Word Up 2015

I’ve never been much of a resolution person, if only because I’m cynical and already know if I make them, I’ll break them. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to the One Word concept. You choose a word that resonates and you try (key word, try!) to hang onto it throughout the year. Since there’s no specific declarations involved, no one (but you) knows if you slack off.

Well. I totally bombed last year’s, which is to say, I can’t remember what I chose. Terrible! I see now it was “open,” which in theory, is a great word, but I didn’t practice it much beyond this post. Oops.

This year I’ve been on the fence. Every time I’m this close to nixing the whole pick-a-word thing, some blogger I love writes a post and I’m overcome with word envy. Here a few I’ve considered stealing and/or am just enjoying vicariously…

Believe (Minuscule Moments)

Reach (Little Lodestar)

Practice, runner up Moose (Tamara Like Camera)

Rise (The Gift of Writing)

I was this close to stealing Kath’s “Believe” because I could really use a hefty dose of confidence and/or magical thinking about finishing my novel.

Naturally, this led me to consider “Finish,” which I almost chose but it seemed kind of resolution-y rather than word-y since what else do I need to finish besides my writing projects? The only thing that came to mind is the enormous laundry pile that I pretend not to see every time I pass it, but the crap thing about laundry is that even when you don’t ignore it you’re never finished. Ever. So forget that.

One morning, after a particularly cranky child-wrangling session, I briefly toyed with the word “Yes.” Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, if I stopped yelling “NO” at my kids (amongst other things)? But then I scrapped it after pick up. Because how silly.

Then, sometime very late past my bedtime the other night when my brain is supposed to be quieting down but doesn’t, so I do the exact opposite of what I’m supposed to do and reach for my phone and scroll through Twitter, and then become disgusted with myself and delete the app, and then I check my email, which is ridiculous because no one but spam sends me emails at midnight and not even spam because even they are sleeping, so I put my phone face down and start to panic like I did when I was a kid and knew the night was getting on without me, and just then, a word drops in my brain with a thump, like a leftover holiday package that had been temporarily lost in the post office or the back corner of a UPS truck.


(Of course I picked my phone right back up and wrote the word down because that’s how addled my brain is and also how addicted I am to my phone.)

So, yes. Focus. I really need more of this in my life. Often, I feel so wild-brained and scattered. I try and fail to multitask. One example that springs to mind is when I’m supposed to be playing/listening/being with my kids but I’m really on my phone. Horrible! I hate this! Sometimes I rationalize, well, he’s perfectly fine playing trains next to me while I read and comment on this blog post… or I say to my daughter for the zillionth time, just let me finish this last thing… Not good.

This year, I’d like to focus on ONE THING AT A TIME.

My writing. My family. Myself.

I may have to tattoo it on my wrist, or maybe just write it on. I used to draw hearts on the top of my daughter’s wrist to remind her of my love when she was in preschool. It’s funny, because now I’m wearing a heart on my wrist, one that she bought me at the gift fair at school.

heart on my wrist

I’m hoping if I can focus more, I will be more present (another good word) and more productive.

I will focus on finishing my novel.

I will focus on my writing as a career, not just a dream.

I will focus on my marriage.

I will focus on laughing more and yelling less.

And finally, I will focus on my children, who are growing up so fast, too fast, rising like beautiful weeds up toward the sun and out of my reach.

I’m sharing this post on Mum Turned Mom’s The Prompt, whose word this week happens to be, focus. Click here to see what other writers have been focusing on…

the prompt

43 thoughts on “Word Up 2015

  1. Beautiful word and one I need also Dana. That huge pile of washing will always be there waiting for us. Finding the balance is paramount to our focus and what is important to us. I believe you have what it takes and focus is the perfect word. Thanks for the share you are always so generous with your space. Happy focused writing year to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kath, your words and wisdom always inspire me! In fact, I reread my last year’s One Word post and I referenced you then as well 🙂

      Ah yes, seeking balance. It’s a work in progress, and probably always will be.

      Happy writing to you as well, my friend!


  2. Interesting concept! I am learning to be more concise, though it is difficult for talkative me. Focus is a good one. In my latest post I talked about how my resolution is to strive for deep, rewarding connections this year. I think I’m also going to try my hand at telling a story via Moth StorySLAM (just writing that gives me chills), so perhaps my one word is: communication. Thanks for the prompt to think it over!


    • Thanks Justine! I will definitely go check out your post, I am also in need of deep rewarding connections.

      OH, Moth Slam is awesome! I would love to try that someday… wishing you much luck.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Justine! I just read your latest post about your son. It’s so moving and beautiful. Plus, I know colic well, so my heart goes out to you and your family. So glad that’s long behind you!


