That word is ENJOY.
Last week I posted about taking the time to really be in the moment - the moments with family and friends, of course, but also those odder moments when you know you should be folding laundry (or cooking dinner) but instead you're caught up in something bigger. Like reading a book with your kid or playing hookey with your husband.
My word for the year is a kind of building block on top of that 'stop to smell the roses' theme that I'm incorporating into my year. Too many times I let other things, outside influences, steal the joy I have in my work, and I don't want to allow that to continue happening. Because I love my work. I love that I get to wake up every day and maybe get all dressed up for a day at the computer or maybe stay in my fleece jammies or yoga pants all day and write about other people getting all dressed up to go to work. But there are times when I let the 'work' part of my writing - the promotion or the research or the angst over new contracts - steal my enjoyment of the actual writing. A bad review can steal that enjoyment. The in-fighting between traditional, small press and indie publishers can steal the joy I have in a new contract or a new book release. Sometimes an offhand comment from a friend can steal my enjoyment.
The truth is, when I focus on my stories, my career plan and my family/friends, I enjoy every moment of my life: the writing, the research, the editing. The family. The friends. Crazy travel schedules, fitting my writing schedule around bebe's gymnastics and swim lessons. Even standing in line to add the motorcycle tag (I passed my motorcycle test last summer!) can be a joy because taking an afternoon ride with bebe and RadioMan on the Vespas is F-U-N.
So ENJOY is my word for the year. I'm going to hold my joy close to my chest. I'm going to use my joy as a buffer between myself and the negative aspects that can come into my writing life. I'm going to embrace the choices I make, both for my career and for my life, because they are my choices. They make me happy. In the end, I get to do this marvelous thing - writing books about love and family and friendships. How can I not enjoy that?