Do you play the watchword game? That is, choose a single word to epitomize your approach to the coming year? It’s not as restrictive as a goal or resolution. More like a theme, defined as ‘an idea that recurs and pervades.’
Elizabeth told us on Wednesday that her word for 2018 is FINISH, to be applied to one project per month, not necessarily writing-related.
Last year I wanted a call to action. I settled on PUBLISH, and here’s how I explained my choice:
That 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 that book, and that series, will get published.
I think I did pretty well with that.
- I finished Alexis Book 1 and, with Jeanne’s help, tidied up the ms well enough to win a contest and get some nice comments from the judges.
- I made a final decision to pursue indie publishing, joined Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing 101 course and worked through the lectures.
- I signed up with Jeanne’s editor, Karen Dale Harris, and sent Alexis to her. I received my report just before Christmas and I’m now working my way through Karen’s comprehensive and challenging feedback.
- I decided to write two more stories from Alexis’s past, one to be given away on my mailing list and the other as a prequel to kick off Alexis’s series. I resolved to get both of these finished before I release the first Alexis book, even if that means I have to let the ‘go live’ date slip a few months.
- I spent a lot of time thinking about my titles, covers, and all kinds of other useful indie-publishing need-to-know decisions I learned about from the Mark Dawson classes. I now have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to handle most of them.
This year I’m going for a different approach, because although I keep inching forward, I’m feeling a kind of mounting frustration that I still have so much to do and it’s taking me so damn long to hatch a book.
I thought about PATIENCE, because I’m going to need lots of it.
I considered PROCESS because that’s what Jenny Crusie used to say in class when we got stressed out: It’s a Process.
I was tempted by PROGRESS, because as long as I keep moving in the right direction, I know I’ll get there.
But in the end, I found my 2018 watchword courtesy of this timely reminder from Michaeline. On 30th December, she said:
We live in a time where we can get online support and critiques, buy the best organizing tools ever, and even publish ourselves with only our own Inner Censors as the sole gatekeepers of our work. Or we could get a pencil and paper, and then publish pictures of our handwritten pages on Instagram. It’s all trimmings. What really matters is the happiness you get from writing.
I love that.
So, although I’m looking forward to another packed year of writing and indie-publishing challenges, I’m also going to remind myself why I choose to invest all this time, energy and hard-earned cash: because it makes me happy.
So—TRIMMINGS is my watchword for 2018. Thank you, Michaeline 😀
What would/did you choose?