January’s IWSG question:

Do you have a word of the year?

Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is the posting day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!
Visit to learn more about IWSG and sign up!

The awesome co-hosts for the January 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Debs Carey,
 Kim Lajevardi, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, 
and T. Powell Coltrin!

Please make a point of visiting them.

In looking for a word for 2023, my first automatic instinct was the word change. An integral role of the writer is to find the most appropriate and effective words to represent any situation or description and to use the best and most accurate words in all cases.  Change is not the right word.

In 2022, I re-embarked on my journey and goal to become a fiction writer, and I am still actively engaged in reaching that goal. Arguably, that goal is easily attainable just by writing some stories but I have determined that the goal is to actually be a published fiction writer with at least five people buying the work that I do not know.  Five?  Yeah, just five buyers would work.  I am sure my follow-up goal will up the ante a bit.

Not the journey I had envisioned at the start

The journey I’ve taken this year has not been what I had envisioned when I started.  I was thinking that I would dust off my 15-year-old unfinished manuscript, finish the story and then do all the work to self-publish.  Did not happen.

Once I pulled it up and reread it again, I realized how inexperienced that first attempt was.  In 2022, I consumed no less than 20 books, and I would say that I have been exposed to thinking about writing fiction in many varied ways.  I’ve rewritten the first chapter five or six times now and I still don’t believe it to be anywhere near final.

I read some fiction too!

I’ve also read numerous works of fiction from well-known and established writers to many, many random unknowns. There were good and not so good within the collection and in quite a few cases I felt that I could do just as well, if not better.  In all cases though, I have the greatest respect for these writers that have had the courage to put their works out there.

I also started this blog and, of course, had grandiose visions of publishing something at least twice or three times a month.  To be frank, without the IWSG monthly prompts, I probably would have let it sit and go idle as well.  Aside from the articles, and the few comments I get, I really enjoy the blog hop and seeing what other writers are about, both in their writing and in their being real and human. I am extremely grateful to be able to participate.

A word for 2023: Recalibrate

My journey thus far has been valuable and rewarding. My understanding of the craft has exploded while I’ve only scratched the surface. 

For 2023, I think the word that I will use will be to recalibrate.

With what I have learned or absorbed in 2022, my focus needs to be, well, a concerted focus. I need to kick my internal compass into gear, recalibrate if you will, and focus on a select few goals.  Maybe break the big goal down into smaller chunks and, dare I say it, set deadlines.

While prioritizing could have been a good choice as well, I think that I need to establish, develop and ingrain habits to write.  Find and then practice those methods that work for me. Ensure I spend the time writing fiction and develop the disciplines needed to not let me allow other ultimately extremely important tasks (insert eye-roll here) to derail me.

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T. Powell Coltrin
1 year ago

Recalibrate is such a good word!!! I wish you the best of your writing for 2023.


1 year ago

Good word, Douglas. It has been part of my journey too. I also pulled out an old ms and ended up dumping it. A learning curve is never a bad thing. The other thing I want to point out is you’ve chosen a good time in your life to fulfill your dream. The amount of information available on writing has no end on the internet. When I started there was no wide world web. It was a lonely place. You will do well. Happy 4th New Day!

Esther O'Neill
Esther O'Neill
1 year ago

Great word, How to insist that I will spend time writing ? Still working on that,
increasingly convinced that the friend who removed herself and laptop to a cabin in Finland at -12C ( not indooors) had the best idea.

1 year ago

I think you’re on the right track! And in good company.

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