Focus Word for 2018: Fearless

I have never been caught up in making New Year's resolutions or even setting goals. Both represent something I said I'd do but I don't. I do enjoy the task of finding a focus word each year and allowing that to guide me through my days of writing.

Choosing a focus word isn't always easy.

A plethora of words came to mind as I attempted to choose a focus word for 2018. The list was long and created a more laborious task than anticipated. 

However, when my eyes landed on the word "fearless," I knew that was THE word for me for the year 2018.

Why the word "fearless?"

I plan changes in my writing this year:

  • Transitioning from writing nonfiction to writing my first novel. In other words, dabbling my toes into different waters in hopes of new inspiration and motivation.
  • Changing the focus of my blog posts to include new resources and tips for writers plus sharing my move to fiction.
  • Creating a new plan to include not only my writing activities but also my social media scheduling on an editorial calendar.
  • Learning to write with confidence rather than haunted by self-doubt.

These may not seem like daunting changes in my writing life. Yet I look at my decision to begin a novel and I wonder if that's a wise move. I'm pretty comfortable writing nonfiction and have several essays published. I keep asking myself, "What are you thinking?"

What cemented my word choice.

Reflection on two events in 2017 brought certainty to my word choice. The first was the purchase of a phenomenal book on writing. There are many excellent books for the writer, both beginner and experienced. But this isn't about how to's about how to be a writer.

The book is Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write with Confidence (see my review) by William Kenower. In the first several pages, Kenower showed me the pathway to writing with confidence and without fearing the judgment of others.

You will find your confidence and begin to write fearlessly the moment you stop caring about what anyone else thinks.
— Fearless Writing, p. 10

The second event was in two parts: one a monthly meeting of a local writing organization I belong to and a half-day workshop, both featuring Kenower as speaker and leader. 

Using personal stories and experiences, Kenower taught the principles set forth in the book Fearless Writing. His words, both written and spoken, are filled with insight, wisdom, and practical advice. He doesn't discount the challenges and roadblocks writers face. Nor does he minimize the new experiences we encounter.

Fearless girl on Wall St w bull Flickr.jpg

From reading the book and meeting with the author, I learned I've been wasting valuable time on internal and external critics and my fear of failure rather than offering my work the unconditional love it deserves and enjoying the genre I choose to write. 

Therefore, I choose to write with greater confidence and less fear in the year 2018.

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