Checking in on Your Word of the Year

It’s time again. How is your word doing? Is it directing you? Helping you? Slowing you down? Do you remember it? Do you wish you had chosen another word? There is no rule that says you can’t. If you can’t remember your word, or wish you had chosen something different, try that. A word that is not serving your creativity is a word that needs to be updated.

Your creativity needs to be nurtured and encouraged. With words, with actions, with the best help you can give it.

This is the banner of  's blog:  Be sure to read her review of The Night Circus. Link is below.

This is the banner of Morigan Aoife’s ‘s blog: Be sure to read her review of The Night Circus. Link is below.


My word for the year is “scatter” and I’m doing it. If all went well, I am flying home after filming the DVD this week. I wrote blog posts ahead of time, so if I came home tired, I could rest and not beat myself up for not posting a fresh idea.

I’ve never done a DVD, and I did it in support of the Inner Hero Creative Art Journal book. I was hesitant. But writers have an obligation to live what they write,  so I had to stand up and support my own inner heroes and support others in the creation of their own inner heroes.  If I don’t create a tribe around the book, no one will be able to warm their hands by the fire of creativity.

I’m also creating a new class for my corporate clients. I rarely talk about my life as a corporate trainer, but it’s a big part of my life. And I’m stepping up and creating a class on innovation and change. I see the need for it when I teach business writing. So I’m creating it. Gulp. Will it sell? Will clients ask for it? Is it risky? Well, sure, but if I chose “scatter,” I better try the risky things.

How is your word doing? What are you doing with it? Does it need to be changed, updated, brought back into your life? Leave an answer; you’ll help others.

–Quinn McDonald remembers that her mother-in-law used to say, “Do it now. You are a long time dead.” So she’s doing it.

I’m reading The Night Circus, which is how I found Morigan Aoife’s blog on the book. It’s interesting.



29 thoughts on “Checking in on Your Word of the Year

  1. Some years I’ve thought of my word almost daily, as a touchstone to evaluate and guide my actions. “Release” has not been that way for me this year. When I read this post, I had to try to remember what word I had chosen, it had been that long since I thought of it last. Yet, it describes much of the work I’m doing lately, so maybe it’s still the right word, I just need to find a better way to use it.

  2. My chosen word was Give. I almost immediately realized that I had to include myself in the giving, and it stopped me in my tracks. It made me feel so needy that I became paralyzed until I reminded myself that I had never put a quota or limit on how much or how little I needed to give, just that I do it. That seems to be working for now. Thanks for the prompt and I’m excited to hear if your new corporate class will be a go. Seems needed to me.

  3. My word “little by little” suits me very well. It has become my handrail (not sure this is the right expression – the french people say “garde-fous”). Every time I get too excited about too many projects I take a deep breath and recall my word. For last month I am rather pleased as I advanced with three creative projects on my list, for this month I need to go a bit more in the direction of cleaning and decluttering….
    Now I am going to read about the book you recommend …. I am quite curious….

    • Little by little also is a constant, achievable movement forward. That’s lovely. One of the ways I handle my travel schedule is by reading books on the airplane portion. I don’t read this book at home, only on the airplane. This makes the book special and has me looking forward to a trip. The Night Circus got a lot of reading on this last flight. I’m enjoying it, although it does rock back and forth in time, so far I’ve kept up.

  4. My mother used the same saying! She also said, “You might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.” So I don’t do anything by halves: leap in, both feet, swim!

    Keep It Simple Sweetheart has been going through my head a lot, and it’s working. I’m taking the easy route, the line of least resistence . . . like water. Water has so many properties: soothing, powerful, life giving. And way over here I can feel the warmth from the fire!

  5. I had chosen the word ‘persevere’ to start my year as I was still trying to cope with the loss of my old golden, Simon, and the introduction of the maniac female golden Lucy Lou into our calm house. Well, Lucy Lou proved to be dog-aggressive and was beating up our mixed golden, Gander. So she went back to the rescue. The same week, my neighbor’s 17 year marriage ended. So she now has my word, and I need another. I haven’t found it yet.

