In the last month I became aware of the #OneWord initiative – a community of people from all over the world who commit to making one word their ‘word for their year’. Several bloggers I know have adopted this idea.

The concept is to have a word which sums up your values, desires and aspirations for the year ahead. A word which will draw all things together, and will provide you with focus for growth. So as I entered this new year, I decided I would make this commitment.

But what word would it be?

There was one crying out to me. And the fear it triggered in me convinced me it was the right word.

The word is professional.

And when I say professional, I’m not just talking about my job. Or writing. I’m talking about my life.

For a long time, I behaved like an amateur. I made easy choices instead of the right choices. I didn’t take my responsibilities seriously. I complained and made excuses like a little child. I set the standard too low on my work, both in my job and writing.

I’d been childish. I’d been amateur.

Steven Pressfield, in his book ‘Turning Pro’, said this:


“The amateur fears that if he turns pro and lives out his calling, he will have to live up to who he really is and what he is truly capable of. The amateur is terrified that if the tribe should discover who he really is, he will be kicked out into the cold to die”


He could have been talking about me. I’ve long been afraid of turning pro. Afraid of actually living up to what I’m capable of. Too scared to believe the positive truth about myself.

In 2012 I began the journey to becoming a pro. I put myself on the Tribe Writers course – and now I’m an alumni. I completed it. During this time I began work on my first e-book, and not long ago I finalised the final draft for release next month.

I’ve already begun the journey to becoming a professional in writing. This year I hope to publish at least one e-book, possibly more. I want to grow my blog community. But it’s not just in my writing I’m going to be more professional.


I’m going to be professional in my relationships I want to treat people well, with respect, love and grace. I want to learn to treat people as Christ would, to be a servant. If I screw up, instead of running away, I’m going to be honest with others and myself.


I’m going to be professional in how I treat myself – instead of eating and consuming junk, I’m going to be healthier, and make sure I’m feeding my body, mind and soul material which can help it grow, instead of garbage. I’m going to take care of myself, because despite what I’d like to believe, God thinks I’m worth dying for, and worth more than abusing my body, mind and soul.


I’m going to be professional in my work – I’m going to take my job seriously, instead of seeing it as something I do to make money. In an ideal world, I’d write full-time, but right now it’s not possible. Until it is, I need other work – and whichever job I have, I must be professional and give my best. And of course, I must continue to be professional in how I approach my writing and creativity – without ever losing the freedom, creativity and imagination which makes it what it is.


I’m writing this post for two reasons – first, because to be part of this community it’s a requirement to write a blog post on your word for the year. But there’s another reason.

I want you to hold me accountable. Ask me how it’s going. Whether it’s in the comments, on Social Media or even in person, ask how professional I’m being. Call it out if you think I’m not being professional.

Let’s finish with a challenge.

Is there a word which you want to choose for this year? It can be any word – light, fearless, courage, prayer, absolutely anything. Pick a word for 2013.  (you can tweet that here)

Then be accountable.Blog about it if you can. Share it in the comments.

Tweet it with the hashtag #OneWord365.

As for me, it’s time to become a pro.
Do you have a word for 2013?

What would your word for 2013 be if you had one?



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Related posts:

Why we don’t need to set Goals for 2013 (set values instead)

6 Lessons from 2012 (and why you need to share your story)

The Importance of Being Encouraging

Why Life is Like Writing

What Story are You Telling?


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James Prescott

Hi, I’m James. I live near London. I’m a fan of good food, comic-book movies, & books. I love to write, and I coach other writers & creative people. Thank you for being part of my community. read more...

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