Word of the Year: Business Edition

white background with a small light-colored bird on a double wire

Business is a funny word to me. The way it rolls off the tongue and the root word, “busy”–such a loaded word. Let’s not forget the multitude of meanings for the word business, and that the letters of the word that don’t look correct especially after multiple pronunciations of it.

Business. Business. Business.

Dictionary.com states the origins of the word business is bisignis, from Old English meaning solicitude, attentiveness (bisig “busy” + –nis “ness”). With solicitude comes anxiety or concern.

At the beginning of the year, I read Susannah Conway’s newsletter about her word of the year. She also has one for her business which I thought was brilliant and also, why not?! I haven’t been consistent with a word of the year, but this year I did one for myself, magic. ✨

I never really thought of myself as a business person/owner or even a side gig gal, not even before/during/after I laid the foundation to become one. In my mind, I just tool around and write stories that call to me, making connections and observations out in the world. I also share things that I think are funny in the Friday Tomfoolery. Some writers are awesome at business–and that’s what they set out to do with their writing.

Others write to see what comes up for them (and were also able to make a living out of it):

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m lookin at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

~Joan Didion

What Didion writes here resonates with me.

“I write to discover what I think. After all, the bars aren’t open that early.”

~Daniel J. Boorstin

I like the simplicity of the Boorstin quote and the humor. However, I don’t need the bars to find out what I’m thinking. 😉 Bars are more like a social science experiment to me. Occasionally, they are fun a Scooby snack of behaviors 😁

You would be a liar if you said you did not want to make or have money/some form of “living.”

You may not find money to be the be all end all, but it remains a necessity as well as a reality of life. And writing actually costs variable amounts of money. I understand life-ing. The disconnect or perhaps sticking point seems to stem from my underlying belief that writing is a form of creativity and expression that can exist without approval and external reward while still wanting to make money from it and see it do well.

That creates a good amount of cognitive dissonance within me, especially when I was raised to be a people pleaser. I was really good at that for a long while but I was also not so great…

It’s the “do well” part that creates the angst. I’m judging myself from the Inner Critic who is so darn nasty.

At any rate, I’m blocking myself with these contradictory sentiments, and that no longer works for me. I have to own that writing is a business on many levels (again, despite my pull otherwise). So when I was reading about Susannah Conway’s word of the year for her business I was shocked to hear a word immediately drop into my mind:

Soar.

I even had an immediate image that went with it:

Blue sky with fluffy white clouds in background, a formation of white pigeons flying in the foreground.
Image by Michaela on Pixabay: white pigeons

Mine was one dove flying upward, more like the bottom bird, but that’s not the important part is it? That word just felt right. Now, if I could only get my inner critic and my doubts and fears on board I’d be set. Those jokers riding on the carousel of my mind have my “soar” looking more like this:

Frontal shot of a white swan on its descent. The sky is a grey-blue with fluffy clouds and the bottom of the frame has a semicircle of rays of light. The swan's dark legs are splayed to either side looking somewhat comical for such graceful bird.
The graceful swan at an awkward-looking moment. Photo from Pixabay by Willgard.

I have to keep in mind that the Inner Critic, Doubt, and Fear have a skewed view and a partial picture of things. They’re the friends who take the worst pictures of you; post them online; and TAG YOU. 🤦🏻‍♀️ This, after asking and begging not to be photographed in the first place. In this image, I think the swan is trying to escape a storm which is always what follows when you allow the three stooges to run the machinery of your mind (Inner Critic, Fear, Doubt).

They were driving on this post. I was waffling and unreconciled with the word business. Not soar, business. I was on board with soar. I started this post on January 10, 2024 and it’s now May 7, 2024–despite the word resonating so much for me. Interestingly, I managed to write about my word of the year! 🫥

Soar had come up a lot for me lately, so I decided what the heck–I’m posting it (I write a lot of things I don’t post). I like the word (and all the birds). It needs to see the light of day. I also need to work on my relationship to the word business–in all its forms. (Business tends to fall under the same umbrella as math for me–and I say I “don’t math” but I also need to and actually employ math. Duh, right?)

What’s something that you know you would be better for having done (because you want to, for accountability, etc) but you still resist? I know by posting my business word, Soar, I’ll have to face my fears and do the things anyway. Intellectually, I know this, but now I’ve “outed” myself. I need to get my feet off the ground and catch some air.

What’s your version of catching air or soaring?

So many questions. I’d love to know, leave them in comments!

Give me a shoutout! 🤠

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