2022 Word: Family

First, you need to know that this word came to me on its own, in early December. I started thinking about 2022, and it was the first word that came into my head.

"No way," I said aloud. I mean, I've spent an awful lot of time with these people who I love over the past two years. Why does my word have to revolve around them. I tried other words on for size: Attention, Intensity, Assessment, Spark, Energize...but none felt right.

Fine. It's going to be "Family," I thought--a little grumpily, if I'm being honest.

But then I started thinking about how I could use this word this year. And then a whole lot (more) rough stuff happened in our house, and...well...sometimes the right word chooses you. So here's how I'm going to use Family to shape all aspects of my 2022:


Health. Oh boy. I've mentioned before how bad I am at taking care of myself. Up until this pandemic, I've escaped relatively unscathed and am a generally healthy person (give or take extra pounds). But in 2021, I pulled muscles in my back 3 times. And each time, I'd vow to eat better and do yoga. But the Universe keeps sending you messages until you receive them. So on December 12, when I picked my ailing dog up to carry him into the vet...I did it wrong. Very wrong. And I herniated a disc in my back, which pinched a nerve. Now I have no choice but to focus on my health, because in the first week when I was (literally) down for the count with it, I saw how it impacted my family. So for their sake, I am going to strengthen my body to prevent injury, use the breathe app on my watch, and I'm following the Daily Dozen guidelines for eating more veggies and less chicken and fish. I need to be at my best to support the people I love.


Family. Well, yeah. Here's the focus of the year. I'll continue with my previous year's plans of taking the kids someplace new each month, playing more board games, and having everyone rotate through making dinner during the week. We said goodbye to our beloved dog, Grafton, right as this year began, and we have a lot of sadness to work through together. Ultimately, we are a great team, and I want to build on that as our oldest starts high school(!) this fall.


Writing. How does writing work with family? Well, writing regularly and having that creative outlet makes me a more happy, satisfied person--which in turn allows me to be a better mom and partner. I'll be continuing with my goals of writing 50 days per quarter (I loved how that worked for me last year), joyfully drafting new projects each quarter, and continuing to develop my hybrid indie publishing career by releasing some adult cozy mysteries through Table for 7 Press! Yay! I've been working on this for a while, and I can't wait for you to meet Andrea Biscotti, my heroine.


Author Business. I spent some time in 2021 learning how to think about my career strategically, and acknowledging that if I want to achieve some of my writing goals, I have to have a more business-oriented mindset. And those goals are financial as well as creative. So, I have a target income goal that I'd like to hit from my various writing-related freelance work, teaching, and mentoring. I am going to more strategically promote my essay collection, BAD CHOICES MAKE GOOD STORIES: Conversations about Writing and I'm planning to launch a course via Teachable or some platform later this year. Stay tuned!


Financial. We have 4.5 school years left with our oldest at home(!). So I have some big financial goals around saving for college and organizing a 5 year financial plan. This involves working with my author business and exploring as many opportunities as I can as a writer.


So there you go. Family brings it all together--being present, connecting, and caring for myself so we can better care for one another. Keeping those at the center of my heart at the center of my year seems like a perfect fit.


What's your word for 2022?


picture of Erin and her family, surrounding their dog
This motley crew--with our canine in spirit--defines my 2022