Don't miss an episode. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts!
(Or add the CMP to your favorite podcast player!)


Word for the Year

Amy Creative Journey | Featured | Philosophical Threads | WOTY

It isn’t a typo. I know that the “word” idea goes by the phrase “word of the year” (WOTY). But I always think of it as a word for the year. It is a word that I play with and look to and follow and tease and uncover throughout the days of the year as I use the word to better understand myself and my path, to inspire and encourage certain steps and moments of reflection, and to map the course of a philosophical year.

I am torn this year as I contemplate words. I always go for a certain kind of word, but this year, several beckon. In a popular bullet journaling group, every post about WOTY leads to hundreds of people chiming in with the words they have selected. Hundreds. I envy these young planners the community they have found and forged.

I have been toying with words, saying them in my head, jotting them in a messy list in my journal. I have looked at group member comments and choices and jotted down words that are interesting, have potential, somehow stand out for me this year. Choosing a word for the year is a very personal thing. Each of us will respond to a different type of word, and there are always words that I hope will someday be right for me for a year even as I know this is not the right year. I am always looking for a word that is malleable, that is active and descriptive at the same time, that allows me to meet it both coming and going. I am looking for a word with a certain tone, a certain quality, a certain feeling.

Some of the words that fit my initial idea for this coming year, my general thoughts on how I might focus in this year, lack, maybe, the beauty and play that I long for in my word. So, I continue to ponder.

You can read lists of words in many places, and Ali Edwards has lists (typed and spoken) from years past on her site. The more words you see and even briefly contemplate, the more certain you may feel once you firmly choose your word.

Here are a few, just a very few, words that I jotted down this year as I continue to seek my word for 2017:

  • Dream
  • Wish
  • Track
  • Journey
  • See
  • Gather
  • Hold
  • Document
  • Record
  • Remember
  • Wander
  • Joy
  • Nurture
  • Do
  • Focus
  • Listen
  • Branch
  • Rise
  • Center
  • Open
  • Shine
  • Stretch
  • Reach
  • Find
  • Seek
  • Dance
  • Arrow
  • Forge
  • Connect
  • Spiral
  • Hone
  • Expand
  • Stream
  • Capture


(Updated 11/26/17 to note: The above list doesn’t include words I have had before as a WOTY. The list above only contains some of the words I considered for 2017 — and does not include words I’ve previously used, like light, grace, balance, flow, story, and a few others.)

Word for the Year on the CMP

Previous “January” shows in which the idea of choosing a word for the year (and the process) has been discussed:


Learn More

What is your word? What words have you used in past years? What words did you contemplate this year? How do you choose and how to you commemorate, welcome, and honor your word?

Share your comments here or in the Creativity Matters group at Facebook.



Note: links provided to books, tools, and other resources on the Creativity Matters Podcast website may be affiliate links for which the podcast would make a (very) small amount of money if the item was purchased. The Creativity Matters Podcast is an affiliate. Links are provided for convenience to help you find/see/explore the books, tools, and resources I talk about. Using the library, when possible, is always my first recommendation for reviewing books firsthand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.