The start of a new year has most of us reflecting on the previous year and making grand plans for the coming year. I don’t make resolutions. To me, they’re empty wishes. I set goals. And each year, I think of one word that will guide me through the year and keep me on track to meet those goals. I post that word in my office so I can see it every day. It’s a great reminder for those times when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
I once again challenged the WITS gals to think of their guiding word for 2017 –
My word for 2017: Enjoy
Last year was a mixed bag for me – on the writing side, there was a lot to celebrate; on the personal side, less so. Those “less so” life events left a murky film on pretty much everything I achieved. As I started thinking about 2017, one thing came to the surface: My debut releases on May 2. That’s a huge achievement. With that in mind, my word for 2017 is Enjoy. I will shake that murky film and I will enjoy my debut author year.
My word for 2017: Trust
2016 was a challenging one for me in my writing career. Finishing a contract, trying, and failing (so far) to break into New York in a new genre (women's fiction) with three different proposals had me questioning everything: my ability to tell a story, my self worth, my sanity.
I sat myself down about a month ago and had a talk. I decided that:
- I am a good writer - I didn't start this gig to be a bestseller. I started it to get the stories out of my head and on paper in an engaging, true way. I'm improving at this, every book.
- I love writing - I'll do it whether I have a contract or not
- If I'm this 'fluffy', writing, what would I look like if I quit? (sorry for the visual)
Bottom line, I'm trusting what I know inside, not the outside yardstick of success. If I do, hopefully that yardstick will come into play again. If not? I'm having fun, playing with my characters. And if that's all there is, that was enough to start me on this journey to begin with . . . so it'll be enough, now.
My word for 2017: Focus
I made some huge decisions about my writing and my writing career in 2016. Decisions that have my writing time tightly scheduled with deadlines and commitments—to myself and to others. To learn what I need to learn and to produce at all levels, I have to maintain my focus. That doesn't mean that I'm not having fun, but there can be no "bird walking" this year.
Focus will help me target what needs to be improved. Focus will allow me to look to far-away goals, like binoculars focus on distant objects. Years of work are coming together in 2017, and just as a photographer adjusts and tightens the focus of a lens, focus will give me the sharp edges I'll need to attain my goals for this year.
This is new for me, devoting so much of my day, and days, to writing, but it's exciting. It's amazing what a positive force attitude is. It's sustained me for the past six months. Adding focus, as the marketing pieces kick in, geared to summer releases, will keep me on track. Laser focused Fae. At least, that's the plan.
My word for 2017: Becoming
After almost a decade of trying, I finally won NaNoWriMo this year. When I pulled this year's experience apart to see what was different, I realized that I am the difference.
I stopped worrying about silly things and got out of my own way. We all have worries, and we cannot escape all of them, but some of what writers worry about is just silly creative-kryptonite type of stuff:
Will I ever get this book done?
Will it be any good?
Will this book ever sell?
I stopped worrying about all that and just wallowed in the fun of putting words on the page. I sped through word sprints with my pals. I joined write-ins with my fellow WriMos. I immersed in my story and just worried about the right now.
I not only allowed myself to become the writer all my pals here at WITS believe me to be, I allowed myself to believe it too. I plan to keep on becoming that in-the-moment writing powerhouse through the coming year. I dig that chick...she makes my soul sing.
Okay WITS readers, what say you … we want to hear your word for 2017 in the comments.
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Orly Konig is an escapee from the corporate world, where she spent roughly sixteen (cough) years working in the space industry. Now she spends her days chatting up imaginary friends, drinking entirely too much coffee, and negotiating writing space around two over-fed cats. She is a co-founder and past president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and a member of the Tall Poppy Writers. She is rep’d by Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary Agency LLC.
Orly’s debut, The Distance Home, will be released by Forge on May 2, 2017.