The Word for 2020: Self

At first glance, deciding to focus on Self all year sounds pretty… well self-involved.

I’m not talking about making everything about me, however.  I’m talking about Self in five separate ways:


Late last year, I promised myself that I would take better care of my emotional and mental health.  I’m going to learn how to erect boundaries to prevent myself from spending my psychic energy in an unhealthy manner.  This means walking away from toxic people and not giving them power over my self-esteem.  It also means allowing myself to rest and nurture my muse – something I do not nearly enough.


I screw up. A lot.  And, I waste a lot of energy beating myself up over my mistakes.  Somewhere in life, I got thenotion that while other people were allowed to mess up, I was not.  Mistakes, as I was taught, were signs of human failing.  People made mistakes because they were lacking in skill or moral character.  Thus, whenever I make a mistake, the error screams out at me like an ink spill on a perfect white paper.  It’s exhausting.  Therefore, I plan to spend more time forgiving myself and offering Barb the same compassion for my imperfections that I would give anyone else.



This is not to say I’m not going to look at my flaws so I can grow.  In my opinion, we all could do with a healthy dose of self-awareness.  Why do I find myself making the same mistakes over and over?  Why do I give such importance to people’s opinions and ache to belong? Do I have bias? What kind?  The next twelve months will be for self-reflection.

Kintsugi – fillings cracks with gold. Photo by Guggger – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


Seeing my flaws, doesn’t mean hating myself.   I’ve spent way too long disliking who I am -again, largely because I was raised to focus on flaws rather than my strengths.  It’s time to embrace emotional Kintsugi.  Kintsugi is the Japanese art of filling cracks with gold. The idea is to see imperfections as something beautiful.  I’m human, with flaws and virtues. Sometimes I’ll fall down and fuck up; sometimes I won’t.  Either way, I’m far more complicated than one facet of my personality.

Thus 2020 is the year of Self.  I’ve got a lot of exciting plans that I’m hoping to see to fruition this year, including (finally) Backyards Have Bodies, two more Harlequin Romances, and a foray into mainstream fiction.  I’m also tackling a DIY Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing.  When I say DIY, I mean I’m doing a huge, deep dive into the craft of writing.  I’m exciting to take my writing to the next level!

What’s your word for 2020?  Share below!


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