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02 January 2011 @ 01:11 am
Happy 2011!  
For the last few years, I've tried to pick a word to focus on in the coming year. Setting an intention seems less stressful to me than resolutions. 2009's was PATIENCE, and 2010's was RELEASE. I'm a girl who smooths things over and wants to make sure everyone's happy. This year I started to worry more about whether I was happy. I got a tattoo and dyed pink streaks in my hair without worrying about what everyone might think. I started to accept that I can't give 110% to every aspect of my life--that sometimes, the dishes and laundry will totally pile up and I'll eat microwaved soup when I'm writing and Steve's in rehearsals. I hired a maid service before our Christmas party. I said no to invitations that weren't an absolute yes. I stopped beating myself up for taking anti-anxiety meds. I left a concert where I was miserable. I donated DNF books that just weren't for me. And, you know, I wanted a book deal this year, and Garolass didn't sell, and I ate a lot of cookies and/or cheese fries when I was sad, and sometimes I felt like a failure about those things. But I've let go of that, too.

Little things, but they add up to a happier me.

My word for 2011 is NOURISH.

According to Merriam-Webster, nourish means to:
1. nurture
2. to promote the growth of
3 a: to furnish or sustain with nutriment: feed  b: maintain, support

Some habits I'd like to adopt, accordingly:

In the writing category: Write more. There's no doubt that it's the #1 thing that nourishes me. I've been flitting between ideas since I finished Thrice. Both my critique partners have assured me that it's ok to flounder for a little while after you finish a love-book, but I'm ready to settle down. Whatever happens with Thrice when it goes on submission in February, I'd like to write and revise another book in 2011. I also made some amazing writer-friends in 2010, including the aforementioned critique partners, and my agent sisters Caroline and Robin. I want to be a fantastic source of support for all of them--and all of you who are reading this. I want to support and promote your dreams, just like you do mine. And I'm going to NY SCBWI and on two awesome retreats this winter, and I can't wait to meet more writers.

In the physical category:
More yoga. I always feel amazing after class, mentally and physically. Be more mindful of what I eat. Less convenient, quick, shadow-comfort food. More water and tea, less soda. Walk more, take the bus less. The usual. I know what I need to do. How many times have I written about this? But this is the year it's going to happen.

In the "other" category:
Journal more. Host more game and wine nights because I love my friends and they don't care if my house is dusty. See at least one concert or play a month that's not written by my husband. Read 100 books again. Send more handwritten cards to say hi and thank you.

What about you? What are your intentions for 2011?
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robinellenrobinellen on January 2nd, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
Great word choice!

I'd love to keep up with yoga, so I'm going to do my best. I definitely hope to read closer to 200 books this year, but that'll depend on so many other things too ;) And I'll keep writing until I can't think of anything to write, ha!
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on January 3rd, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
I'm always in awe of your reading lists!

Good luck with your goals for 2011!
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Love the word Nourish!
Jessica,

I think you have some fabulous goals! I can also completely relate to your writing journey and I'm glad you're taking steps to start off the New Year well. How I wish I could start yoga!

Heck, I'm still drooling over your 2010 books read list... :D

Shawntelle
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on January 3rd, 2011 05:23 am (UTC)
Re: Love the word Nourish!
Thanks, Shawntelle! 2010 was a great reading year.

And don't worry, I'm sure I'll find some Modcloth dresses to tempt you with again soon. ;)
kellyrfinemankellyrfineman on January 2nd, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
Excellent growth, and excellent goals as well!
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on January 3rd, 2011 05:24 am (UTC)
Thanks, Kelly!
Kathleen Foucart: Heartskathleenfoucart on January 3rd, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
Great habits! :)

My resolutions are here :)
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on January 3rd, 2011 05:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! *heads off to read*
shannywritershannywriter on January 3rd, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
Those are do-able, worthwhile habits to aim for. I like how you've listed them as habits rather than resolutions.
Happy New Year and nourishing your new habits!
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on January 3rd, 2011 05:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! It seems a bit intimidating to me to think of them as resolutions, as things you have to do RIGHT NOW OR ELSE, whereas habits are gained more gently over time.
outforteaoutfortea on January 5th, 2011 08:04 am (UTC)
I love this idea of having a word for the year! Mine is DARE. Which should always be written in CAPS. DARE because in 2011 I'll be thrown into situations I've never been in, and if I DARE to live without freaking myself out, it'll all be worth it.
Jessica Spotswoodjessica_shea on January 10th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
DARE is an awesome word for the year! Good luck! (Also, I vote for wandering around Venice if you're in Italy. It's my favorite European city that I've been to thus far.)