And the word for 2018 is....

That’s my word, my guide, my goal for 2018. To ditch doubt, look fear in the face, upend uncertainty and embrace the “new” in new year, maybe not with a vengeance, but with as much energy as I can.

It won’t be easy, I’m sure. Like most humans, I’m pretty set in my ways. Change is like a new diet or exercise routine: hard work, daunting at first, something that can leave you aching and winded. But once you get used to it—and the terrific way it makes you feel—it turns out to be the best thing you’ve ever done.

So now, as 2018 gets underway, I’m making a resolution to do my best to embrace the challenges that come my way and pursue the ones that don’t.

This includes:

Embracing an ambitious writing schedule. At the risk of terminal carpal tunnel, my goal is to complete 3 manuscripts this year—a YA semi-memoir, a paranormal romance, and a sequel to my WWII-set time travel I hope to self-publish mid-year. Oh, self-publishing. I guess that’s another challenge to embrace, though the idea of it scares me spitless!

Embracing family (when they’ll let me) and friends (when they need it). In other words, get out of my own head and be more in the moment with others.

Embrace my inner extrovert. Like most writers, I like nothing more than to be alone with my fictional worlds and my characters. But writers also need other writers, so I’ll be doing what I can to reach out and make connections, whether in person or through social media, to improve my craft, expand my horizons, and get my name out there.

And speaking of names…

In the new year, I’m embracing a new name—Janet Raye Stevens. Now, there is nothing wrong with my old moniker, Janet Halpin, a name I’ve embraced since I entered this world in *date redacted,* but looking to the future and all the possibilities I’m hoping 2018 brings, I’ve decided it’s time to take a pen name. I even wrote a poem about it to psych myself up:

There is no shame,
and maybe some fame,
for a writerly dame
to take a pen name.
Okay, so maybe I won’t be embracing a career as a poet this year, but for all the rest, I’m in.


  1. I hope the new pen name gives you great happiness and success, Janet! Embrace: great word!

  2. I think it would be tremendous fun to have an alias!!! Embrace it for sure. <3

  3. Love your pen name...AND your word! :) xoxo

  4. Embrace is a fabulous word choice! Rock that word :)


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