On my To-Do List: 2023 Writing Update 

Hello and happy new year! (3 months late… Oh well.)

How has your 2023 been so far? What are you looking forward to this year? 

This year feels big, as it’s a sort of “gap year” where I’m working and seeing how far I can get in my own small business, writing and composing full-time. 

Honestly, it’s been daunting and difficult so far. “Full time” is a lot of time! I’m still working part-time at the cafe, and I’ve been taking on some music teaching work too. But trying to work out what counts as “work” (and what’s just me mucking around on the piano :P), what to do every day and at what point I’ll stop spending and start earning money… it’s been exhausting, daunting and discouraging. 

But I am starting to fill my time with old and new projects, as well as ongoing tasks like writing emails for the Campfire, making posts for my Instagram page, and, of course, writing for this blog. 

So what projects I been working on? What will I be doing this year? Here’s the annual list!

1. The Mistwaes Home

Ever since Shalton stepped through a magical mistwae and found himself in Earth, he has been desperate to get home to his world, Zenn. But as the years have dragged on, he’s started to lose hope of ever getting back. When his old Zenni friend Criell—a Zenni mistwraith and an old friend–finally finds him, she demands he take responsibility for the mistake that left her poisoned. Taking the poison will mean admitting it was his mistake, and will cost him his life. But ignoring her could leave him a retail worker forever. As he runs from the past and a poisoned mist, will Shalton ever find a mistwae home?  

I’m going to work on this book as far as I can, and see how far I get in the publishing process. I haven’t decided yet whether to publish it independently as a “practice run”, which sounds nice and safe, or whether to pitch it to agents and/or publishers, which sounds daunting and difficult. (I think realistically, both will be a mixture of the two.) But whatever happens, I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop! (More on that in the next post!)

My amazing and captivating cover was painted by Brianna Campbell (@briannalynncampbell on Instagram)

2. Project: Earth and Other

Whenever Tabitha falls asleep, she wakes up in a world she calls Other. She has grown up in two worlds: in One, she works hard to finish her education strong, and decide on a career–and life–that distinguishes her from her older sister, Stephanie. In Other, she works hard as a tavern entertainer, hoping to one day perform all over the kingdom.

But the kingdom’s festival is cancelled for a foreign royal visit, and Tabitha is livid when she sees the foreign princess is Stephanie. What’s she doing in Other? And as a Princess?? And how could Tabitha help her, when Stephanie won’t even trust her to know what they’re looking for? 

Yeah okay I’m working on that concept. (And the title ahhh.) This is my project for the Author Conservatory. It amazes me that, even when I share my more terrible concept with people (yes, there is one more terrible), they get so excited. (What a blessing!)

If I don’t publish The Mistwaes Home, I think this will be my debut. It depends on the reception–a lot of responses I get is that there’s The Mistwaes Home, but Earth and Other looks really cool and exciting! Which is a hint I’m noting and tucking away to think on later… 😉

3. The Piper’s Mountain 

Even though the debut performance of this was last August, Evangelyn and I are working and reworking to make this available for schools and theatre groups to put on their own productions. There are a few edits to be made, as well as some new things to write and create. As we get further along the process, I’ll update more! 

4. Composition project

I can’t share much about this: I bought a notebook today to start brainstorming for it XD. It’s an album of compositions… and that’s all I’m going to say about it for now. Stay tuned! (Hehe. Music pun :P)

5. Travel plans…

In July, I’m hoping to travel to Katherine, Northern Territory, for a couple of weeks. My aunt works in ethnomusicology there–an aspect of music I’ve always been interested in, but haven’t known exactly what it entails… you know, like as a job XD. I’m hoping this contains hidden story ideas that I’ll discover, being among Indigenous communities for the first time, talking to very different people and in very different landscapes. 

I’m also going to be redirecting the content of this blog… but I’ll write a full post on that next time. 

So my fabulous creators, what are you working on at the moment? Let me know so that I can cheer you on!

Published by Debbie Coll

I'm a storyteller, songwriter and author who loves God, fairy tales and music. I write about tales, creative tips and process on my blog, debbiecoll.com.

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