My 2023 Writing Accomplishments–what are yours?

MWW E-pistle, Uncategorized

Some Words on Reflection–and Reaching

Sometimes at the end of the year I feel bombarded by encouragements to *reflect.* What does that even mean? Wish for do-overs, count my wins? Sort of.


The word “reflect” comes from the Latin “to bend back” (here’s its etymology). I like that. Because bending back helps us to reach forward. Want to know what reach means? You’re going to love this (caution: word nerdery ahead):

reach: Middle English rēchen, from Old English ræcan, reccan “to reach out, stretch or extend outward, hold forth, extend in continuity or scope,” also “to succeed in touching, succeed in striking;” also “to address, speak to,” also “to offer, present, give, grant.” (from

To extend in continuity or scope? Succeed in touching and striking? Yes please!

So let’s bend back into 2023: What did you do well with your writing; what needs work?

And let’s reach into 2024: Write down your goals. How will they change you as a writer once you’ve accomplished them?

I’ll start:

This year I didn’t finish anything aside from a few essays, but I continued. I made forward progress on a long-standing, endless, daunting project. And although some people advise against more than one project at once, I also started work on something completely new! I didn’t write every day (though I journaled something fierce) but when I did, I was tired, bedraggled, and frazzled, and still managed to put down words. All told, it doesn’t seem like much, especially not compared to people who are putting out multiple books and getting published in every journal I open, it seems.

But I’m not those people. My wins are hard-fought and they are mine. I’m proud of them!

What needs work? Clearly, my writing schedule.

My writing goals for 2024? Submit, submit, submit. (Keep me accountable: When you see me at events, ask me if I’ve submitted anything!). I’ll be different as a writer because I’ll have my name on something that other people can see, a tangible record of the hard work I’m doing. That means something to me and will motivate me to do even more–to extend in continuity and scope.

Talk to me–to each other! Send me an email with your reflections as a writer in 2023, and what you’d like to reach towards in 2024. I’d love to share some of these (and can do so anonymously) because I think it helps us all not feel so alone at the page. We’re in this together.

Go get ’em.


Leah Lederman


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