January 1, 2012

What word will you choose for 2012?

At the beginning of every year, I like to choose a word to live by.

This word represents something I’d like more of, something I aspire to, or a philosophy I’d like to become more intimate with.

For 2011, my word was ‘faith‘.

This word carried me safely through launching a new company, getting married, and not being able to write my work-in-progress.

I wrote courses, and articles, and blogs, but I didn’t make headway on my novel. The words got stuck in my pen. I could have panicked, but instead I trusted that my words would flow again in their own time. I trusted that if I continued to make space for myself, either to write or to read other’s writing, then I’d find my way again.

They did.

For 2012, my word will be ‘enough’.

I’ve already written a critique of the concept of ‘abundance’, and this seemed to strike a chord with people.

What I’d like to get better at is being grateful for what I already have.

Can I stop eating when I’ve had ‘enough’? Can I feel grateful for the house we live in, the free time I have, the money I already have, without wanting more? Sometimes, yes, and sometimes, of course not ; ) This is what I’ll be working with during 2012. It feels especially relevant in these difficult financial times. And it will be the gateway into praise.

So how will this word affect my life as a writer?

I’m publishing my fourth novel in February, and (as with my previous novels) I’d like six million people to buy it and enjoy it. I’d like it to be made into a Hollywood movie. I’d like to be more famous than J. K. Rowling.

Instead, I will aim towards accepting the sales I get (and the feedback I get) as ‘enough’.

I’ll still do whatever I can to market the book. I’ll still have high hopes. But I’ll accept whatever comes as ‘OK’. It will sell lots, it won’t. Either will be ‘enough’.

Just thinking about things in this way makes the whole affair feel less fraught. Less desperate. More fun. I can do my best, and then relax.

I learnt so much in 2011. And I have so much to learn. I’m looking forward to working with my new word, and to being a writer (and a wife and a psychotherapist and a friend etc) in 2012. I hope you are too.

Happy New Year!


Our free January Mindful Writing Challenge starts TODAY : ) If you’d like to join us and pay attention to one thing every day, find out more here.


Image by Matthew Petroff, via Creative Commons, with thanks.

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