  3. Focus. What a perfect oneword for 2015. It should have been mine. I’m like a frickin’ squirrel. Well, I’ve already chosen my word. I really wanted two, okay three, but wound up narrowing it down and…got it! Halfway through my post about it. Love your bracelet so much — and that you drew a heart on your daughter’s arm before school. Have a beautiful New Year in which you are more present (that word was a runner-up) because you will be focused on the beauty and chaos around you. 🙂


    • I am a word collector myself, it was very hard this year but I think Focus is the one. At least for now 🙂

      Looking forward to reading your post and hearing what your word is…


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  5. Great word Dana! I chose ‘attention’ (as one of two words) which I suppose in some ways ties up with focus but is closer I suppose to staying ‘present’. I believe you will accomplish all your goals this year Dana. There is great power in intention.


  6. Hi Dana! I found you over here! 🙂 I had no idea you had these sweet digs. I only realized it when reading your submission (which, shhh, *cough*, I adored) and I’m so happy I discovered your other little corner of the web! I love your word. Mine is Harmony, which mostly for me means balance, which seemed like a clichéd joke and highly unrealistic. But, you know… I want all the things, the pieces of my life, to somehow coexist harmoniously this year. We’ll see. Happy New Year. xoxo


    • I snuck over here last month, so glad you found me! Thank you for the *cough*-liment 🙂

      Harmony is a great word, and it has such an uplifting quality that I love. And for you, how extra fitting since there is the whole musical element. Balance is so, so hard, and I hope we can both find some in the coming year!


  7. You totally could have stolen/lived vicariously with mine.
    I think Focus is a great one, though. It would have multiple meanings for me – focusing on writing more, on handling one task at a time, and of course.. on focusing for my photography!
    Maybe I’ll steal it next year. 🙂


  8. I’ve been reading many bloggers’ words, too. I like them all, but yours is the one that I think will stick. Focus. I need that too. Maybe it should be the word of the year for all writers named Dana. You don’t mind if I use it too, do you?


    • Thank you so much Dana! Yes, pick “focus” as your word if it resonates with you. I think we should let all the other Dana’s know about it, ha. Maybe we could help keep each other accountable!


  9. I too am a cynic and I don’t do a word of the year. I just know it would not work for me but I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading all about the words other people choose. Focus is an excellent one and encompasses a lot! Go You!!


    • Thanks! I am actually a cynic as well, which is probably why I didn’t do a very good job with my last two years’ worth of words 🙂 But this year it actually feels right, so we’ll see how I do.


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  11. “One example that springs to mind is when I’m supposed to be playing/listening/being with my kids but I’m really on my phone. Horrible! I hate this! Sometimes I rationalize, well, he’s perfectly fine playing trains next to me while I read and comment on this blog post… or I say to my daughter for the zillionth time, just let me finish this last thing… Not good.” I feel the SAME way!!! I hate it too. I just read “The One Thing” which is all about focusing on the one thing you are trying to achieve, even if it means letting everything else go, and how that’s the only way you can really see great changes in your life and it really resonated with me.. I am still however having a hard time literally doing one thing at a time. I feel so crazy!!! But I made a commitment to meditate for 10 minutes every day in December and I did it all but one day and it made me feel SO much more calm and centered. Don’t ask me why I fell off the wagon in January… Need to get back on. But even if the rest of my day sucked, if I meditated first thing, it made me feel more grounded. I liked it. (And I’m not good at being alone with my own breath and trying not to think).


    • Oh, Pam, I’m trying, but I’m a work in progress too! I will have to read “The One Thing” and see if that can help me focus. Sometimes I just have to keep my phone far away so I’m not tempted. I have terrible impulse control 🙂

      I should really try mediating, but like poetry, it kind of scares me… however, that’s all the more reason to try!


  12. Focus is something I am sadly lacking at the moment, I suspect it is a word that will stay with me this year too as I try and find it. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt and sorry it’s taken such a long time for me to come and comment this week!


  13. I thought I’d already commented on this post but came back to check and realised I hadn’t – I must have got distracted and lost ‘focus’ at the last minute! I totally understand the checking social media while looking after children thing – I have constant guilt over that and I really need to focus more on one thing too. I think you’ve chosen a great word and I hope it gets you where you want to go in all the different areas of your life! xx


  14. Love your things to focus on list. Yelling less would be awesome here too. There’s far too much yelling happening. Focusing on your writing is an excellent choice (I might be slightly biased :-P) I’m a firm believer that parents have to do things that make them really happy (deep down to your toes happy, not just smiley happy) to keep themselves sane. xx


    • Oh, the yelling is bad here. We are a loud bunch 🙂 But I’m hoping some focus will help.

      I’m in total agreement about parents needing their own deep happiness and contentment. I’m a worse mother/partner/human when I’m not writing.


  15. I have the same word. I think as mothers focus is really a struggle. Multi-tasking becomes habit and feels “natural,” but it’s really not. I’m so glad you found my blog and now I found yours.


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