Jilly: 2017 In A Word

PublishHappy New Year! Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2017 😀

If you had to choose one single word to epitomize your approach to the coming twelve months, what would it be?

A watchword is more flexible than a goal or a resolution. More like a theme, defined as an idea that recurs and pervades.

I last played this game in 2014, when I chose MORE (click here to read that post and the comments, where you’ll find some interesting choices). I already had a specific, measurable writing goal for the year—to finish my contemporary romance WIP—but I knew I was letting my inner editor hold me back. I kept under-cooking the conflict, emotion, action, tension, everything…so I chose an intangible, aspirational word to remind me to go for it.

This year I want my watchword to be a call to action, so I’ve chosen PUBLISH.

It doesn’t mean I expect Alexis to be published by the end of 2017, though that would be thrilling. It means that everything writing-related that I do this year should be directed towards that end. By next New Year’s Eve, at the very least I should know the specifics of how and when Alexis Book One, and the Caldermor series, will get published.

I believe I will need six full-length books and three novellas to tell Alexis’s story. I hope I’ll gather momentum as I go, but I’m not a fast writer. So with a following wind and a lot of luck perhaps I could get to the big finish by Christmas 2019. Yikes! That’s three solid years of Alexis and Kierce. I’m excited by the prospect of spending three years with these characters, but it’s a big challenge. I believe I’ll do a better and faster job with them if I have a specific outcome to aim for.

So—PUBLISH is my watchword for 2017. I like it!

What would you choose?

25 thoughts on “Jilly: 2017 In A Word

  1. Jilly, I love the idea of a watchword for the year. Sounds like you have a definite plan; can’t wait to get a chance to “read” the results.

    As for my own word, I need to give that some thought. I’ll let you know what I’ve come up with on my Wednesday post.

    May your 2017 be filled with wonderful stories.

    • Yes, I have a plan (though making a plan’s the easy part, right?). You’ll definitely get to read the results this year. Here’s hoping we all have a satisfying, story-filled year 🙂

      Look forward to finding out what you choose for your 2017 watchword!

  2. One year I played this game, and chose ACTION, which I drew in busy, schizophrenic lettering on the front of my date book. (What do I mean by schizophrenic? Those zig-zaggy lines emanating from the object, like the cat pictures this guy drew: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Wain). That was a good year (-:. I wish I still carried a date book. I wish I could put up wallpaper on just one “wall” of my phone.

    I think for this year, I’d choose something like FUN or HAPPY. As long as I remembered those, I did pretty well in 2016. Words like SHOULD or DUTY just throw me into a funk. I’ll think about it overnight.

    • I don’t have a date book, but I always have a Moleskine notebook on the go, and I scribble on the black cover with a silver marker pen. That should do nicely.

      I’d love to see what you come up with during a year of FUN or HAPPY. Let us know what you decide!

      • Will do. Tonight (Jan. 1) is supposed to be full of dreams with portent, according to some Japanese traditions. It’s particularly lucky to dream of Mt. Fuji, hawks/eagles or eggplant. (-: I will be happy with anything really, though. I will be consuming some cheese at a late-night supper, so I should have some interesting dreams!

        • Ooh, portentous dreams, that’s an exciting way to start the year! I’ll pay attention to mine tonight and report back if I see anything remarkable 🙂 .

        • Well, my dream, if I remember right, seemed to feature Webb of Mitchell and Webb (I’ve been watching a lot of their comedy sketches on YouTube the last week, and loving it. Posh Dancing is especially worth a look for people who love Jane Austen and Regencies (-:). I’ll share in my Saturday post, which seems to be shaping up to be a potpourri of starting-the-year things!

        • Oh, forgot the big thing. I made a memo in my phone about it after I woke up; that’s why I remember it. And the stupid thing is full, but my bright and savvy daughter said, “Why don’t you take a screen shot of your memo pad?” And so I did (-:. So now I’ve got it. Ah, tech! Easier to find my phone at the end of the charging cable than a pencil and paper (especially at 3 in the morning).

  3. I knew immediately what my word would be….FINISH. Finish messing with my story after each craft book I read. Finish writing, finish tinkering, finish editing…just finish the damn book! I have a black Moleskine, too, and I’m going to write that all over the cover. What a fabulous idea!

    I think your word is great, Jilly, and I can’t wait to read Alexis!

    • That should be my word, too, for after struggling with this story for over four years now, I have an impatient, frustrated need to complete it.

      But I think it must be: CLARITY

      Because that’s what I need more than anything else right now. The story I am struggling to finish is no longer the same story I once began writing. My original idea was not strong enough and when about the first half was written, I had to change direction completely and rewrite large portions of the text. But the two halves of the text has not allowed itself to be completely joined together smoothly. Somewhere in the middle is something that most resembles a train derailment.

      I need clarity.
      And once I have it, I hope I can achieve finish as well.

      Please excuse my not quite perfect english. I read English without problems, but when I write it, I still have to think in Swedish and try to translate.

      • Hi, Elisabet! I think CLARITY is an excellent choice. After four years you will have grown into a different (better!) writer, so no wonder the first half of your story doesn’t match up to the second. Congratulations on your perseverance, and wishing you a year of great clarity.

        FINISH can come later 😉

        Your English is excellent, by the way. Please keep us posted on your progress!

  4. We are the author of our lives. We get to make them anything we want them to be, rewrite them when they aren’t working, edit out the stuff that bogs them down. We get make them a love story or an adventure or a mystery or something new no one has dreamed up yet.

    So, this year my watchword is STORY. Telling them through my writing; appreciating the stories of others by reading, watching, and listening; living my very own happy adventure story in 2017.

    Nice idea, Jilly, thank you!


  5. I’m so excited about your series! Wow, nine stories overall. Fantastic!

    I already have my overall word for the year: intention. I’ll post about what that means to me and my writing tomorrow. Happy New Year to all 8LWers – may it be a good one all around.

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  7. I’m ridiculously happy about the fact that your word is Publish! That feels very exciting.

    My word will be Live. I mean that in the laden sense, not the simplistic one.

    I don’t usually do watchwords or resolutions. My family does Wishing Candles on the Winter Solstice. Wishing is so much less pressure! This year I wished for joyful space in my life for exploring my creativity in whatever form I need. Of course, this means writing! But also jewelry making and crafting and whatever else strikes my fancy. Yay 2017!

    • I never heard of Wishing Candles. Do you simply light them and make a wish on the solstice, or do you make more of a ceremony? I love this idea and, as you say, less pressure, though Publish! is an aspirational word for me, not a pressurized goal. It’s something thrilling I want for myself.

      Live! fills my heart with gladness. Wishing you a glorious year of joyful creativity in whatever form your muse chooses 😀 . Yay 2017!

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