kept up with “the news” for exactly ten years. This avoidance of impotent rage may be the single deciding factor as to why I am still alive.


Let’s see what else has been going on… Hmm…

It’s not been a great year for Fantasy Author’s Handbook, with only 29,168 views this year—the worst showing since 2014. Where did everybody go? This is encouraging me to light a fire under my own ass, though, so will there be a Fantasy Author’s Handbook YouTube channel in the coming year…? I will certainly try!

In previous resolutions posts, I’ve promised to be healthier in the coming year, and I’ve lost 56 pounds since it was made clear to me in April of 2021 that something had to give. And I’m all set up to continue the downward trend in weight, targeting another 25 pounds in 2023.

Look at that there: two resolutions actually kept… eventually.

I’m adding to this coming year an emphasis on mental health, too—getting reacquainted the old, fun Phil. The last few years as an ultra-shut-in was not healthy. There are lots of things I’ve already started doing to combat that: self study, hobbies, and…

I’d also like to get back out there into the world, physically, in 2023, so I hope you’ll see me back out there at writers conferences, conventions, and so on in the coming year—the coming years, anyway. And there will be a second volume of The Best of Fantasy Author’s Handbook in 2023 and a revised print edition of Completely Broken as well. That’ll be cool.

I have started writing more but am determined to write even more in 2023, and I think I have a good plan to do so, to keep me motivated to keep writing and getting stuff out there. Let’s see how that plays out in ’23.

What else…?

Will I complete a novel, finally? I hope so!

Sell at least a few short stories? That should be possible.

After all, I did just advise y’all to be more like Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg… and I better damn well at least try to take my own advice. That said, yeah… one resolution, this year:

Be more like Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg and write a lot of stuff that sounds like me, that pleases me, that works for me, and hopefully an audience will follow.

While that’s in progress, I’ll continue to see you here every Tuesday, just like I have every single week since June 15, 2009.

Happy New Year!

—Philip Athans

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About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, (https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/) is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
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