2022 Focus Word Recap

Fearless – What I Wanted – Previous Words – What Actually Happened

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Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. I’ve been talking this year all about genre and about the major and minor genre categories that we see and can use as writers. We’re coming to the end of the year, and every year since 2018 I have picked one word to focus my goals around for the entire year. Now it’s time to assess this year’s focus word and see how my year turned out. Let’s get started.

2022 Focus Word

In 2022, I chose the word FEARLESS. Publicly announcing that made me sick to my stomach. That’s one of the reasons I knew I needed to use it. I am so scared to make big moves. To stand up for myself. To claim that I’m writing a book. To admit that I want the freedom that staying at home and writing on the weekends affords me, all the time, not just on the weekends.

What I Wanted from 2022

Big goals and dreams are scary. Sometimes the routes to them are harder than you think they should be. I have spent many years working very hard in an isolated way, not daring very much or making very many waves, and trying to find a way to book publishing without having to make a fuss or drawing all that much attention to myself. 

I wanted 2022 to be the year I threw all my timidity out the window. I wanted to lean into my gut feelings about everything. I wanted to do things, and be damned if I’m scared. When people told me no, I wanted to bounce back quickly and double down. Admitting that made me want to puke my guts onto the floor, but this is only my first step in the direction toward fearlessness, and I knew that it could only get better from there.

Previous Focus Words

The funny thing I’ve learned about choosing a focus word is that what I think will happen is often much different than what actually happens. Usually, I don’t learn the things I think I want to learn. I, like every protagonist in every book ever, learn the things I actually needed to learn all along. I think I need to learn some outlandish life lessons, and I choose big concept ideas to push me through the year. Previous words have been:

2018 – Focus – To help me focus on one novel instead of starting and stopping multiple projects.

2019 – Hustle – Facing multiple rewrites, I wanted to see how many words I could write in a single year.

2020 – Persevere – Hustle culture can burn you out, so I needed to find a more sustainable way to maintain.

2021 – Energy – I was getting bored with the process of writing and revising novels and wanted to motivate myself.

2022 – Fearless – I wanted to do things scared and be less timid overall. 

What Actually Happened in 2022

And so at the end of 2022, what can I say I’ve learned, since I’ve already admitted I didn’t learn what I thought I would? This year, it’s hard for me to definitively quantify. Let me try to explain.

I have made more videos of myself this year than I ever have before. I have continued my podcast even though the subscriber count continues to be quite low (literally single digits and three of them are me subscribing to my own podcast on different platforms) though the listens are starting to rise only in the last month or two. I have done many things that I didn’t think I would do this year, like starting a shop on my own blog and pulling away from Etsy completely. But do those things take fearlessness? Determination, stubbornness, and grit maybe. But fearlessness? Not so much. 

But I thought long and hard about things I wanted my life to look like, talked it over with my husband, and he and I decided that the life we were steadily being boxed into was not for us. We sold both of our older cars, bought a single brand new one with it’s own wifi and all wheel drive, and we are working toward a new dream of traveling the country with a tiny home on a trailer, where we can work from the car or from wherever we put the home down for the week.  Soon we’ll be able to go to where our families are, spread all over the country, whenever we want to visit them. 

Is it fearless to go down to one vehicle, and to purchase a brand new car in the middle of an economic recession? No. But it is fearless to finally reject the box that society tries to crush you into in order to step out and to live in your own truth. It is fearless to work hard to accomplish your goal in the face of people, especially people you love, who don’t understand what you are trying to do and think you’re making the wrong decision.

Next Week

Next week, we are going to recap my goals for the quarter a little bit early, so that the week after we can also recap the goals for the entire 2022 year. Want to know how I did? I do too, so check back next week for more. 

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you choose a focus word every year, and if so, I’d love to hear your word for this year?
  2. What do you think of my focus word for this year?
  3. What is one thing you could do for yourself this year that, if you achieved it, would have an impact on most areas of your life?

Leave your answers in the comments section for this post!

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