And the Word for 2018 is …

Happy New Year! Have you picked a special word, a single source of inspiration to guide you through the year?

Last year I abandoned resolutions before they could abandon me, choosing “create” and “push” as my words for 2017. Yes, that’s two words. I’m not always the best rule follower.

This year I played with “risk” as my new word. Maybe it’s the bitter cold, or my head cold meds, but my latest writing venture–a short story–is a departure from my usual heartfelt fare. It’s a dark, modern day take on an age old fairytale. It’s risky for me, going this direction. Maybe Stephen King’s “On Writing” book is influencing not just my work ethic but my writing style. Also I have these great photos from last spring’s trip to Austin. Our graffiti park outing led us right to RISK in bold letters.

Clearly it’s a sign for risk-averse me.

But I also keep coming back to another word: “spark.” I read a lot of books with a flame theme this year: Claire Messud’s The Burning Girl, Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse. They were three very different books by women writers, but each unveiled a unique story, a voice I hadn’t heard.

So my word–really, just one this year–is spark.

May 2018 bring the spark of creativity.

May the incredible writing and art of others light a flame in all of us putting pen to paper, brush to paint, words to music, hands to clay.

And may 2018 bring a much-need warmth to our daily encounters.

Here’s to safely tending the fires that burn within — with perhaps a bit of risk thrown in there. (See? I really have a problem limiting my words.)

Share your word if you’re up for it. I won’t judge if you have more than one. Or need suggestions.

Happy, sparkling New Year!

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


Author: Kristin O'Keefe

Kristin O’Keefe has bartended in Scotland, written speeches for college presidents, and led communications & marketing for an economic development organization. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney's, Barrelhouse, Your Teen, Grown and Flown, and Scary Mommy. Find her on Twitter @_KristinOKeefe and Facebook at Kristin O'Keefe, writer.

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