My Word for 2015 Is...

Happy New Year, everyone! Can you believe it's 2015?! How crazy is that? I feel like I've been waiting for it to be 2015 for so long, and now… well, my book comes out in six weeks. So if I seem overwhelmed and flustered and exhilarated and stressed all at once in the next couple months, you know the reason why. 

 My fellow YA Buccaneer Bridgid Gallagher painted me this watercolor postcard, and it's been hanging above my desk for a year!

My fellow YA Buccaneer Bridgid Gallagher painted me this watercolor postcard, and it's been hanging above my desk for a year!

For the past two years, instead of making a list of resolutions, I've chosen a single word to represent my goals for the year. In 2013, I selected PATIENCE. My aim was to help myself be okay with my publishing path taking longer than I'd wanted and to remind myself that what mattered was writing the best possible book I could write, the book only I could write. In 2014, I chose MOMENTUM. With my debut novel on its way to publication, I wanted to keep working hard and pushing forward, not resting on my laurels or taking a second book deal for granted.

In both cases, having a single word to focus on helped keep me grounded and on track throughout the year. So obviously, I was going to try for a third successful Word of the Year in 2015. After much deliberation, I've picked...

I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. Frankly, I have so much to be grateful for at this point in my life. 

I'm grateful that my debut novel is releasing in February. I'm grateful to be surrounded by friends and family who are almost as excited about my book coming out as I am. I'm grateful for my talented, supportive editor, who pushes me to be better, and for my enthusiastic agent, who helps me dream big. I'm grateful for the rest of the folks at HarperTeen, who have turned my Microsoft Word document into a real, live book that I will get to hold in just a few weeks. I'm grateful for the people who taught me to write, who fostered my passion for reading and writing, who critique and comment on my works-in-progress, who bounce ideas back and forth with me endlessly. To all of you who've helped me get to the here and now, I'm so, so grateful. 

I'll stop there, because as you can probably tell, I could go on and on. And the paragraph above is just the book stuff! (Did I mention my husband specifically? Justin, I am beyond grateful for you. Every single day.) So why did I pick this as my word for the entire year? In short, because no matter how grateful I feel as I'm writing this, I know I will still constantly need the reminder. 

When I'm freaking out about my revisions for my next book, I want to remember to be grateful that I get to write another book for publication. I'm lucky to be doing a job I love. I'm lucky that people seem to want to read the stories I create. When I'm fretting about less-than-stellar reviews or lists that my book isn't on, I want to take a step back and think about the people who have told me my book touched them. When I'm getting too caught up in the big scary craziness of What Happens Next—Will people actually buy this thing I wrote? Will I sell another book? Am I running out of ideas? Do I actually have what it takes to be an author?—I want to try to think about the things that make me happy and hopeful and grateful. As cheesy as it sounds, in 2015 I want to live in the moment and enjoy every bit of what I've accomplished.

(And yes, I'm still trying to be patient with myself and my work and to keep up my momentum moving forward…) 

Did you choose a word for 2015? Share it in the comments! 

And once more, happiest of new years to you all! 

~Kathryn