My One Word for Writing in 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

This past Sunday, I learned about the concept of “My One Word,” which is based on a spiritual book by Mike Ashcroft and Rachel Olsen. Then today, I read a blog post by Kristine Meldrum Denholm, which featured the “one word” ideas from several writers and their explanations, such as “depth,” “engagement,” and “prosperity.”

After that, I figured it might be time to sit down and try to figure out what my word is going to be for 2015, since I’ve never been one to write down and follow through with a long list of resolutions at the start of each New Year. I wanted to come up with a word that specifically relates to my writing. I found myself going back and forth between two words—“speak” and “memorable,” before finally settling on memorable, because, if I’m to be completely honest here, it seems to cover all the different aspects of my writing career nicely.

Non-fiction. First of all, I’ve become too complacent in the articles I write for magazines. By complacent, I mean that I’ve become reliant on the articles I’m assigned and have failed to actually go out and hunt down the interesting people and engaging news stories. My editors find compelling leads and pass them on to me—why don’t I do the same? I have all the tools necessary to find and create memorable articles that will stay with readers long after they’ve put the newspaper or magazine down. The same goes for essays. I have an essay I wrote a few years ago about how the many moves I endured as a child still affect me today on my hard drive. I plan to work on it and find it a good home, and tackle more similar difficult and memorable essay topics along the way.

I learned to live in a constant state of flux, holding my breath and waiting for the inevitable. If my parents were unhappy with our living situation, we simply packed up all our things and left.

Fiction. What fiction writer doesn’t want to make her mark? If I work hard to create memorable characters, settings, and plots, maybe I can do the same. I have a tendency to rush through first drafts because I’m so anxious to get the main ideas down on paper. I will add tension where necessary, take the characters on memorable journeys, and let them make a few mistakes (okay, maybe a lot of mistakes along the way) so that when I start sending the opening pages of my novels to agents I will leave an impression. They will have no choice but to want to read more. In my YA writing, I will make it my goal to craft more passages like this one:

I could go the rest of my life without having to think of him. But I can’t. The scar I see on my face whenever I look in the mirror won’t let me forget.

In 2015, I will strive to be a memorable writer. What is your “one word” for the coming year?

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who also works as a blog tour manager for WOW! Women on Writing. Right now she is currently booking tours for children’s author Fiona Ingram’s book The Search for the Stone of Excalibur and Myrna J. Smith’s memoir God and Other Men: Religion, Romance, and the Search for Self-Love. Contact her at if you’re interested in hosting either of these two authors.


Margo Dill said...

I think there are no comments yet because this is HARD!!! :) LOL The first thought I had was something about AMOUNT--like having something to write. :) But now I think I'm just going to go with HONEST. My one word is going to be honest--whether it's a blog post or picture book or finish my novel. Honest.

Ruth Douthitt said...

My word for this year is commit. I will commit to writing daily, exercising weekly, eating healthier, and drawing nearer to God in all I do. Will I fail at times? Yes. But I will learn along the way.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I thought I might go with something different this "whatever." You know, so I'd just go with the flow. :-)

But then I read Margo's comment and thought maybe I should be steadfast?

Yeah, I'm going with steadfast. I like the courage implied within that word, and I think too often writers don't give themselves enough credit for their courage, their sticking to it, despite the difficulties.

Sioux Roslawski said...

My word is gonna be UNSTUCK. If I could have had more than one word, I would have chosen "out-of-the-rut" but since you only gave us a one-word limit, I'm choosing "unstuck."

I want to get unstuck from the memoir-writing rut.

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