The 2023 Epilogue: Between The Lines In Review

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Wellp. Here we are again, bestie.

Just two girlies who said they were gonna do a LOT of shit this year — then didn’t. 

Actually, I can’t speak for you. 

Maybe you did every single thing you promised yourself you would this year.

Maybe you made a zillion dollars, impressed every person you’ve ever met with an intense glow-up, broke 55 hearts, booked 700 dream clients, vacationed to the Maldives, ran a marathon, had lunch with Paris Hilton, planned a heist, plotted world domination, and achieved immortality.

I don’t know.

All I know is that was nawt the case for me. 

How 2023 *actually* went for me…

In the beginning of 2023, I was SO ready to be the “BEST” version of myself. 

After going through a separation at the end of 2021, and spending most of 2022 figuring out how to be alone in the world again (while supporting a child, moving back to America, growing a business, and building a comfortable life I felt excited about living), I felt like 2023 was MY year. 

I even said so in my 2023 Prologue — the blog post I write annually — making some seriously huge claims about how I refused for 2023 to be anything but exactly what I wanted it to be:

“As I wrote in my 2022 epilogue, 2021 was a very hard year, and 2022 was hard, but better. This means that 2023 HAS to be my year, right?

Well, I’m not leaving it up to chance.

I’m more dedicated and determined than ever to approach this new year with a clear head, clear intentions of what I hope to achieve (both personally and professionally), and promises to myself that I plan to keep—which, historically, is a difficult task. Raise your hand if you’re an external validation girlie like me.

That being said: it is quite literally impossible for 2023 to be a bad year. I rebuke that in the name of Jesus Christ himself. I simply straight up refuse for these next 12 months to be anything but glorious.

(Will I still have shitty days? Yes. Will I be able to snap out of it? Also yes. It’s fine.)

So, without further ado—let’s talk about how I plan on making 2023 the best year of my whole damn life.”

And you know what? I love that for me.

I love that January 2023 me had such high expectations, and felt so determined to actually ENJOY the life she was creating for herself and her son, because that joy had been taken from her for a while.

…but she was TRIPPINGGGG if she thought she had the mental capacity for half of the things she promised herself ??? The fuck ??? 

Past Me wrote a whole ass speech about how she was letting go of lofty goals… then made a bunch of lofty goals. Like, gurl. 

Homegirl wrote so much shit in that blog that it has taken me days to work up the courage to even read the damn thing in order to review how my 2023 measured up, and assess how I want to plan for 2024. 

HOWEVERRRR — I do absolutely love the energy in which Past Me approached goal-setting for this year: focusing on the things I want to accomplish, then considering HOW I’m planning on getting there, as opposed to simply stating an outcome and willing it to come to fruition with no actual ACTION.

SO, that being said:

Let the annual review commence.

I’ve been seeing this TikTok trend go around lately where all the girlies are sharing what they failed at this year, and I have mixed feelings about it. 

On one hand, I appreciate that content creators aren’t trying to put up a front about what their lives actually are, and I always like an approach to authenticity that highlights the true version of who someone is.

On the other hand, in some of those videos people are being WAYYY too hard on themselves, and I think the trend might be fostering some negative outlooks when we could be reframing certain situations to positives. 

That said, I do think it’s a fun little exercise to review what you set out to do in the new year, and compare it to what *actually* happened (if ur mentally healthy enough to do so lmao) 🤪

Here’s what I set out to do in 2023 — and whether or not it actually happened:

“Travel once a month” → check, ish. 

I don’t think I traveled once a month, but I definitely traveled a lot. I went to Phoenix 4 times, went to Cape Cod as much as humanly possible, saw my friends Xanthe & Frank in Los Angeles, and visited Sarah Kleist in NYC. 

“Rest more” → check! Go me.

If you had asked me in January 2023 what my plan for the year was, I would have probably told you “make as much money as possible.” I doubled my income from 2021 to 2022, and I wanted to do the same in 2023. 

…until about March. Then, I decided that 2023 was no longer a Money Year, and that, instead, it had to be a Peace Year. I protected the fuck out of my peace, took the entire summer off from work, and, for the first time since getting divorced, allowed myself to LIVE like a gal in her 20s should (on the few occasions I was child free, lol). 

“See a concert” → CHECK, CHECK, CHECK.

Tapping into my Concert Girlie era was not on my 2023 Bingo card, but I’m sooo happy it happened. Now, I’m obsessed. 

