It’s One Powerful Word For the New Year

For the last two years, I've been in the habit of choosing three words to guide my next year.  (You can read the posts explaining my word choices for 2012 here, a check-in post here, and the words for 2011 here. For another blogger's take on the process, check out Sandra's post at Always Well Within.) 

But this year I'm doing something a bit different–choosing one word.  That's because this one word has been pulling at me for a month, insisting it is the word, and the one and only word that will mark my 2013.  In general, I am a "more is better" kind of person, and such is the case with choosing words for the year–why choose one when choosing three is so much better?

My word won't let me do that this year.  And so, with no further introduction, here is that pesky word that won't let go of me:


I want to be:

Fearless on the page.

Fearless in my personal life.

Fearless in my career.

A Course in Miracles says that you've got two choices: love or fear.  So, by definition, this year is going to be about offering a whole lot of love.  But to me, the opposite of fearless goes even deeper than love, if that is possible.

To me, the opposite of fear is faith.

Faith in my ability to splash words on the page.  Faith that this is the bottom line of what I need to do in the world.

Faith that good will triumph over evil.  That somehow, someway, we will transmute horrendous events like the Newtown Sandy Hook massacre.

Faith that love really does trump fear.

I'm not at all sure I know how to be fearless, and I'm guessing that's why the voice within was so insistent that I choose this word for 2013.  Because lately it seems that little things have made me anxious.  That fussing over my writing is easier than just letting the words flow.  That obsessing over the possibility that something bad might happen is more common than enjoying the moment.

And, somehow, that wise voice within knows that striving for a practice of fearlessness is the antidote to all of the above.  I'm not about to go jump out of an airplane or climb Mt. Everest.   The kind of fearlessness that most interests me is the kind where I meet the demons within.  The ones who say the words I put on the page are silly.  That nobody will think my novel is funny.  The ones that remind me how many other talented writers there are in the world.

Yeah, those.  Responding to them fearlessly is my number one task this year.

So that's my word for the year.  Are you choosing a word or words for 2013?  Please share it or any thoughts you might have about this in the comments.

***By the way, if putting words on the page is a goal for you in 2013, you might consider giving yourself the gift of coaching.  My current clients are accomplishing great things.  Wouldn't you like to join them?  Check out my coaching page here.  It's a wonderful present for yourself.

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11 Responses to It’s One Powerful Word For the New Year

  1. J.D. 12/17/2012 at 16:06 #

    Fearless? You’re reading my mind. Signed a contract today with a small (and I emphasize small) local publisher. He will release one of my mysteries in the spring in print and (in fact chiefly) as an ebook. It is, indeed, scary. You’re worried that people won’t laugh at your book; I’m worried they will laugh at mine, and it is not meant to be funny. I wish I could use a pen name and fictionalize my bio. That would truly demonstrate my talent for fiction–lying about who I am. Unfortunately, the publisher knows me. Imagine other arts. How frightening would it be to perform a dance? Any dancer who feels as I do would suffer total joint lock? After all, my name will be on the damn thing. People know me. That is scary as hell. My only consolation is I don’t have to be onstage, stumbling through a Nutcracker set as the Mouse King. Fearless–I don’t think so.

  2. Charlotte Dixon 12/17/2012 at 16:50 #

    J.D. I'm so excited for you. This is so great and well deserved. I can't wait to read it! Perhaps you would be interested in a guest post here? You've made my day-my whole week actually! Congratulations! And I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety over it-mine is ratcheting up big time. Hence the word of the year! 

  3. J.D. 12/17/2012 at 17:23 #

    Charlotte, your blog is great. There are any number of writers who feel ready to chuck it in. It could be that writing is like the scabs basketball players once got–and still do–from sliding across the floor. You want to pay attention in trig class, you want to be normal, but it won’t let you be, so you pick it. Maybe some can’t quit. Then again, I know you sometimes keeps us going. So I’m glad this blog is here. The word of the year? Fearless, you mean? If you say so. 😉

  4. Jessica Baverstock 12/17/2012 at 19:48 #

    I’m so excited for you J.D.! Congratulations.

    Isn’t it funny how once we get something we’ve been working towards we’re suddenly afraid of it?

    We’re so proud of you and cheering you on!

  5. Jessica Baverstock 12/17/2012 at 20:02 #


    While reading your post one sentence stood out to me. It’s where you were talking about the voice that reminds you “how many other talented writers there are in the world.”

    Please send that voice a message from me. It goes as follows:

    Dear Internal-Voice-of-Charlotte,

    I agree that there are many other talented writers in the world. I do not for one minute believe Charlotte was unaware of the fact, as she devotes so much time and energy to some of those writers on this site and through her coaching.

    I do, however, take issue with the idea that the number of talented writers in the world somehow excludes Charlotte simply by their existence. I put it to you that by their existence they prove it is possible to *be* a talented writer and share your writing with the world.

    The number of talented writers in the world should encourage us further, in the same way that mountain climbers are encouraged by the existence of other mountain climbers and knitters are encouraged by the existence of other knitters etc.

    We are a community and we achieve together. One person’s achievement does not negate another person’s achievement. In fact, it gives us inspiration and provides us wonderful company as we journey up our personal mountains.

    Yes, there are talented writers in the world. Charlotte is one of them and you are privileged to live inside her head. Start acting like it!



  6. Jessica Baverstock 12/17/2012 at 20:04 #

    Hrm. Perhaps I shouldn’t use ‘fearless’ as my word for the year. Perhaps I should pick something more calming…

  7. Charlotte Dixon 12/17/2012 at 21:01 #

    Yes, the word of the year is indeed fearless, J.D.!  You and I will do it together.  Supporting each other will make all the difference.  I'm so grateful for you!

  8. Charlotte Dixon 12/17/2012 at 21:02 #

    Jessica, thanks for your good thoughts for J.D.  I feel as excited as when I learned I would be published! Excited and SO proud!

  9. J.D. 12/18/2012 at 04:53 #

    Thank you, Jessica. That means a lot.

  10. Melissa Marsh 12/18/2012 at 08:21 #

    That is a terrific word for the new year! I have never done a “word of the year” but I just may try it now. =D

  11. Charlotte Dixon 12/18/2012 at 09:41 #

    Let us know if you decide to choose a word, Melissa!

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