I started writing every day when I was thirteen years old. A teacher gave us the opportunity to answer a journal prompt or to write whatever we wanted for the first ten minutes of class. I knew it was love when I couldn’t put the pen down. I learned nothing from her lessons that year, but I learned everything about my passion for words.
This is still true of me today. I earned a creative writing degree in college. My first professional job was at a magazine. Today, I write fiction for young women in addition to my work at Juice.
When one of my mentors casually mentioned her “word for the year” back in 2013, I was hooked. I’ve been engaging in this practice ever since.
In 2018, the word I focused on throughout the year was breakthrough. And, true to my word for the year, this theme has repeated itself across the last 365 days or so.
At first, the word breakthrough was exciting. It made me think of progress and forward motion and leaving behind setback. This was certainly true of my year in some ways! I started my job at Juice, which was a new and exciting breakthrough. I experienced small victories with a long-standing health challenge, which was also encouraging.
Somewhere around March, though, my word began to lose a bit of its luster. Things that “should have” been easy, weren’t. The long-awaited book contract I’d been expecting never happened. It felt like maybe I’d chosen the wrong word because these breakthroughs seemed to grow stagnant instead. Sometimes it still feels this way!
But the waiting and the wondering steered me toward a needed revelation: breakthrough isn’t always a single shining moment of success. In fact, this year has shown me that it often isn’t.
There are millions of moments that lead up to that explosion of breakthrough. While moments of breakthrough often make sudden appearances, it doesn’t mean it’s been easy to get there.
There is still breaking in breakthrough. Broken expectations are often painful. They signal the end of something of value. But lately I’ve learned without that breaking I’d never reach the eventual moment of desired breakthrough. And coming to that realization has been a breakthrough for me in and of itself.
Whether we’re hoping for breakthrough in our personal or professional lives, we get there through the mundane and routine too. It’s ushered in by hard work and perseverance and the choice to continue even when all seems lost. Sometimes the steps are more like tiptoes; and sometimes they’re larger leaps.
Whatever my word for 2019 will be (right now I think it’s going to be rebuild!), one thing is clear: I’ll be learning a lot, and I have a lot to look forward to no matter what!
Joyce also chooses a word for the year. She says, “This will be my sixth year declaring a word of the year. For 2019, I’m claiming ‘forward.’ When the path reveals itself, you move forward!”
Whether you’re breaking through, moving forward, rebuilding, or taking on something else entirely, we here at Juice hope the new year ahead will bring you and your business much success. Let us know what you’ll choose to focus on for 2019! We would love to hear from you.