Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year and a Word: My 400th Post

I awoke early with the cats this morning and watched the light outside my kitchen window shift from deep blue to grey-blue to soft white as I ate my steel-cut oats and almond milk.  It was a morning like any other, except this one was the last of its year.  I had some thinking to do.  What would be my word for 2013?  I still hadn't decided.

And then I was smacked by a stomach bug.  It's one that I think I've been fighting since Christmas Eve.  It finally won, and I climbed back in bed, where I was joined by wild dreams of traveling to Paris, only to find that I was in a high school gymnasium and I had to cheerlead again, decades after my cheerleading days.  I had, of course, forgotten all the words and motions, and everyone was furious with me.  Not a promising sign for 2013.

And yet I woke up with the word for the year in my head.  "Persevere."  I've had to persevere through some pretty terrible times over the past several years, and I've managed to do it, but I have been wondering whether I could do it this time.  I must persevere as a writer now more than ever when I have two manuscripts trying to find homes and a whole bag of worries and fears to carry with me as I move forward.  

"Persevere" is not as pretty as "inspire" or "grace," my words from 2012 and 2011, but it is real, and it's what I tell my students to do all the time.  It's also what I need.  Perseverance gets harder for me as I grow older and I fear I won't achieve many of the things of which I've dreamed.  I am not as patient in the face of rejection now, something I see loads and loads of as a writer.  I see successes, too, but I don't linger on those.  I tend to linger on my failures.  "Persevere" will require a whole slew of other words like "hope" and "optimism" and "try" to come along for the ride.  

As Samuel Beckett writes: "Ever failed.  No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better."

Here's to 2012 and to failing better.  I wish you all love and adventure and a dose of perseverance in the coming year.  

xo Gigi 


  1. persevere is a good word. it is, as you said, real. and i like that you forgot all the words and motions. it means you are moving forward with your words.

    clinking glasses to 2013. get better.

  2. Ah, you have already succeeded...if you have managed to put down the words that have made you happy, then you have had success. It does not matter if it is accepted by anyone else so long as you're happy with what you've done in your own soul.

  3. Happy New Year dear Gigi......... and don't worry about the dream .... it means nothing. Wishing a beautiful 2013 for you filled with health, happiness, love and kindness. Get better soon and get ready for a wonderful year. Much love. XXXX

  4. Haven't been by in a while... and I'm very happy to pop in on this last day of 2012. It certainly has been too long away.

    Ahhh... I'd say that persevere is a word in working clothes. It's not lacy or pretty, as you say, but it's a solid word. One that has backbone, inner strength and courage.

    May I offer you my prayers for a speedy get well in your body, and then to wish you grace for the journey of 2013. May each day hold glimpses of heaven in unexpected places to cheer the way.


  5. I think that is a brilliant word for 2013 Gigi... for without perseverance... there will be no consequence... and therin lies the adventure of life...
    Happy New Year... may you find peace, joy and much happiness in all your determinations... xv

  6. Persevere is a great word - stern, in places - but it has to be to help focus our minds. I'm joining you with that one. Hope you feel better now - and here's to 2013. x

  7. Oh, I love the word may be solid and workmanlike but it reminds me that no beauty comes without work behind it. All the books I love, the art I admire required the artist to persevere to bring it to completion. Here's to persevering and failing better this year.

  8. I teach 8th-grade English in a Title I school, and chose perseverance as a theme for a unit earlier this year. That is a great word to focus on as you persevere as a writer! Happy New Year.

  9. Persevere is a perfect word in many ways! :) Happy, healthful 2013 to you. I hope your wishes come true, and your perseverance pays off. And i think 'fail' is a subjective word. And success means different things to all of us. Much peace and joy to you in this New Year!

  10. I wanted to stop by and drop a little note of thanks
    for the aliveness and beauty you've shared this year's made my light a bit brighter
    and i'm grateful for the gift
    that is you.
    persevere and as you do, remember, the grace to inspire
    is what will park your manuscripts in the right place
    at the right time:)

  11. Gigi, I got smacked by that bug, too, and had intense dreams! Ugh! It made me feel better just to see your cool, calm image here. It's amazing how our word will find us and we know when it's right. Wishing you all your heart's desire in this brand new year.

  12. I do hope you feel better soon! I know so many people who are getting one bug or another right now:(

    I can't think of a more difficult profession than writing. I truly admire anyone who persevers at it. It is a great word to focus on.

    I'm wishing you a very Happy, Healthy, and Fulfilling New year!

  13. I think persevere is a perfect word. As you said, not pretty - but full of force and wisdom. I am still pondering my own word for this year. May your year be full of failing better - and of successes.

  14. Like the header change.
    Gigi, This is such a perfect word. Good luck with it. This is something I have been talking to my artist/writer son as he talks about the last of a project being so much harder than the earlier part. For me it reminds me of myself as I get older having more fear to put myself out there to do uncomfortable things. This week I realized I was having a difficult time getting several things done and pushed myself to do them. I knew I needed to challenge myself to move forward. It is scary some times.
    I do hope you are feeling better now. The bug is certainly catching alot of people.

  15. I love how real you are.... you didn't choose a word that sounded glittery and magical... you chose one that had great meaning for you. I wish you all things good (even when they don't seem so good at first... you know, silver linings and all that) this coming year, sweet Gigi. It's been so nice visiting you again after being away for so long. I've missed you. xo


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