Writers in the Storm

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December 31, 2018

A Word to Focus Your Writer Journey in 2019

Our Writers in the Storm team chose single guiding words in 2016, and 2017, 2018. Here are our words for 2019.

Fae Rowen

My word for 2019: Plan

2018 slipped away from me. All the projects I'd planned to complete, didn't get done. I didn't "fritter away" my time, I just found other things to do. Things that seemed to matter as much as my writing. I was wrong.

I've never been a proponent of New Year's resolutions. Or goals. Or lists. But I do play chess. In fact, my mother used to talk about how she argued with my father to let me win an occassional game because I cried real tears when I got frustrated with years of loss. My father, a really good player, didn't relent. And now, I thank him for that. He taught me perseverance, attention to detail, and how to plan many steps ahead.

So I'm looking at 2019 like a chess game. Life will make surprise moves. I'll have to counter them and adjust my game plan. I've already made loose "open" plans that give me choices to complete for short term (daily), mid-term (several days), or long term (one-to-two weeks). I've tried out my opening moves for the past couple of days and they worked. Better yet, I feel good about them and what I accomplished.

Horror of horrors, I'm even considering making a list. On paper. I've heard checking it off is quite the dose of positive reinforcement.

Jenny Hansen

My word for 2019: Bravery

Be brave, my friends.

Be brave in your writing. Don't worry about who will read it, or what your mother/brother/co-worker will say. This book of yours is written for an audience of one during the first draft. The next draft can work out any kinks. But if you aren't happy with your book, you will never be brave enough to send it out into the world.

Be brave in your submitting. I have promised two of my books to two people I admire, and they go to them early this year. It's a big deal for me to submit anything, but I shall be brave. 🙂

Julie Glover

My word for 2019: Marketing

I know, I know. How could I possibly choose such an unsexy word as marketing to guide my next year of writing! Well, here's the thing: I hate marketing. Or have hated marketing — as in I was the little girl who, tasked with selling fundraising items, did everything she could to avoid selling to anyone who wasn't blood-related and thus beholden to me. Knocking on doors and asking people to buy stuff? You might as well have asked me to be a live voodoo doll and get poked with a hundred pins.

But while I can be a writer without ever marketing, I cannot be a career writer without getting far more comfortable with sales. I've taken steps in that direction, but it's time to embrace the whole experience and get on board with marketing myself and my stories. After all, I believe in the product! So 2019 will involve me learning and practicing marketing approaches to reach potential readers, while remaining true to my desire not to pummel people with sales pitches. Plenty of authors pull that off, so I know it can be done.

Laura Drake

My word for 2019: Enjoy

My first book came out in 2013. 5 years later, I have 10 books out. I'm proud and thankful. But I'm also approaching burnout. I want to recapture the joy of writing just for myself, even as I'm writing for others. While I still have deadlines.

Yeah, impossible goals - they're my superpower. (Making them, not necessarily achieving them).

Now we want to hear from you! What one word will guide your writing life in 2019?

79 comments on “A Word to Focus Your Writer Journey in 2019”

    1. Focus was my word two years ago, jtailele. It had the power of a magnifying glass in the sunlight for me.

  1. I'm going with Bold, because when it comes to blogging or submitting short stories, I feel anything but. 2019 is the year I plan to boldly blog about things that fascinate me, boldly share the stories I love with the reading world, and boldly accept rejections and anticipate acceptance.

  2. My word is perseverance. I want to have my eye on the goal, and to be consistently doing things to approach the goal.

  3. What a great post. Was encouraged by it. My word is purpose. If it doesn’t serve a person in my life and writing, then I will set it free.

  4. My word is intentional. I want to move ahead effectively, deciding up front where I want to spend my time when I am blogging, using social media, and best of all, WRITING!

    1. Intentionality has helped me many times in the decision-making process, Lakota. I hope it will do the same for you.

  5. One of my writing friends has been doing this exact thing for a few years now! And I decided to get on board with it for the coming year, too. My word for 2019 - creatively, professionally, emotionally, and in every other way - is... EMPOWER.

  6. Persistence. To persist in spite of day jobs, life responsibilities, changing market conditions, changing technology, etc.

    1. We can all be our own managers as we work on becoming "rockstar" writers, Kathleen. Another part of a writer's life.

  7. My word is HEALTH. 2018 was a great year for my writing career, but so much time at my computer has packed on the pounds and taken its toll on my overall physical health. Buying a standing desk has helped a little, but there's lots of progress to be made. The brain lives in the body, after all.

    1. I took that route in 2017, Rhonda, and spent this past year getting back into a healthier routine. Best of luck to you.