I saw Noah Kahan’s Stick Season in both New York and Massachusetts, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in both Glendale and Boston, and Morgan Wallen in both Phoenix and Boston.

I also saw Renee Rapp, Cole Swindell, Jordan Davis, and Ed Sheeran. BIG concert year for ur girl. 

(Spoiler alert for 2024: Noah again, Taylor again, and hopefully Olivia Rodrigo, Zach Bryan, and Lainey Wilson, among many others.)

“Treating myself like a plant” Absolutely 0 checks on this one.

I think I treated myself like a sewer rat most of the time, actually. 

Maybe I should give myself a 10% check on this, because I *did* spend some serious time outside this summer, but… I also pulled a fuck ton of all nighters, entertained someone’s crusty son for 8 months who, in part, distracted me from a few goals, ate enough processed food to send a victorian lady into a coma, drank significantly less water than I should have, and gave myself permanent dark circles under my eyes, so. 

There’s that.

Is 2024 the year of the plant? Hopefully. 

“Launch two more courses” → Three-quarter-check.

I wanted to launch a course called Sales Series (like my website copywriting course, Site Series, but sales page version), and instead launched my sales page masterclass. Sooo0o0 I’m giving myself a partial-check for that one.

(Side note: you can buy the sales page masterclass whenever; it’s always available for purchase and it comes with the course, a sales page template, and my offer development workbook! I call it the Sales Page Trifecta.)

Another plan I had was to launch the Email Marketing Chapter live, which I did, and LOVED, and am doing again this year!

(Another side note: you can sign up for that course now for $300 off if you join before my birthday, December 31st! You’ll also unlock a FREE 1:1 call with me if you join.)

“Not lying to myself about what I want to accomplish” No check, but it was accidental.

I had big aspirations for myself that I partially didn’t meet, but I’m not considering this one a complete fail, because, at the time, I genuinely had every intention of 2023 being a Money Year, working like a dawg, and getting shit done.

And I think it’s perfectly okay that I decided to shift my priorities, after realizing what it was I ACTUALLY needed for my 2023 to be a success. 

Permission to change your perspective = granted. 

(Stay tuned for my “29 things I learned by 29” blog post coming your way next week, by the way. More on that perspective-changing-permission thing there.)

Accomplishments I’m proud of from 2023

I know I mentioned earlier in this post that Past Me was way too ambitious about becoming the “BEST” version of herself, but I actually really do feel as though I had a serious growth year.

While it may not have been a Money Year, I learned so many things about myself, my relationships, my priorities, and the things I want for my life.

I genuinely feel much wiser, much stronger, and much more at peace — all things I didn’t even know I was hoping to feel at the beginning of this year.

I feel much more grounded in who I am, what I want, and how I’m going to get it, and THAT is my biggest accomplishment of 2023.

Other noteworthy accomplishments include…

Successfully taking the entire summer off from work.

Revamping my website copywriting course.

Surviving the threenager stage and raising a kind, hilarious, loving, SMART, outgoing, empathetic, strong, caring, funny little dude.

Being asked to be a guest on so many cool podcasts.

Feeling so fulfilled by my role as an educator and mentor, and stepping into a leadership season.

Letting go of expectations, and giving myself appropriate amounts of grace.

Being so involved in my local Chamber of Commerce (because, Lord knows if I’m gonna be forced to live in the suburbs so Woo can live close to his bestie Grampy, I’m gonna get involved).

Growing my following on TikTok in a way that feels fun.

Celebrating THREE YEARS of sending my weekly newsletter every single Tuesday morning without ever missing one — and reading all of the nice things people have to say about me, my stories, my tips, and my education style. I legit ugly-cried in the middle of a coffee shop when I read the feedback.

This year may not have turned out how I thought it would, but in some ways, it was so much better.

People I have to thank for making 2023 so great

Wesley, for being my best friend.

Jayme, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Kim, for being my best friends over the age of 21.

Gretchen and Abby, for proving that age actually doesn’t matter in friendship.

Sarah and Sarah, for being my best friends from the Internet, always putting up with my bullshit, and listening to more audio messages than any human should ever be subjected to.

Alli, for being the best friend AND biggest fan.

Russ, for being my friend that everyone wants to be my boyfriend.

AJ, for getting matching tattoos with me and giving me my moment of Internet fame.

AJ’s mom for being my biggest hypewoman.

AJ’s new girlfriend for blocking me and making me feel cool enough to be perceived as a threat, even though I live on the other side of the country.

