A Writer’s Year

David W. Berner, The Writer Shed
The Writer Shed
Published in
4 min readDec 15, 2023

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The things I learned writing in 2023

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi

Enough with the year-end listings. Best books. Best music. Best movies. On and on. It’s fun, to some extent. But yet, there’s this expectedness that comes with it. As if a year is not complete unless we rank it.

What I have learned this year, 2023, is that in the writing life, ranking is not the best approach for your creative sanity. Meaning, don’t rank your work. Don’t compete with yourself. Don’t compare your work in terms of “better or best” with other artists or writers. What I have learned more than ever in 2023 is that writing, for me, is life.

Think the Dani Rojas character on Ted Lasso, “football is life!”

Writing defines me. I had a friend the other day say, “You’ve gotten to the point, haven’t you, that you cannot not write.” He’s right. Truth is, I probably learned that years ago. But in 2023, I learned that writing is my being and I will write, in all the forms I can muster, until they turn off the lights.

Some other things I’ve learned in my 2023 writing life.

  1. Try something new. I never thought I was a poet, in the true sense of the word, and I’m still not sure I would ever call myself one. But, I stretched in 2023. Wrote poetry often. Submitted some. And yes, a few have been or will be published soon. I didn’t know I had it in me, even…

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David W. Berner, The Writer Shed
The Writer Shed

Award-winning writer of memoir and fiction. Creator of Medium publication: THE WRITER SHED and author of THE ABUNDANCE on Substack..