Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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January 1, 2020

One Word to Guide Your Writing Journey in 2020

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


My word for 2020: Hope

Hope is my favorite four letter word. It keeps me moving forward. Even in the dark days when I worry about digging myself out of the current dilemma, the hope that all will be well lights my way.

Hope offers a lifeline, a feeling of optimism for all endeavors. So, for this New Year, my wish for all of us is to have the hope needed to achieve what we desire most.


My word for 2020: Peace

Peace is in short supply in this crazy world. Hoard your own personal supply of it. Carve out your own little oasis, whether it is writing time and space, or an immersion learning with your favorite writing instructor.

Most important of all, don't allow anyone to steal your joy. Because leeching the joy from your life will also steal it from your writing.


My word for 2020: Trust

You must trust in yourself above all else. Trust your gut when it comes to writing, editing, and publishing. You know what is best for your characters and your book. Never give that away.

Trust others guidance and opinions along the way, but remember you always have the the last “word”.


My word for 2020: Promise

Our relationships are made up of promises and how well we keep them. Our own success often relates to how well we follow through on what we say we're going to do. And as authors, we make promises to readers that we should fulfill.

I haven't always kept the promises I've made — well, at least not in a timely fashion. I am a person of my word, but slow to finish at times. Honestly, I've missed my own deadlines more times than I care to confess.

Sometimes the problem is setting unrealistic goals, but sometimes it's just a matter of not prioritizing the promise. Yet I want to be a person of promise, someone others can count on to do what she says she'll do — whether that's writing a review for an author friend, meeting a deadline to an agent or myself, or delivering a story that measures up to the promise of the premise. So for 2020, my one word is promise.


My word for 2020: VIP

Dear Writer,

Congratulations on reaching VIP writer status! Yes, by reading blogs like WITS, you demonstrate my one word for 2020. Studying your craft hones that VIP status by doing the following:

  1. Clarifying your Vision as an author.
  2. Setting your Intentions for writing and3. Manifesting creative Plans for the new decade.

May you be the VIP you intend to be!


My one word for 2020: Shift

I'm writing a Women's Fiction that I hope to sell in 2020. I hope to follow this path forward. Not saying I'll never write another romance, but I'm having a blast exploring another genre!

Now we want to hear from you! What one word will guide your writing life in 2020?

Best wishes for all of you as you travel into 2020!
from Ellen, Jenny, John, Julie, Kris (and special guest: Laura)

Beginnings matter! Both for New Year's and for your manuscript. Our own wonderful Laura Drake will be teaching a First Five Pages class for Lawson Academy online. This is the stuff that hooks agents, editors, and most importantly, readers—well worth your time, money, and effort to get it right!

27 comments on “One Word to Guide Your Writing Journey in 2020”

  1. My one word is Persistence. There will always be unexpected roadblocks and distractions to pull you away from your writing. Many of those will come from within. No matter what the world (or your own brain) throws at you, be persistent, stay on the path, and know that you will eventually make it to your goal.

  2. I was going to choose "ready," because I've done so much preparation to position myself to get representation for my memoir, which WILL lead to a book deal in 2020. But I like Eldred's "persistent," because I know I'm going to need truckloads of it. So I'll use both!

    1. Good choice Karen. One of the key elements of persistence is to be "ready" for anything that comes at you!

    2. I LOVE "ready." That's a fabulous word to focus on for the year. And you have worked to get to this point. Now the work will change a bit, because you're turning your focus outward instead of inward, but you are READY. 🙂

  3. "Perspective" is my word, not only for my writing (hey, Jill, don't focus on the writing you aren't getting done during the holidays, focus on your loved ones who have come to visit you!) but also perspective in every goal, expectation, and comparison that sneaks into daily living.

    1. Jill, I loved that little window into your self-chat. Ha! And yes, perspective is beyond valuable. Keep applying that and you will be ready for whatever life brings you. 🙂

  4. My word is done. It suggests celebration. My novel is finished. My editing is finished. Seeing how many words I have done in my last writing effort feels good. Seeing how many days in a row I put in on my novel is exciting. I'm making progress. I can now move on to my next story idea. Done has so many joys attached to that experience. That is what I am for this year.

  5. Determined. Determined to find words for the unspeakable. Determined to let my voice be heard in a world that I was once afraid to exist in. Determined to no longer let uncertainty stop me from trying.

      1. Choosing to believe in myself and that I can accomplish things, and grace to forgive myself if I fall short and to not let it get to me. I can have a do-over.


  6. My word is VENTURE. Time to take some risks and chances in my writing and try in a different way this year. Like Emily Dickinson wrote: "Finite to failure, infinite to venture."

  7. I waffled between 'dauntless' and 'intrepid'. Dauntless is defined as showing fearlessness and determination, and intrepid is defined as being fearless and adventurous. That—the adventurous part—made me choose Intrepid as my word and my guiding star for 2020. I want to try new things, be fearless, take the path I haven't tried before, experiment, learn and grow. And I hope the world becomes more intrepid, going forward in new ways, discarding what no longer works and replacing it with something better, more inspiring, more joyful. Happy new year everyone!

  8. Loved reading everyone's words and why they chose them. I wrote down quite a list of words before I chose two: persistence and positivity. I tend to let things slide or hit the pause button when they get difficult, like tackling a difficult scene in my WIP or even sitting down regularly to write. I will work hard at remaining positive even while those around me (hubby shall remain nameless) constantly bear bad news. Here's to strength in 2020 for one and all!

  9. My word for 2020 is TENACIOUS. I have a lot of plates spinning this year, and I need to be relentlessly, stubbornly persistent in my writing goals.

    1. Hi Templa,
      I appreciate your Tenacious word and wish you all the hard work to stick to your projects this 2020.

  10. Well, I'm nearing the time when I have completed almost 3 novels and 2 novellas, none of which are published. And several of which require editing. I am getting my arsenal ready to send to betas or a few editor friends. I know I still have a ton of work to do to get my work cleaned up and dusted off to stand out for publishing. And my social media is still getting setup with media feeds and websites to market. I do expect to participate in some pitch fests on Twitter in 2020. But my primary goal this year for writing is to continue the climb. So my word choice for 2020 is Climb.

  11. My word is love. I drew it out of a basket at my church. I hope it inspires me to share more love and kindness. The word I would choose for myself is perseverance. A writing journey can be long and arduous, with moments of joy. I had no idea so many people chose a word for the new year. What a great idea. Let's hope we all follow through.

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