My 2016 Word of the Year: Emerge

Graphic made with Canva
Graphic made with Canva

I’ve been thinking a lot about my word of the year for 2016. It’s actually been a pretty tough process for me to come up with one this year. I think part of it is that I have no idea how this year is going to go and I don’t want to jinx it. I’ve got so much happening – four book releases (the first occurred on January 1) and attending four conferences, at least as of right now, plus my day job – that I’m just fastening my seat belt for adventure.

When I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions, one of them said “emerge,” which is cool because I had already been thinking along those lines, but this word is more elegant. And it fits nicely with my words for the last two years, “bloom” (2014) and “valiant” (2015).

And in so many ways, I do feel like the butterfly coming out of the chrysalis or the tender bud breaking through the frozen ground. After years of struggling, I’m finally getting the chance to get my stories out to readers and show my face to the world as a published author. And more than that, I’m beginning to emerge as a business owner and speaker. In baby steps, of course – we all know success usually doesn’t happen overnight, even if it appears to.

Goals for 2016:

  1. Enjoy the whirlwind of releasing four books in under seven months.
  2. Write at least one new book (two is my stretch goal).
  3. Continue to market my books and learn about self-publishing.
  4. Exercise on a regular basis and eat healthy.
  5. Nourish my spirit.
  6. Take time to have fun!

Notice that nowhere on there is a sales goal. Partly, that’s because in the end, sales are out of my hands. I could spend thousands in marketing and still have only a handful of people by the book. Or, I could do almost nothing become a bestseller. Sales are an odd thing. And the other part is that I really don’t care that much how much I sell. I want to break even, hell, I want to make millions, but I’m new and I know that’s not likely. They say most businesses don’t turn a profit for 3-5 years. So, I’m giving myself time to get established before I stress over sales numbers. That’s one of the beauties of being your own boss. It’s not like I’m going to get fired!

So, according to conventional wisdom, choosing my word means I should approach every decision this year from the mindset of “does this help me emerge?” I like that because it frames the year in endless possibility, in optimism that I haven’t felt much in the last few years. And it’s about time.

What’s your word for 2016?