The Word for 2012

Yes, I know it’s January 3th. Yes, I know that’s a little late for resolution-type posts. But, hey, I’ve been busy writing and working, which–since those are a big part of my goals for 2012–I believe is a satisfactory excuse.

Every year, Laura Purdie Salas picks a theme. I like this idea so much better than resolutions, which–in my head–seem to take the metaphorical tone of that anvil in the coyote-road runner cartoons. You know, the one that hovers over the right spot just until the coyote stops under it, then drops…WHAMMO!

Themes are softer.

My themes are usually a word. This year, after two months of upper-respiratory plague running through the family, my word came easily.


Now, I do have to say that, with Son over his pneumonia and me over my bronchitis and Husband over HIS pneumonia, I am starting to realize that I didn’t just spend November and December bailing out on my writing. I know, I know–it should have been obvious that they AND I were tired and drained, and not a whole lot of writing gets done at times like that. Yes, I know I was too hard on myself.

There is, however, a silver lining. Because struggling so hard (and pretty much failing) to get any writing, revising, or thinking done during those weeks was a big wake-up call about how much I dislike not making progress. It was also a big wake-up call about what I’ve been focusing on for the past year or so–the WHEN of publication.

It’s a dream. It’s a wonderful dream, and it’s one we all have. But it comes with churning and stress and panic-modes that do NOTHING to help us write. I’m stating the obvious here, but it just really came home to me at a gut level toward the end of 2011.

I want to write. I want to work on my stories. I want to push myself to dedicate some time, as many days as I can, to making my books and my craft better. THAT is what I missed these past few weeks, not the idea of seeing my book on a bookstore shelf or someone’s e-reader. Of course I want that. But the timeline needs to return to “someday,” and back off from drumming insistently at “how soon?!”

I’ve been there. I’ve concentrated on the the actual project–the characters, the plotline, the prose. I’ve done it. And it’s time to do it again. That’s why my word for 2012 is “recommit,” not just “commit.” Because, for me, it’s a return to doing this writing thing the way I really need to.

I seem not to be alone in this feeling. Susan Taylor Brown talked about it on Facebook.  Check out Kelly R. Fineman’s series of posts on commitment, starting here and moving forward chronologically, and do not miss Jo Knowles’ post, Defining “Work” and Another Invitation.

Do you have a theme or a word for 2012? Did you make some writing resolutions. I’d love to hear about yours, and I wish us all the best of luck in keeping them in mind during the next twelve months!

Happy New Year!


  1. Beautiful, Becky. It’s been taking me a while, through the thoughtfulness and care of posts like Kelly’s and Jo’s and now yours, to pull together how I want to write this year, too, but today I drafted a blog and feel like I have a plan. I like the soft theme approach, too.

    good luck with recommitment. and hoping everyone stays healthy. xo


  2. Linda Boyden says:

    Love the idea of a theme. I gave up resolutions years ago, too. For me my theme is REDISCOVERY…I want to rekindle the Passion of writing, not as you pointed out to be consumed with the hope of publication, something so far beyond any writer’s control. I want to put my heart back into my work, hence my personal goal of writing a poem a day for 2012. Not very original but a good jump-start. Great post, Becky!


    • beckylevine says:

      Rediscovery sounds very much like recommitment to me. Here’s to us both living up to our themes this year. 🙂


  3. claudine says:

    Love your theme. I’ve done that for the last couple years too. First year it was completion. Didn’t complete much if anything, but I think it did get me further along the path. Last year it was acceptance. I think that was a good one for me, to feel like I was enough. This year one of my fb friends, Jink, picked a theme for me from one of my posts: finish. Although it sounds very much like complete, I think it is so much more possible this year.

    I cheat though and do resolutions too. But they are in the form of a bucket list. Much easier to complete and more fun. 🙂


    • beckylevine says:

      I like the idea of a bucket list. I need to get one going, just to pull stuff off of when I need something fun and energizing.


  4. Love this. I don’t have a word but I do have a theme: YoW (Year of Writing) where I stop being timid about both my writing time and my actual writing. It’s not about thinking about the market or making a sale, but writing the absolutely best stories I can – taking me time, digging deeper, and above all, giving my writing time absolutely top priority!


    • beckylevine says:

      I LOVE your year of writing theme–that priority is SO hard and SO important. I’m not commenting all the time over at your place, but I am reading and being inspired and cheering you on!


  1. […] if you read my theme post earlier this month, you’ll know I’m getting back to my fiction writing in 2012. This […]


  2. […] know Becky Levine posted her annual theme and maybe lots of other people have, too. Do you have a particular word, theme, or feeling […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: