Dauntless! (Mary Strand)

Happy New Year!

This month’s theme is New Year’s resolutions or goals or an inspirational word for 2018.

I haven’t done New Year’s resolutions in years.  I gave them up about the same time I gave up Lenten resolutions, aside from my annual six-week Lenten chocolate detox, which (let’s face it) isn’t particularly spiritual in nature.

I do goals:  annual, monthly, weekly, and even daily.  I love to-do lists, and goals to me are really just an excuse to make another to-do list.  At any given moment, I have at least seven different goal or to-do lists happening.  Being OCD is ridiculously fun!

For me, though, goals or to-do lists are part of daily life, so the ones I write at the start of each new year aren’t a big deal.

My word for the year is more special.

Several years ago, in one of my writers’ groups, someone suggested that we each choose a “word for the year” to inspire us all year long.  I’ve chosen one ever since.  Some words have completely bombed.  (The year I chose “HEALTH,” I should’ve been more specific.  As in, “GOOD HEALTH.”  It was a year of health woes!)  Some words turned out to have little meaning.  (The year I chose “VALUE,” my intent was to do only things that were of value to me.  Zzzz.  It wasn’t a terrible word, but, ironically, it had no value.)

Last year I cheated and chose “BRASS RING” (two words!), because I intended to reach out and grab for the brass ring, a/k/a success.  It’s a great visual that inspired me for the first half of the year, but at least one upset in the second half of 2017 reduced its meaning.  Still, it was a decent choice.  On the other hand, I’m both a rules girl and (undiagnosed!) OCD, and choosing two words for my word of the year kinda made my skin crawl. 

So.  For 2018, I chose one word.  DAUNTLESS:  because I want to be bold and brave in going after what I want. 

I’ll admit, by the way, that the Divergent movies and books helped inspire my choice of DAUNTLESS.  Tris and Four are the epitome of Dauntless to me; if I were in that world, I’d choose Dauntless, too.  Even if the thought of jumping off buildings and trains is mildly terrifying!
Four (a/k/a Theo James) of Divergent.  For bonus points, highly swoon-worthy.
Most people who know me likely think I’m dauntless 24/7, so much that this would be a redundant or even pointless word for me, but in truth I can stumble and let life knock me in the teeth with the best of them.  But I do aspire to be dauntless every day of my life, if not 24/7.  (There is no need to be dauntless in a hot tub or while drinking fruity cocktails.  Life is too short, and too exhausting, to put pedal to the metal 24/7.  Thanks to naturally insane energy levels, I know this better than most!)

This year I want to write great books, plural.  I want to sell more books.  I want to write a screenplay.  I want to write music.  I want to become much better on guitar and vocals.  I want to continue to be Little Miss Athlete, too.  My word of the year for 2018, DAUNTLESS, is about doing what it takes to make all of that happen. 

Wish me luck!

Mary Strand is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras and three other novels in the Bennet Sisters YA series. You can find out more about her at marystrand.com.


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