  8. Time. Some recent health issues brought home the fact that I need to make much better use of my time--I turn 70 in 2019. (Yikes! How did that number get here so fast?)

    1. Oh, CK, Laura Drake reminds me all the time that we only have a finite time to write all the books in our heads. And I have a lot of characters wanting their stories to be told!

    2. What I found helped me write 3 books while working full time with kids at home, CK, was prioritizing. Turned out, TV had to go away, to allow me to get up earlier to write before work. We all have full lives already - you have to decide to give something up, to make the time to write!
      Best to you.

    1. Thanks, Harley. When I'm intentional I am aware enough to ask good questions, like "What is your intention in buying those cookies?"
      Of course, it's to eat them. Then I can make a better decision since I don't really want to deal with the aftermath of eating cookies. Same goes for decision-making about my writing.

  9. I love this post. I've done this every year for the last several years. And so for 2019 I decided I get two words. 🙂

    EXPLORE and EXPERIMENT with aspects of writing and life.

    1. You've earned two, spurvis500! and those are good ones. I especially like 'experiment', because it insinuates a learner's mentality. Even from your mistakes, you learn how it's NOT done, right?

  10. I think my word for next year shall be Persevere. I have come a long way in my writing skills and ability this year, and I hope that next year shall bring more of the same... but it will only do so if I put the effort in. I will get something tangible written. I will find my voice. I will truly become a writer. I will persevere.

  11. My word is SACRED. Funny it’s easily transposed to SCARED, but this task is massive. I must take hold of the reins and treat my book with what it deserves. I’ve been hacking away at it for a few years and learned much (spending a fortune) along the way. I now owe it to myself to make my goal sacred by guarding my time and my dream. It is my intention to finish the story I have so much confidence in that it’s scary.

    1. We do have a sacred trust with our readers, jay. And that means we have the same bond with ourselves. Thank you--and for acknowledging that carrying out a sacred task is scary!

  12. Submit.

    I did in 2012 and got published. I've been either too scared or not ready since then. But even if it's just shorts I will in 2019. (In fact, I have submitted to one anthology since 2013 but not succeeded.)

    1. As long as you keep submitting, you can get published again, Roland. Do it! And know that a lot of us are with you.

  13. I'll go with determination. There's a lot I need to do in 2019 to market and promote my book. A lot that's new to me. It's so easy to put things off that are uncomfortable, but I'm determined to see it through.

    1. Putting off things that are uncomfortable or hard or scary—yes, I've been guilty of all that. But you're right, determination can turn that train around. Thanks, Kay!

  14. Another vote here for FINISH.

    The problem with that, of course, is that FINISH isn’t just one thing. It’s an accumulation of many small steps of PROGRESS, which requires not only to PERSIST, but to BEGIN. Again and again and again, because every session of sitting down to work is a new beginning, which is hard every time. So it could really be any number of things, but I’ve started plenty of times already, and I’ve been persisting for a long time now. Time to finish something.

    1. You could be a life coach, Darnell. How can we change if we don't motivate that change? What a great word: LEAP! Thank you.

        1. I can't believe no one has said that before to you. LEAP! I just know you're going to have an amazing year. Be sure to let me know how it goes.

  15. This is a great idea. I resonated with "brave" (and I love the meme), because right now I'm finishing a WIP that walks a fine line with some spiritual issues. I don't claim to understand the answers to them, and I'm not trying to "make a point" other than life is real, it hurts, grace is available, and sometimes we need to just rest there. But honestly, I might get flack with this book. Being brave is a good idea. ALSO: JULIE GLOVER, if you really need some direction and inspiration for your marketing, take the Novel Marketing, 3 week "Marketing Blueprint" class they are talking about repeating this year. I took it in Sept. Worth every dime. Blessings~

  16. Love everyone's answers. Last year I chose "Fortune" as I've been writing for years now and have never made a profit. I even made a vision board for it. Turns out, I made sales every month of 2018. A first for me. Yay!

    So this year it's "Balance". Like others in the comments, I spend too much time sitting. I need to create a balance in my life that includes healthy eating and exercise as well as writing and socializing.

    Good luck everyone with your word of the year!

  17. My 2019 word is going to be “Go”.

    Go send your first book to the beta reader.
    Go get your dissertation approved.
    Go get that new job youve been working toward.
    Make some changes and go improve yourself.

    Last year i was still inprogress. Im tired of that status. Lets go get some stuff done.

    1. You go, Jeanne! Heck, we're all in motion, so we always are progressing toward something—one way or another. Kudos to you for choosing to focus of your progress!

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