Choose your word for 2011!

Sage CohenProductive writing24 Comments

Happy New Year!

As we stand on the threshold of the erased blackboard of 2010, I’m wondering if you’ve chosen the word that will be the North Star for your writing life in 2011. Not yet? Consider this.

Having a single word as an organizing priciple for your Productive Writer aspirations can be very powerful. At the start of each year, I choose a word to define the big-picture goal I intend to strive for (and reach) in the coming year. In 2009, the year that my book Writing the Life Poetic was published, I chose the word Author-ity and posted it right over my desk. Everything I did that year in my writing life was organized around establishing and nurturing my relationship with this new archetype taking shape in me.

At a recent gathering of poets, a dear woman mentioned that YES was the word she was now choosing to guide her life and her writing. And she was delighting in her plans to tattoo this word somewhere visible on her body where she could easily reference it.

The year my first book came out, my word was Author-ity. The year I invited my creative writing (versus my business writing) to start contributing a bigger slice of the financial pie, my word was Prosperity. My word for 2011 is Grace.

Think about what you want to feel, believe, accomplish, or become this year, and choose a word that is worthy of this goal. Then write it down somewhere visible, refer to it often, and let it remind you where you’re headed.

24 Comments on “Choose your word for 2011!”

  1. Pingback: AJ Best Writes » Blog Archive » New Year’s Resolutions or Not

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  3. Lovely post, Sage.

    Just a thought – you need a way to share posts via email etc. I wanted to send this to someone but had to do so via Google Reader instead of here. Perhaps you could add this feature at the end of every post? It’s easily done…

    Best wishes for 2011 and here’s to Grace!

  4. Pingback: My Word! « The Frangipani Journals

  5. Thanks for the suggestion, Chryselle! Readers can subscribe to receive every blog post by email…but I hadn’t thought to include the option to send posts by email directly from here. I’ll make that happen this week.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Pingback: My Word! « The Frangipani Journals

  7. The word that keeps coming to mind is…engage. Will let it steep for awhile and see if it continues to feel right….

  8. Nice. I like it. Just wrote my word on my storyboarding/noteboard/mission-command board on my man-cave work area.


    Launch away from my fears.
    Launch towards my goals.
    Launch into a deeper love with my wife and 8 month old son.
    And of course…launch my multimedia memoir in the summer.

    And maybe launch on my snowboard after I make sure I’ve been accepted into a new health insurance policy.

    Happy 2011 everybody.

  9. Hello,

    I receieved an email and stumbled across this page and I love what I see. I love it so much I am going to jump right in and choose my word for 2011. It is “CULTIVATE” because I certainly need to nourish my writing. I am excited to such inspiration. Thanks so much for some really awesome ideas.
    Be Blessed,


    PS. I do not really have an website but I recently started a blog page and so far no bloggers HAHA! But there is an essay on there I wrote about my Mother. I write poetry too. It is a healing sense of therapy to me.

  10. I’m still waffling over my word for 2011! Productivity? Prosperity? Maybe I just want to be prolific. What I really want is to believe in myself, be myself. I’m being plenty productive so far, and the reason I’m conflicted about choosing prosperity is I’m concerned that making that choice means I’ll focus on the wrong things.

  11. What I hear loud and clear, Sandra, is this:

    What I really want is to believe in myself, be myself.

    I wonder if your word for the year might be “Sandra”? : ) Or something that focuses on the pursuit of self-discovery, rather than the results you produce?

  12. “something that focuses on the pursuit of self-discovery” … yes! Self-actualization! that’s the very thing. That emcompasses productivity, self-discovery, creativity, all of those important aspects, and allows me to become my best self. Self-actualization is my word for 2011. Thank you, Sage!

  13. This is wonderful — and something I really need — you are amazing! Still working on my word….

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