My dad, for picking Woo up from school and giving me the temporarily illusion of freedom for an hour each week.

My mom, for not telling me to shut up as much as she probably wanted to.

& every single person who subscribed to my email list, DMed me saying they found me on Pinterest, commented on my TikToks, enrolled in my courses, and inquired to work with me.

I love u.

BTL’s 2023 by the numbers

The most FUN part of writing these prologues and epilogues each year is always looking back on the past 365 days by the numbers. You don’t realize how much has happened in your life until you’re writing out the full ass list.

So, without further ado… here’s my 2023 by the numbers:

  • 182 students in Site Series®
  • 48 students in the Email Marketing Chapter
  • 10 blog posts and 12 welcome sequence emails written for this year’s dream client winner, Showit
  • 17,486 tasks moved to the back burner
  • $100,000 less earned than I meant to
  • 1 sick ass brand shoot at my favorite food blogger’s studio
  • 52 weekly newsletters sent
  • One 3-year email-versary celebrated
  • Infinite new business friends made
  • 12,398,542,387 minutes of audio messages sent (probably)
  • 1 dinner with the extended family of a boy I’d just met (and gotten matching tattoos with) 2 days prior
  • 202 hours of time saved by Loom
  • 9 concerts scream-sung at
  • Drastically less tennis balls hit than intended
  • Immeasurable hours spent messaging Sarah Burk, Sarah Kleist, and Morgan Rager on Slack
  • 1 boy I really wished I liked but didn’t
  • 2 boys I ghosted and felt bad about
  • 3 sleazy boys who tried to cheat on their partner with me
  • 4 first dates that gave me a full-body ick
  • 500,000 screenshots of embarrassing dating app pictures and prompts from men who honestly should be locked up
  • 10 5-figure invoices paid
  • 1 nomination to the Chamber of Commerce membership committee
  • Several blog posts and webpages on page #1 of Google
  • (runners up: “motherfucker” / “mofo” / “brother in Christ” / “c*ntbag” / “tea”)
  • Unlimited questions answered for my students and mentees
  • 1 first class flight home from LA (so worth it)
  • 4 regular-person flights to Phoenix
  • Significantly less flights than Frank Appleyard
  • $8,304.45 earned from promoting the best Showit website templates
  • 1 Olympian client I get to brag about
  • 206 hours spent in the sand
  • 10 minutes spent screaming Taylor’s version of All Too Well, thrice daily, at least
  • Not as many trips to the dentist as I should have had (sigh)
  • 4 new pairs of cowboy boots acquired
  • 1 new cowboy boot ass tat acquired
  • 6 weeks spent happily boy sober
  • 14,785 chai lattes consumed
  • Not as many miles walked as I meant to
  • 3 full minutes spent smiling like an idiot at my computer screen after someone called my newsletter “Basically Sex and the City for entrepreneurs” and said it was “one of the cult newsletter of the 2020s”
  • 75-page draft of website copy currently not even close to done that I should be writing right now instead of this epilogue

Damn. What a year. 

SO… what’s up for BTL’s 2024?

I really want to say “you’ll have to read The 2024 Prologue to find out” for the sake of tradition, but… in addition to being the reigning Queen of the Long Story Long, I am also queen of getting too excited about things and ruining the surprise.

How about we just do a little spoiler alert?

My LIVE email marketing course is launching in January.

I’m doing a ton more one-off paid masterclasses.

I’m finally launching a copywriter-specific educational resource. (If you’re interested, email me at sara@betweenthelinescopy.com to get on the waitlist — it’s gonna be FIRE.)

I’m revamping my Wicked Easy Website Copy Guide to make it even more robust.

I’m relaunching my affiliate program for website designers who want their clients to use that^ guide to write their own copy.

I’m upgrading all of my freebies.

& let me tell you, bestie, 2024 is a MONEY YEAR. Mama’s buying a Cape house.

What was your favorite part of 2023?!

Mine was building all of the awesome relationships with my community, while also giving myself the space to protect my peace offline.

I’d love to hear what YOU loved about 2023 — and what you’re planning for in 2024. Susbcribe to my newsletter & hit “reply” to the welcome email to tell me about your hopes and dreams. I respond to every email, and I can’t wait to be friends.

Love u. Thanks for reading, following along with my journey, and being part of the reason why I get to do this for work when it really doesn’t feel like “work” at all.

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Hi, I'm Sara—Website Copywriter & Marketing Mentor.

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