My Word for the Year

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

This month’s question for January 4 is: Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year?

My Word for the Year

I’m a spreadsheet geek.

It’s a new year, so I set up my 2023 spreadsheet and because I’m an analytical geek, as well, I calculated my 2022 writing hours. Here’s how I spent last year’s writing time:

  • 22.18% promoting
  • 15.75% teaching, coaching & mentoring
  • 13.03% in meetings
  • 9.298% on writing tasks

for a total of 60.24% of time spent on writing-related activities other than actual writing.

That meant I was only writing new words, rewriting, editing, polishing, and formatting for only 39.76% of the time.

Eye-opening for sure! Surprising, too, considering I had published five books in 2022 but wasn’t seeing good outcomes in the promotions. As a result, in 2023, I will work to reverse those two numbers. Why? Chiefly, because I recognize that ads don’t really sell books. Readers, via their word-of-mouth accolades, sell books.

So, to spend more time in actual writing and publishing to build up my body of work and less on promoting and other writing tasks, I need to be better focused.

And, that’s how my word for the year became:


I know I’ll be publishing the last three novellas to my romance series, another non-fiction motivational / how-to book—this one on grammar and punctuation, and I have ideas for other projects I want to start plotting. This focus should better help me manifest my writing desires, which means producing more product, which then should attract more readers.

But, wouldn’t you know it. Since I just released my newest book, Charlie’s Christmas Carole, a family Christmas screenplay with paranormal moments that readers say should be a movie, I need to do some promotional work. All the while, I’m whispering, focus, focus, focus, which makes me eager to get back to producing the last three Laurel Ridge novellas.

By the way, Shattered Dreams, the first story in the series, will be free for all readers on Jan 10-14.

How about you? Have you read Shattered Dreams, yet? A second-chance story of love, about two high school sweethearts who were brutally separated and have met up again a decade later?

Also, what’s your word for 2023? What’s the inspiration behind it? I’d like to know!


Purpose of The Insecure Writer’s Group: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting.

The next IWSGTwitter Pitch will be January 25, 2023!
Check out details on our #IWSGPit page.

About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
This entry was posted in #IWSG, Motivation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to My Word for the Year

  1. I’m impressed you published so many books in 2022. It’s not so surprising to me that you had to spend so much time on non-writing work with so many books coming out. It sounds like you have a good plan for 2023.


  2. Nancy Gideon says:

    Focus! Pick one (or two) and don’t get distracted. A word I need to pay attention to, too! My main failing is online card games. There I’ve said it. And scrolling. Once I start . . . I’ve found my designated writing time in the morning is almost nil. I sleep in later, I internet longer, I play cards . . . and then oh look, it’s time to make lunch! Too much free time for me means too little focused time.


    • Diana Stout says:

      Bwahahahaha. You’ve just described so many of my days. I, too, get up late. For instance, today, I first awoke at 9:30, then ended up taking a nap and woke up at 12:30!!! First hours are as you described, as are my late-night before bed hours. If not for my Zoom write-ins, I’d probably get nothing done. Accountability is working for me. Thanks for sharing!!!


  3. Spreadsheet geek ? Meet my partner, really called a husband, Can see very clearly how this works for his current project – retro-enginering analysis of prehistoric monuments – but tht thought processes behind my current WIP.
    Will try- determined to spend this year learning.


    • Diana Stout says:

      If you’re new to the process, I’d say start small. Just track a few things, like how many hours a day are you writing/working? How many words did you write that day, or did you put down new words or edit? Easy becomes fun. A lot becomes work and then dreaded. Thanks for visiting and sharing!!!


  4. Diane Burton says:

    I always knew you were a geek. LOL Hey, if it works for you, do it. Focus is a great word. Many IWSG’ers chose that. I need to do that, too. Best wishes in 2023.


  5. Steven Arellano Rose says:

    What a coincidence! That’s my word of the year too: focus! And so I’m focusing on my writing, including editing and revising, itself for the same reasons. It’s very easy, especially for an indie author like many of us are, to promote more than to write. And, as you put it, if you make your work really good more people will know and talk about your book and bring more readers.


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