2023 in review – the year I lost my voice

Monday, January 1, 2024 Permalink

Regular readers – if I still have any – may have noticed that until yesterday’s post about my back injury, I’d not written a non-bookish post since July this year when I travelled to England.

I think there are several reasons for that – part of that trip not being what I expected, work being busy and wonderful, work being busy and revolting and then the back injury… but I think I’ve perhaps lost my voice.

I’ve got a post half-written about consuming vs creating which I started about ten months ago and think that’s part of my problem… I’ve been consuming so much fodder through books, social media crap and streaming television, that it’s left no space for me to ‘create’…. anything.

I wonder if I’ve also become more self-conscious about what I write. Worried about sharing weaknesses and vulnerability, perhaps.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d wrap up the year that was (or wasn’t). 2023 in review:

Reading

I ended up reading 105 books in 2023 and have already posted my favourite books post.

Debbish's favourite books of 2023

I’m actually getting fewer review books than I used to, with one of the big publishers constantly leaving me off their new release listings and another using a new online form that freezes when I try to use it, meaning I can’t request any of their books anyway. Meh.

It feels like short-form reviews like bookstagram and booktok have become the media-du-jour for publishers, and bloggers like yours-truly simply relics from the past.

Blog stuff and writing

Having just said blogging might be dead, my stats increased a lot this past year. I’ve only posted 91 blog posts (compared to over 200/year between 2011 and 2018) but my stats were up 70,000 views above last year, with 15-19K views most months.

And… drumroll…. this month marks the 15th anniversary of my blogging (ahem) career. Interestingly (though I used to write about all kinds of shit) my first post here in January 2009 was akin to a book review, Bruce Beresford definitely wants to do this.

Life and travel

I started a new job in November 2022 and it’s been a crazy ride all year with lots of changes. The best bit has been the team I manage who constantly surprise me with their amazingness and make me feel like a proud mother.

It’s meant a lot of travel as my team is dispersed across the state and I’ve attempted to visit them at a time that coincides with something that will give me some insight into their region and the issues it faces, and into their work. I’ve been to the Far North and Cape (Cairns and Weipa), North and North West (Townsville, Mt Isa and Cloncurry), the West (Longreach and Muttaburra), Mackay, Rockhampton and K’gari. And a planned trip to Goondiwindi in the South West was thwarted by both my back injury and nearby fires.

Speaking of travel… there was, of course, my England holiday – which I’ve not written about. Highlights definitely include the Cotswolds but I also loved Yorkshire. I started that holiday with the much-anticipated crime writers festival at Harrogate and I’ve not written about that either because I’m yet to process it in my little head as it didn’t really live up to my expectations… potentially my own fault.

And I vowed I wouldn’t go over 500 words, so need to stop. I should also mention I’ve watched shitloads of stuff on AppleTV+, Netflix and Prime and love that so many books are making it onto the screen.

I’ll also skip over the health stuff as, though I joined a gym and started exercising properly again, it’s now a distant memory given the back injury that’s engulfed all that came before.

Pray tell, how did 2023 pan out for you?

12 Comments
  • Vanessa
    January 1, 2024

    I’m not even bothering to review 2023 so that’s how it went for me 🙂

    Funny how people like their reviews on social media because I hate it. No pause buttons and lacking captions and content that disappears into a void; I’m never going to prefer creating on socials over creating on my blog.

    • Debbish
      January 2, 2024

      I must admit I don’t ‘watch’ or listen to stuff on Instagram or Facebook. If I can’t read it then I’m not interested. It’s why I avoid podcasts and vlogs etc… I’m not visual so instagram just doesn’t do it for me as a medium to use. I find myself using it to document stuff. And I watch so many reels featuring people trying to be funny that make me cringe I avoid doing it!!!

  • Susanne
    January 2, 2024

    Regarding blogs, I just read an article about blogging where the message was that people have never read blogs as much as now, and it also seems like short form content is getting old and people think more long form content will make a comeback.
    I always enjoy reading your posts (although I admit I only follow the “life” category) and I always prefer blogs as a way to consume information and connecting with people.
    My 2023 was mostly awful, but my husband reminded me that 2023 was actually a fantastic year in terms of training achievements, despite injuries and misery.

    • Debbish
      January 2, 2024

      Isn’t it funny that we focus on the bad stuff? I certainly do. I had some unpleasant work weeks towards the end of the year (and earlier in the year) but mostly I felt really engaged by my job and happy to do the hours it required And I was reminded how much I loved learning about stuff (and think I even wrote about that!). So… there was also a lot of good in my 2023.

  • Denyse Whelan's Words And Pics.
    January 2, 2024

    I am both sad and glad for you having read this. I literally felt the same about my blog when I stopped. I could not longer find the words. However, I did find them in a more freeing way over at Substack. I am not keeping to another’s timetable or running a link up anymore. I did lots to keep my connections with people on line, including you, and continue to do so. However, I feel refreshed too. I also think that when you spend a lot of time writing for work related stuff it can be hard to ‘switch’ to creative. I am so glad to know you love (most of the time) your job. Take care Denyse x

    • Debbish
      January 2, 2024

      Oh yes, between June – October I’d settled into quite a good pattern at work and felt quite confident and comfortable. Overall it’s been rewarding and my team is lovely.

  • Denyse Whelan's Words And Pics.
    January 2, 2024

    I wrote a long comment…and not sure if it went. Here I go again, shorter version. I stopped blogging when I became ‘stale’ and lost the mojo and I didnt want the trouble of going to a new host. Substack is lovely and I can write when I choose. I loved reading about the aspects of the job you enjoy. May 2024 be kind to you. D

  • Ashleigh
    January 3, 2024

    The only reviews I have written for 2023 have been my reading – and on Substack, my writing, and not a lot really happened for me last year.

    • Debbish
      January 3, 2024

      I had lots of work stuff happening but can’t talk about a lot of that. I think sometimes I also second-guess myself so I’ll write something (cos I find it cathartic) but then don’t post it as it feels a little inane or something….

      • Ashleigh
        January 3, 2024

        I write all that stuff in my journal, so it gets it out at least.

        • Debbish
          January 3, 2024

          True. Have you read The Artist’s Way? I tried to do ‘morning pages’ as recommended in it as a way to get stuff out on paper. (You have to write three pages longhand so you’re forced to keep writing in some kind of stream of consciousness thing…)

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