  6. I must have been doing something right with my word “intention”, because a few nights ago I met one of my inner heroes in a dream. I didn’t know it right away, but the details and the personality/qualities of this person stayed with me when I woke, so I spent a day pondering the message. Suddenly I realised this someone wanted to be my muse – and as I thought that and internally accepted the relationship, a creative door which I’ve been knocking on for a long time, seems to have opened! Now, how cool is that? I hope it’ll be a long term affair!

  7. I am currently in Albuquerque getting ready for the Womyns Work Apron Project opening tomorrow. And reconnecting with the friends left behind when I moved to Texas… it is bittersweet, and is working in conjunction with my word for 2014 SETTLE. I am realizing that maybe I do not want to settle into Texas… but I am committed to a years lease… so there is still some work to do with both my word and my outlook…

  8. My word is still the same, which is “leap”. I’ve been leaping and fell on my face a few times but it’s a good learning experience. I’m less afraid to take chances.

    I hope you enjoy The Night Circus.

  9. Quinn, as always your message seems to be directed at me.

    I have been thinking about my word “Dare” a lot lately. I am starting a business using an idea I have had in my head for at least 3 years. It is not a new idea, but my business will be unique to me. My business is called Tell 2 Friends and I do ghostwriting on social networking platforms for small businesses.

    Just saying that here is daring for me. I am very good at promoting other peoples businesses but not good at promoting myself or what I do. So this comment is helping me to step out of my box and Dare to promote myself! Thanks for all your writings, they really do hit home with me.

  10. I’ve been caught up in my world of family needs. I can’t remember my word…was it “service”? Seems so… If, in fact, it was “service” then I am living my word but not intentionally and I realize then, it’s not the right word for me as I’m not working toward it just doing it. I’ll have to think about this.

  11. I so needed this today.

    My word is “completion” and your post reminds me to get cracking. I’ve only completed two things this year. And one of them was an unProcrastination class (thank, Leo Babuata).

  12. My word, delivered while I was in the shower, is adventure. Year began with what one could consider exciting adventures: kayaking in the Caribbean, swimming with dolphins, horseback ride into the ocean in St. Maarten, even snow tubing for the first time. Then, circumstances threw me a huge curve. My assistant of more than sixteen years, fell, severely fracturing her right ankle Friday two weeks ago. Cindy weaves and sews for me, runs the studio when I am on the road. She will be out for more than 6 weeks, if she is able to come back at all.
    My Heart stood still…..and I went into a state of shock. While I was processing this news[ weavers and seamstresses are a bit hard to find], a friend reminded me of this year’s word choice: adventure. I replied I had not meant the word choice to impact my business.

    And so, I began to redefine this happening as an adventure

    • If you EVER get the chance to swim with the dolphins, DO IT!!! I cannot recommend it highly enough. We did it at Cozumel about six years ago and my heart still beats faster when I think about it. Expensive, but worth every penny of it!

  13. I’ve been finding my word — Wonder — a very good way to look at things. Am I exploring new ideas? Do I make snap decisions or let my mind wander around a bit before making a choice? When I’m creating, where’s the sense of wonder — the discovery, the thing that can’t be explained from the lines, the colors, the words on the page?

  14. Juxtaposing the word and a corporate class on innovation reminded me of something I’ve found in the corporate world: the word “innovation” (used to be “creativity”; currently transitioning to “disruption”) is much better loved than the practice. Real innovation is messy and unpredictable, two qualities that make organizationalists very uncomfortable. Think outside the box is a popular aphorism, but please don’t touch the bag the box — and you — are in.

    [Pete has always been an awkward fit in corporate environments, but they pay the bills.]

  15. Hi quinn, I tried to post on your inner critic, but couldnt do it as it said your post hasnt been posted. I just want to say thank you for your daily posts. I really enjoy reading them and can relate to what you say and do. I like your style of writing, it is easy to read, understandable and humorous, quirky. I look forward to your posts every day and if I havent read them i always feel I am missing out. Your inner critic piece has sparked something I am going to do my booklet on…… Thanks for your posts and for being who you are. Hugs Barbara

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn iPad

    > Op 6 mrt. 2014 om 08:01 heeft “QuinnCreative” het volgende geschreven: > > >

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