Choosing a Word for 2024

Anne here, with the final post in our Christmastide series of short posts. As from next week, we’ll be back to our normal posting schedule. I hope you’ve all had a peaceful and happy festive season.The photo on the right is of dawn on a beach on the east coast of Australia.It was taken by my friend Fiona McArthur, and I’m hoping we can all celebrate the dawn of the new year.

For many people a new year is a time for making resolutions — you know the kind of thing: doing more exercise, losing weight, giving up certain bad habits, taking up new virtuous ones. I don’t do that any more. I tried it when I was younger and I felt I was always setting myself up for failure. These days I do something slightly different — I choose a word.

I learned this from a writers’ group I’m a member of, and these days it’s spread to other friends as well. We choose one word, not a “thou shalt or thou shalt not” kind of word, but a word to inspire us, motivate us, maybe to make us smile, and to have as a kind of talisman for the year ahead.  We wenches blogged about it in 2022.

For one small group of writers I’m a member of, I make little bracelets with each person’s word on it (see the photos). They’re just cheap  and colorful little wooden beads on elastic thread, but somehow, for me at least, it really helps me to maintain focus on that word when I’m writing.

Some don’t wear bracelets so I make them a dangle, and they hang it near their computer, or by the mirror where they see it every morning.

This year the word that came to me was PLAY, which also incorporates creativity and craft (which I had under consideration) but encompasses them more widely, I think, and suggests fun as well. So I’m going with PLAY.

Do you make new years resolutions, or do you avoid them. And if you were to choose a word for 2024, what might it be?

36 thoughts on “Choosing a Word for 2024”

  1. I could say I am so perfect I do not need to make any resolutions. But, lightning would strike me for being untruthful.

    If I were picking a word, it would have to be 3 words – Try To Survive. In the past I have picked words and put them up in my kitchen as a reminder. That helped me remember.

    Hope everyone is well and looking forward to a wonderful 2024….cause I believe we do not have anywhere to go but up.

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    • Mary Jo, you absolutely deserve more time to rest. Somewhere I have a little bracelet with SIMPLIFY on it. Not sure I achieved it that year (or since) but it’s an on-going thing.

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  2. Each year I engage in the Burning Bowl and Sacred Stone ceremony at a Unity Church. After meditating and writing what I choose to release and burn it in the bowl, there is another meditation for a word or phrase to embrace now and going forward into the new year.

    The word and phrase that came through was, I am authentic. I understood this meant to speak my truth from the spiritual heart center of my eternal essence.

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    • Patricia, the Burning Bowl and Sacred Stone ceremony sounds like a very interesting ritual. I think the whole process of meditating, then writing, then burning, sounds rather cathartic. I love your phrase for the year.

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    • Oh John, I know — it’s so upsetting to consider the dreadful situation in so many countries, and even in countries without war a lot of people are struggling. So BETTER is a brilliant word. Thank you.

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  3. I am continuously fascinated by the ideas generated for understanding the origins of the cosmos. It is staggering to observe some of the images generated by the James Webb telescope showing phenomena occuring soon after the big bang (13.8 billion years ago). Even Einstein had problems understanding the expansion of space in his general relativity theory so perhaps I am in good company! I think ‘insight’ would be a good word for me to keep in mind.

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    • Thanks, Quantum — yes INSIGHT is an excellent word to focus on for the year — though I’m sure the pondering will go on forever as science continues to unravel ancient mysteries. All the best for the new year.

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  4. Today I came across the word LATIBULATE, which means to hide oneself in a corner in order to escape reality. I’m not sure I really want to think of that as a description of my coming year, but then again…

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    • Thanks, Lil — I’ve never heard of LATIBULATE, but perhaps another word for that is READING. I know that’s how I escape when the real world is too depressing — dive into a good book. And quite often it’s an oldie-but-goldie. At the moment I’m reading LaVyrle Spencer’s Morning Glory, which I first read more than 20 years ago. Best of luck in the coming year.

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      • LaVyrle Spencer’s Morning Glory is/was a longtime favorite, so I hope you’ll enjoy your reread, Anne. All good wishes for your year of PLAY!

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      • Back in the day when I still attended science fiction conventions, I went to one in Burbank where the entire cast of Babylon 5 made an appearance, including its lead, Bruce Boxleitner. It so happened that I had a cassette tape of a romance novel read by him, so I had something to talk to him about, and I spent a charming few minutes with one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. He seemed pleased that I even knew about it. We talked about the difficulties of recording – a man having to play a woman in parts (which he did quite well), the strain and work of continual speaking for a whole day, things like that. I still have all my signed photos from the event, and they are a melancholoy reminder of how times passes, since many of those players are gone now. The book? I no longer have that tape, nor even anything to play a cassette on, but I know it was a LaVyrle Spencer title, and I am pretty sure it was Morning Glory.

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        • Wow, Janice, what a lovely story. I’m so glad you met him and he was so nice. I do admire the people who read books aloud for a recording — and Morning Glory is not a short book! I find it quite hard to read aloud for a short time for an audience.
          Thanks for being a WordWenches’ regular. All the best for 2024.

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  5. I’ve had some struggle years too (we all get them) and a few more to come, I’d guess. I think my word would be ENJOY. There are lots of moments that can be enjoyed if I put my mind to it, and that’s what I think I need to do for all the little moments as well as the big ones.

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    • Marryd, ENJOY is a great word to choose. Often we can get so overwhelmed by daily life and the depressing things on the news that it’s a good idea to remind ourselves to enjoy life. Thanks.

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  6. Plus I’d like to thank the Wenches for all their Words, in blogs and books, which have helped keep me sane and happy over the years 🙂

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  7. I started my year on January 2 with the 4th major surgery in 4 years; just home today and seeing this lovely post – thank you, Anne, for such a great idea! While I first thought “healing” would be my 2024 word, I have changed my mind. While I still see medical appointments stretching out in front of me, I also know that they will no longer rule my days, so I am choosing “serendipity” and hope to develop the “gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not looked for.” (Isn’t it odd that Merriam Webster ends a definition with a preposition?)

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  8. The first word that popped into my head while reading the first paragraph was “Enjoy”. So that will be my word. Enjoy crafting. Enjoy fun opportunities. Enjoy learning. Enjoy being with people. Delete as many unenjoyable bits as possible.

    I too appreciate so much all the wonderful blogs and books that the Wenches write. I might not comment on everything but I do get around to reading everything eventually. I also very much appreciate and enjoy all the Wenchly readers and their comments. I learn so much from everyone.

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    • Thanks, Vicki — and I think all the wenches would agree with you that this wenchly community of ours and the discussions we have are wonderful. As for ENJOY — that’s a good word to have, I agree. So often things around us can pull us down a little, but if we remind ourselves to enjoy life, it’s bound to make it better. All the best for 2024.

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    • Beth, I too struggle with “discipline”. But the way I choose a word for the year is not something I “should” do, but something that will lift me up and energize me, not something that’s a grind and could make me feel guilty when I fail. Can you find a word that would make you smile?

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