New Year, New Goals: 2023

So it has been a year since I have written a blog entry however, I am happy to say it is because 2022 was a very busy year for me. I was not able to keep up with my blog as I had planned, and at first viewed this as defeat, but as I look back at 2022 and into 2023, I realize I was able to fulfill my goals in other ways.

I was able to continue working on my manuscripts and I feel one is finally ready to be sent out to some agents. Fingers crossed. It is a work of historical fiction, full of twists and turns. I am thankful that having a few writings published by Introvert, Dear gave me the confidence to keep writing and explore writing options. One of my writing goals for 2023 is to start querying my historical fiction manuscript and to go back to my very first romance manuscript to deconstruct and make some major changes. The bones are there for the piece but it definitely needs reworked.

My artistic goals for 2022 were surpassed when I was given the opportunity to paint a mural in a local Fredericksburg outdoor store, River Rock Outfitter. I happen to work at the store on the weekends and collaborated with the owner to design and paint two adjoining walls. I wanted to put all things special to our area of Virginia in it, starting with the Shenandoah mountains, dogwood flowers, Motts Run Reservoir, kayaking the Rapidan River, canoeing the Rappahannock, the Fredericksburg train bridge and animals native to our region. The figures in the mural are female as the business is female owned and operated and I wanted to send the message to women to get outside and take advantage of all nature has to offer. I was happy to be out there painting again and the mural opened up a few other artistic endeavors. One of my artistic goals for 2023 is to continue painting and rediscover my niche in the art world.

Photography continues to be a passion of mine and I am always learning and growing as a photographer. In 2022 I was able to photograph a local singer and songwriter. We had two successful photo shoots and I am excited to see how she uses my photos for her new album debuting in March. As an introvert, I still prefer photographing inanimate objects but when I do connect with a client, it does become magical. My photography goal for 2023, is to continuing exploring and learning new techniques and to decide whether to stick with a DSLR camera or go mirrorless.

Between photo shoots, painting and writing, I still managed to teach art to my elementary students. School has become a bit more normal since the pandemic but I am looking forward to retiring in a few years so I can get back to doing art for me full time. Teaching others takes a lot from you and after getting my creativity sort of “sucked” out of me over the years, I am slowly finding balance again.

Actually, I think 2023 will be all about balance. So here’s to 2023 and finding that balance in life!

Published by manfrejl

I am a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where I received a degree in Studio Art and a Masters Degree in diverse student populations. I hail from Virginia and am a member of the James River Writers. When I am not writing or teaching art, you can find me photographing various things.

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