2012: Year of the Mother F#@%*er and other unprecedented intentions

Sage CohenProductive writing12 Comments

Happy New Year, writers! I’ve been so enjoying the potential of the great, blank page of 2012 that I haven’t been able to bring myself to mar it with a single word. At least, that’s what I was telling myself until my dear friend gave me this mug today:

When I held it in my hands and had a good, hard laugh about the perfection of its message for this particular writer, I had to face the truth of why I wasn’t writing here about setting goals for 2012: I was bored. Bored with my own ideas, bored with the process, and unconvinced that my own, 22-page PowerPoint is the golden key that will unlock the queendom of a fabulous year of writing. So, I haven’t been able to suggest that you do the same.

Instead, I find myself with a new divining rod: a mug that takes a stand for my writing life.

I typically choose a word for the year, and I have mine on the bulletin board. It’s a fine word, but it doesn’t make me laugh, and doesn’t make me run to my computer to follow the thread of an idea–with four bags of melting groceries sitting on the kitchen counter–in the way that this mug did.

As it happens, I was chosen by this intention. Gifted with it by someone who knows well how I live, how I write, and what the phrase “mother fucker” has meant in the vernacular of this household in the years since I became a mother. What have you been given that powerfully reflects back to you who you are and where you are headed? If you scan around your home, your workspace, and don’t see anything, no problem. I invite you to come up with your own big-picture statement/intention that challenges you to up the ante in 2012–one that you commit to live and write by. Make sure it’s something you can measure everything you do against. Make sure it’s hilarious, scary, outrageously ambitious, offensive, or in some way pressing on you in a way that is going to get your attention.

Let’s plan to be a little uncomfortable together in 2012, shall we? Try things we haven’t tried, set the bar so high, we have no idea how we’ll ever make it over. Let’s surprise ourselves with the truths we are willing to commit to writing, with the writing hours we are able to keep, with the risks we take in submitting, reading publicly, asking for what we want.

You’re not alone as you make the crossing. We’re all in this together.

You have all day. You have all week. You have all month. You have all year. What, dear writer, do you intend to make of them?

12 Comments on “2012: Year of the Mother F#@%*er and other unprecedented intentions”

  1. Well hell…this is way too much weird synchronicity for me to ignore.

    See, I picked a very nice, good word for 2012. Thrive. It’s a lovely word.

    But this crazy non-word that I picked up from a tv show character a while back keeps sneaking in, trying to be my word. Imariskit. (Smooshed speak for “I’m going to risk it.”) I want to make that my word. It makes me nervous to say it’s my word. What if I risk things and don’t succeed with any of them? What if I can’t find anything to risk? What if all the things I want to risk are really, truly beyond my capabilities. But this word keeps coming back to me, and it’s the one that keeps making me laugh. And making me nervous. And making me excited.

    This has been dancing around in my head for nearly a week. And now, today, here you are with this post.

    Are you trying to tell me something? ūüėČ

    You know what? I might just make a new card for a new word and see what happens. Yeah. Why not? Imariskit.

    1. Imariskit! Amazing! Sounds like you’ve been trying to tell yourself something–and I am just the echo chamber for that message! Here’s to a risky year of writing, Kim!

  2. Fanfuckingtastic, Sage!! Imariskit is also a very close second!!
    You’ve inspired me! “Lie yer ass off”
    is my profane and very sexy motto this year! Unless I’m writing a memoir- I give myself full permission to make stuff up!! I’ll give permission to my students as well. Truth in story telling snd poetry can be a prison. I’m breakin’ free! It may start with autobiography or a true tale but where it lands is the art!

  3. Once I got over the title in my email notification from you, I ran right over here to comment … I love your mug! I want your mug! I need the heartitude that comes with that mug! Please share where I can buy it!

    Aha! My word for the year will be HEARTITUDE! I will work and write and create from the heart in 2012!

    Thanks for a fabulous post sharing the right attitude to motivate your readers.

  4. LOVE this post, and it was partly responsible for my choosing what to me is a bit of a scary word for 2012: passion. I gave up on the more mundane possiblities (focus, commit, flow) to choose the word that makes me a little uncomfortable. We’ll see where it takes me!

  5. my little sister got me the same mug for no reason. just love. just cheerleading. just to poke and prod my motherfucking ass into getting something on the page, i suppose.

    so. ok. challenge accepted.

    2012 look the fuck out.

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