One Word in 2017: Listen

Last week I wrote about three words--past, now, and future-- to begin the year 2017. Today I want to share my One Word for 2017--listen.

The word "listen" doesn't reflect excitement or adventure ahead. So why would someone pick it as their one word for an entire year?

Give a "listen" and find out...

Listening is important in all we do.

Dictionary.com defines listen as follows:

  • to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear
  • to pay attention; heed; obey.
  • to wait attentively for sound.

The word "attend" appears in each of the above definitions in some for or another. Perhaps the word implies the importance of learning because if we pay attention we generally pick up more instruction. Using the ear to give attention to someone or something implies giving our full attention.

WHY THEN would a writer choose the word "Listen?"

Perhaps to learn from others the grander points in the world of writing. Or perhaps the writer is hoping to pick up tips on things essential to publishing a book.

It seems it would be obvious that a writer may also be looking for ways to make his or her name known, and he or she listens for the names of those writers from whom to learn in the classroom, via podcast or video, or some other means.

PERHAPS THE WRITER LOOKS FOR DEEPER MOTIVATION

The hardest thing I try to do is listen to my own heart and mind. Those two places are where I believe everything I feel about my writing is stored. Storage places I can access in the quiet to listen to my personal dreams and desires about writing.

Do you find it hard to listen to your heart and mind as it relates to your writing life?

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT LISTENING TO YOUR HEART'S DREAMS?

Meditation comes close to what I believe is listening to our own thoughts and feelings, much like meditation can bring a person into communication with a higher power. Personally, I have always found it difficult to settle myself into a meditative state of mind. I was raised by a mother who believed we had to be busy 24/7. Settling into a meditative state takes great effort on my part.

The choice of the word "listen" forces me to practice a meditative state of mind in order to hear those things I hold dear about my writing life. If I don't assume quietness, I will not hear the thoughts and dreams encouraging me to move forward in my writing practice.

In a few days, I will be sharing a post in which I pose a question to all of you about your own writing life. This is a question I have struggled with in 2016, and a question I have come close to answering this question in a way that may surprise you.

These are the kinds of questions I believe we need to spend some time reflecting on early each year to get our writing lives in order. This meditative state will not only help us focus on our dreams, but also on our writing.