Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Word for the Year: BELIEF

As I've written elsewhere on the interwebs, I'm not much of a New Year's Resolution kinda guy.

Resolving to make specific changes in your life is a great thing, but I find the turning of the clock from the last day of one year to the turning of the first second of the next to be a bit too artificial for my tastes.  And, besides, serious change requires more than just a vague wish for things to be different.  They require planning, forethought and discipline, three things that seem to be in short supply on the morning of January 1st.

I've been a big fan of Asheville, NC singer-songwriter Christine Kane for years now.  A while back, before she made the full  transition from Musician to Life Coach, she posted to her blog about dropping Resolutions in favor of a Word of the Year.  This idea struck me as being something I wanted to get behind.

In 2009 I thought about a good Word of the Year for myself (and thought and thought and thought) and finally settled on a minor cheat (two words) NO LAZINESS.

By nature, I'm a pretty lazy person.  I have no problems admitting to that, just as I have no problems sleeping on a Saturday until after 10am or trusting in Nature to decompose the leaves laying in our front yard for me if I choose to not rake them up.  However, there were several things in life that my general laziness was interfering with (writing being chief amongst them) so I thought a good Word for the Year (along with some visual reminders for myself) would be helpful.

It was.  I wrote a guest post on Christine's blog on my Word for 2009 and how it turned out for me.

For last year I thought about the changes that I wanted to see in my life and finally settled on ASTOUND.  I wanted to astound myself by accomplishing things that I didn't think possible.  That I didn't have much in mind aside from actually writing a book from start to finish didn't bother me.  I was hoping I'd surprise myself many times over.

To my credit, I did write three of my MG books this past year.  That I've recently come to realize that all three need to have additional content written is... well, come to think of it astounding in a somewhat depressing way (what?  you mean they aren't done after all?) but, astounding is still astounding, right?

My word for 2011 came to me after reading an email from someone in NYC about the first of my goofy kids books.  She was making recommendations for additions to the story, additions that were, to me, feeling like changes -- until I realized what she was really suggesting was that I stop looking at my story as a goofy kids book and see it as something more serious, something worthy of literary attention.

"If she believes in me and my writing, I suppose I should learn to do the same," I thought.

And so, BELIEF it is.

If a Word of the Year sounds interesting, I recommend you start with Christine's initial blog post about the idea.  That posting has a long list of words that you can consider.  Also, each December her blog entries are made up of guest posts from people describing how they used their Word of the Year for the past year.  There's always some neat reading there.

Christine also has a Word of the Year Worksheet that is available if you sign up at her website.  (Or, because I've done it for you, you can just click here instead.)

Have you chosen a Word of the Year in the past?  If so, what word(s) did you choose and how did that word work for you?  Are you thinking of giving it a try this year?  Maybe for the first time?  What's your word and why?

-- Tom