Happy New Year!
Oh how I love sitting down on the first day of a new year and actually writing something to you! So often I set these lofty goals of a new year’s day post that fall apart immediately, but not this year. This year I am here, I am writing, and I am so thrilled about it.
Since it is January 1, I figured it was a good time to introduce you to my word of the year: Embrace.
If you’ve been here for a while, you might remember my word last year was Open. The year before that, it was Shine. The year before that, Focus. And the first year I selected a word rather than making a list of resolutions, my word was Core.
Truthfully, I struggled a bit to come up with a word this year… so much so, in fact, that I actually started doing Google/Pinterest searches for “words of the year” (this has become quite the trend lately, after all!) to get an idea of what word I might select for myself. To be honest, last year’s choice scarred me a bit. Not only did “Open” end up meaning literally (like, via surgery), but the openness that last year required and delivered was waaaaaaaaaaaaay more than I intended or bargained for. So, this year, I was second guessing every word that popped into my mind.
That is until I found a list of 150 Words of the Year. As I skimmed the list, I just kept going “Nope, nope, not right, this isn’t it, ugh maybe I just won’t even have a word…” when I suddenly saw two options that stood out to me, as though the Universe was hitting bold on them so only I could see it: Celebrate and Embrace.
Celebrate was my first choice. After all, I’ve got a lot coming up to celebrate this year, including my nephew who we’re expecting to arrive next month and my tenth wedding anniversary, among other events. But it just wasn’t singing to me quite right, and there was something about Embrace that had a stronger pull. I’m learning to trust those instincts a bit more.
The definitions of Embrace are:
- The act of holding someone closely in one’s arms
- The act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically
The first thing that stood out to me about these definitions was the active nature of the word — the act of — and how different (and delightful!) that felt after a year of feeling like everything was just sorta happening to me and I was just open to it. To actually embrace it. That takes action. That takes courage. That takes planning and intent and confidence and love and reason and passion. That’s all the good stuff I want and need in 2019.
I also just really want to see my friends and family more, and I’m a hugger, so embrace = more hugs, and I think we all could use more hugs in 2019, yeah?
So, in light of the act of embracing being a bit of a thematic beginning to my year, here are a few other challenges I’ve decided to embrace in 2019…
Yeah, I’m waaaaaaaay late to this party, I know. So many people have done #DryJanuary challenges before, and now of course for every five articles touting the benefits there’s one screaming about why it’s a terrible idea, I’m doing it for the same reason I became a vegetarian for a month (and then, eventually, for nearly three years) — To see what it’s like. To see if I can. To see if there actually are any benefits to it (like better sleep and weight loss, saving money, and less desire for alcohol in the months that follow, as so many articles claim — here, here, here.).
GoodReads 2019 Reading Challenge
I’ve set a GoodReads Reading Challenge goal for myself all but one year since the challenge has existed (I skipped 2013 for some reason). And I’ve failed to meet my goal every single year, except one. In 2018, I set a goal to read 30 books, and I read 36. So, I’m feeling pretty good right now!
This year, I have set my reading challenge goal at 40 books. That’s 10 more than last year’s goal, and four more than I actually read last year. I feel like it’s absolutely doable. The real challenge, I’m discovering, is trying to decide which book to read first. I mean, the book you start a new year off with can be pretty significant, right? What if I pick something terrible?! So, making that choice today will be tougher than the other 39(+) for the year.
Patreon Publishing Challenge
Okay, this isn’t really a challenge like the other two are challenges, but I am making changes to my Patreon site beginning this month, which is challenging me to write more, both in quantity and in style.
On my Patreon site, I have four types of writing I publish: Six-Word Stories, Stage Pieces (scenes, monologues, one acts), Flash Fiction (a complete story in less than 1,000 words…usually, lol), and Poetry. I also have an on-going Serial. Depending on which tier someone subscribes to depends on which types of content (and how much) they read each month.
I made a few changes throughout my first six months on Patreon because, well, I didn’t really know what I was doing! But the tiers as they are today is how I intend to keep them for all of 2019, because they ensure that every month I will be writing FOUR of each of my types of writing. So, four pieces of flash fiction, four poems, four six-word stories, and four stage pieces. For my Voracious Readers (top tier – $12/month), that means they’ll end up with 204 – yes, TWO HUNDRED AND FOUR – pieces from me by the end of the year. Sure, that includes forty-eight six-word stories, but that also includes 48 of everything else, and 12 of the serial. That also means I have to write 204 unique pieces of writing this year. That…sounds really, really insane now that I do the actual math on it, but here we are! I’ve already set up the challenge! Embrace the work, right?
And whatever else comes my way…
Embrace each other. Embrace the journey. Embrace this new and wonderful and exciting year ahead.
Do you have a word for 2019? What do you want to embrace this year? Share in the comments, or tweet me at @ThatColette!