Essential: Update on My Word of the Year

I figured it was time for a Word of the Year check-in. And then I realized I couldn’t remember my Word of the Year. Oi. That tells you right off the bat I haven’t been thinking about it much, doesn’t it?

On the plus side, even though I haven’t been thinking of the word itself, the intention has been there. I’ve been working on getting better focus into my writing. I’ve identified a few key things I want to learn and improve on this year (like really short picture books that pack a punch). And I’ve tried to be even better about saying no to things. I can’t get through my essential to-do list every day, which includes lots of stuff on the business side of trying to earn a living through writing, as well as my heart-driven writing projects.

And for family, we’ve got one daughter getting married, another daughter traveling in Europe and Asia on social justice missions, and trying to sell our house and move. Honestly, those three are the essential things for me. My two writing goals (write my heart-driven books and earn a living from my writing) are essential. So much else has to go.

Even though I’ve still been blogging most days, that might change. When writer friends send me fun challenges, I usually don’t have time to take part. When I’m asked to volunteer for something, I almost always say no (Children’s Literature Assembly is my volunteer commitment the past several years). These are fun things, sometimes important things, but are they essential things? Not for me, not right now. So, I’ve been making hard choices and focusing on what’s essential. I hope to get even better at it in the next few months.

How are YOU doing on your word of the year?

12 Responses

  1. Laura,
    I didn’t choose a word for the year, but after filing my income tax, I think mine would be “submit.” It’s hard to make money if you don’t submit. 😉

  2. Cheers to you on those essentials! They’re good essentials.

    It must be going around: I was just revisiting my One Little Word or Word of the Year, which is “produce.” I’m doing so-so. I find myself falling back into old habits mostly by not saying “no” enough. But I’m up early this morning (earlier than usual), to pay that word a bit of attention.

    1. Thanks, Jen. Hopefully by putting our words back into the forefront of our mind, we’ll be inspired by them again:>)

  3. You are doing just fine. As a friend of mine says, “Do as you can, not as you can’t.” Keep it essential. My word is “create,” and I’m sure I have created some happiness, some annoyance, and some havoc! Looking around my office, I see that I have also created a mess. 🙂

    1. Hahaha–sounds like you’ve had a VERY creative year so far, Jane. Thanks for the encouragement:>)

  4. Not sure I ever chose a word for the year, but I surely picked a task for the year. The Mouse Project! Every one of the 366 days in 2016 I intend to draw, collage or otherwise create an image of a mouse. You can see what I’ve accomplished, so far, at, under “Projects”. Check out The Mouse Project to see the first 50 mice. But I’m still working on editing the book and finding an agent too! Thanks for your encouragement and good luck on all your ventures this year.

    1. I love your mouse project, npisunyer! What a fun idea. And you have some beautiful drawings there–I love all the artist-inspired ones. But I hope you don’t have a lot of mice in your house to use as models. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the reminder, Laura. My word is pursue, and I’m doing so so on remembering it, too. But there are some projects I’ve pursued these last few weeks that I feel good about. Onward!

    1. Excellent! Maybe we’ve just internalized our words and don’t have to think about the words themselves as much? Hehe–pry not, but worth a try!

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