A word for 2018: Diligence

Diligence. Careful and persistent work. Slow, plodding, steady effort that isn’t crushed by setbacks. Keep moving forward.

Rocky’s got it.

As soon as I finished college, I started learning the disappointing lesson that big achievements don’t just happen. Maybe if you went to an Ivy League school and had the right connections, you got your dream job right after graduating, but for most of us, job #1 isn’t the one we always wanted. And neither is job #2, #3, #4. (Or maybe we get the dream job, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and we’re left scrambling for purpose, because what we idolized for so long didn’t follow through.)

Right now, I’m actually okay with that. I’m okay with having limited reach and responsibility so I can continue to practice and learn and improve, especially in writing.

Ideas often come to me in the shower, and that’s how diligence ended up being my word for 2018. I was thinking about the coming year as I rinsed shampoo out of my hair, and diligence literally just popped into my head. I’ve never had a word for the year before, but as soon as it came to me, I knew it was right.

2018 will be about diligence. Setting myself to work steadily each day, taking small, seemingly insignificant steps toward long-term goals.

My goals this year will require that I work diligently, rather than swinging back and forth from all-hands-on-deck productivity to lethargic stagnation.

Here’s what I’m aiming to accomplish by the time 2019 rolls around:

  1. Write 300 words of unnamed work of fiction every day for total of 109,500 words.
  2. Get 10 articles published in actual publications.
  3. Make a sustainable living doing just freelance writing and editing.
  4. Receive 300 pitch rejections.
  5. Get more efficient at researching, writing, and submitting story pitches.
  6. Start building a freelance network/support/friend group.
  7. Get back into CrossFit and compete at least once.
  8. Be a responsible adult: Get a physical and go to the dentist—use my insurance.
  9. Stay faithful with Scripture reading all year long.
  10. Intentionally memorize a verse or passage each month.
  11. Hike regularly (maybe do a 14er).
  12. Write three one-act plays.
  13. Read plays (see above). Suggestions welcome.
  14. Read one biography, more narrative nonfiction (books and magazine stories), and at least five good novels, for a total of at least 20 books. Suggestions welcome.
  15. If financially feasible, go to the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference.

Bonus: Get a short story published.

Published by meredithsell

Freelance writer and editor. Nerding out over health & fitness, women's history, and untold stories.

3 thoughts on “A word for 2018: Diligence

  1. “Seemingly insignificant steps toward long-terms goals.” LOVE this!

    My favorite 2018 goal of yours, #4. Being bold and taking risks, I like it.

    Goals I’d like to help you accomplish slash be a part of: #7, #9, #10, #11

    Also – going to the dentist is on my list of goals this year too! Ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy 2018 Meredith!

    I didn’t realize you would be leaving in the afternoon Sunday or I would have hugged you one more time with warm wishes. It was so good to see you, hear your infectious laugh and enjoy your interactions with your brothers and sisters.

    I have to smile as I think about the wonder of that changing dynamic between you all. Each one is growing and changing, making their own path in life as they mature; yet Matthias will still be your little brother, even when he is 30 years old…each one of your siblings having their special place in the ‘pecking order’ that is unique between you all.

    I like your word for 2018 and admire your goals. They are ambitious for sure and you will achieve many of them. The adage that if you don’t aim for something you will succeed…at doing nothing—is so true. How about “failing to plan is planning to fail”? So…your plans are laid out, go for it girl!

    May the dear Lord bless you each step, each day, each endeavor and give you success for His glory!

    Love, Mrs. Ward

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

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