Posted in Writing Life

*A Word for 2011

At the suggestion of Jemma at Exilicchaplain (now in Beijing), who got the idea from Abbey of the Arts, I considered what word I could take into 2011 to stay with me for the year.

Some words that other people came up with are: open-hearted, become, rootedness, movement (see Jemma’s blog for how interesting that one turned out to be!), kindness, intention, dwell, liberty, flexibility, light-hearted, befriend.

I, of many words, didn’t think that one would suffice. I mean a single word to contemplate all year? No, not possible. But even so, knowing how I love words and their importance in my life, I wanted to give it a try. So yesterday morning, after skating and between laundry loads, before cleaning or taking my kids on an expedition to a bookstore, I made time to meditate.

I thought of several words, very good ones, but I waited until I settled into the stillness, wanting to give all of myself time to connect with the light. And when I was there, a word did come to me, and I knew it was the right word, the needed one, and that I could, in fact, contemplate it for a year or longer.

The word is “now.”

Now, I am here.
Now is not then.
What is around me now?
What calls to me now?
What do I see, hear, taste, smell, feel now?
There is love, now.


Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

8 thoughts on “*A Word for 2011

  1. I picked ‘adventure’ for 2010, and it worked out well but I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of it yet. However, I would quite like to think of a word that focuses more on completion, this year… so we’ll see.

    ‘Now’ is a good word 🙂

    1. Rachel, I think adventure certainly describes your year–but you don’t have to stop adventuring! Quite the contrary, having mastered it, you can continue it while focusing on bringing something else into your life.

  2. That’s a very good word. I don’t know that I could restrict myself to just the one word when I seem to need so many to say the simplest things! But I’m drawn towards ‘apprenticeship’ for 2011 as there’s so much to learn and practice in it.

  3. Interesting post, Lilian.

    I am choosing the word “success.” Mainly with respect to my writing career, as I have a major proposal ready to hit the market. But also with respect to my relationships, happiness and desire for a healthy lifestyle. Wishing you success in your year.

  4. I love the idea of picking one word for 2011. I’ve been thinking about this post for the last few days and my word will have to be ‘careful’. I want to slow down a little in 2011 and whatever work I do needs to be done with more care than I was able to give it in 2010.

  5. Michelle, that’s so interesting. When I was in my 20’s, I had a manager at work who used to say, “I’m going slow because I’m in a hurry.” I’m trying that myself as a new strategy with my next novel, ie spending more time thinking before I start writing.

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