My One Word for 2021

Happy New Year!

Having a one-word goal keeps things simple for me. A single word allows me to focus on the the big picture instead of a list of resolutions … that I will invariably break.

This year I’m going with COURAGEOUS. It’s a mindset that looks for opportunities to step up and move forward. Instead of, you know, finding reasons to complain and retreat.

Writing wise, the application is straightforward: Get up with the alarm. Make the coffee. Write the words–longhand if necessary. Bravely grow another book, in spite of fears and setbacks. One early morning at a time.

At school, COURAGEOUS does not shrink from opportunities to serve. Go the extra mile. Do the work. Engage students cheerfully, even when tempted to give up. 

How about you? Would you like to choose a word for 2021? For ideas, check out this article by Beth Vogt.

Here are words I have chosen for previous years. Perhaps they will help spur your thinking.

For 2014, my word was READY. I wanted success as a writer, but was I ready for it? Um, no. So I worked on that.

For 2015, I chose ENGAGE. I needed to step out and join the conversation with social media.

For 2016, I took on BUY IN. That is to say, it was time to put actual money into my writing. I finished, formatted, and indie-published Darcy By Any Other Name.

For 2017, my word was RELENTLESS.  I walked my sweet mom through brain surgery, convalescence, hospice, and home-going to Jesus. By God’s grace, I learned that doing the right thing each day is difficult, but also powerful. I have no regrets.

I managed to write a novella for A Very Austen Christmas, and in December I re-released (as indies) my first two Mercy’s Embrace books.

For 2018 I chose SOAR. I had in mind flying high and far, the same way an eagle rides the thermals. I released the final Mercy’s book and landed a BookBub promotion for Mercy’s Embrace: So Rough a Course
My 15 minutes of fame.
My friends and I also published our largest collection of novellas yet: A Very Austen Valentine.
My word for 2019 was NOW, because God is good and NOW is enough. 

ABIDE was my choice for 2020. I had in mind abiding in God’s Word and trusting His plans for what was ahead–without knowing a thing about the coming pandemic! In March, my teaching job came home to the Internet (Google Classroom) due to the Covid Quarantine.

And yet, I was able to finish and publish two novels within six months: So This Is Love and As Only Mr. Darcy Can, along with our third anthology: A Very Austen Romance.

2020 turned out to be a surprisingly productive time for me.

Who knew? God did. 

With COURAGE, then, I dare to welcome 2021.

Happy New Year, my friends!


Aslan image credit: Lancia E. Smith photography

8 thoughts on “My One Word for 2021

  1. I love those CS Lewis quotes! Thanks for sharing a bit from your journey.

    I’ve never chosen a word for the year before, but I think mine will be ENGAGE. Not always easy for my introverted self. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my word when first dipping my toe into social media / Facebook. Happy New Year, Maureen. We will be returning to full day instruction on January 11. Game on! 😀

      We’re all hoping we still remember how to teach, ha.


      1. We have an in-service on the 4th and are back in person with students on the 5th..Hopefully, we can stay that way for a while. Praying your transition back will go smoothly for you. Game on, for sure! 🙂 No matter the length of time, it’s always a shock to the system coming off of a break.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “Stay that way” … isn’t this the truth? We’re ready to return to online instruction if need be. It will be a challenge, keeping students socially distanced and wearing masks for an entire school day.



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