Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


I’ve been reading a lot of posts where people pick a single word to define the coming year. This word symbolizes how they want to feel in 2015.

I can’t say I’ve ever done this, but when looking back on 2014, it was easy to come up with a word for the year just past.


Through all the little annoyances and worries and late payments that go hand-in-hand with working for yourself, I have remembered to be grateful.

I was self-employed before for about nine years, and even though it was an awesome experience, I spent far too much time worrying about where the next client was going to come from, or when that invoice would finally be paid (some things never change, apparently).

When I started working in a corporate environment, I thought longingly back to the days when I was my own boss. Why hadn’t I appreciated all the creative freedom I had? Not to mention the freedom to choose my own hours and projects? Oh, to no longer be at the whim of managers and fellow employees.

I view this as a second chance, and so I’m incredibly grateful. I’m grateful that if a project doesn’t suit me, or I don’t have the time, I can say no. I’m grateful that if someone treats me poorly, I don’t have to work with him or her again. I’m grateful that I can build my own team, with people like photographer Joel Ross, designer Kyla Roma, researcher Paula Boon, editor Chris Brogden, and writers Drew Kozub and Elle Rush. I’m grateful that I get to spend so much more time with my animals. I’m grateful that I live with a man who supports my dreams one-hundred percent. Not everyone would have supported my decision to walk away from a director position in order to create my own path, but he encouraged it.

I’m grateful for the little things too. (Or maybe they’re not so little…you decide.)

I’m grateful that I can work as little or as much as I want. That if I meet a friend for lunch and I’m having an amazing time, I (usually) don’t have to cut it short in order to get back to work. I can get my errands done in the middle of the day if I like. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to take a vacation. If I need to see the dentist or doctor or have work done on the house, I can simply tweak my schedule. I learn something new almost everyday, and I’ve met some incredible people. The only one who can limit me is me…no one is going to tell me an idea is “too creative” or suggest that I should keep on doing the same old thing anymore.

And, perhaps best of all, NO MEETINGS!

There are several things that aren’t great about working for yourself, but one thing I’ve finally realized is that no one’s life or situation is perfect. We can always dwell on the negative, but life is short, and we’ll find a way to get through the difficult stuff.

I want my word for 2015 to be Pride. I want to make myself proud by keeping the promises I make. I want to remember to be proud of my accomplishments instead of beating myself up over my mistakes.

What’s your word for 2014? What would you choose for 2015?

Happy New Year! See you on the other side. xoxo

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  1. Elle

    For 2014 I think my word was Begin. I started many new ventures and tried a ton of new things. Most were successful, some were not, but I appreciate even the failures for the experience. For 2015, I think my word is going to be Charge!

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      Thanks for commenting, Elle, and Happy New Year! Begin is a great word, and I’m so proud of you for taking the leap and trusting that your writing career would work out. Your bravery and work ethic inspire me everyday.

      I’m excited to hear how 2015 will be a year of change for you. You’re already knocking it out of the park.

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      Awesome, Stephanie! I thought everyone had forgotten about that blog hop. Thanks for participating.

      Healthy is a great word for 2015, and I’ll be there with you as I train for my green prajioud. We can encourage each other.

      Happy New Year!

  2. Donelle Lacy

    This is a great post and a great word for 2014. It’s always good to remind ourselves what we’re thankful for. I hope your year makes you very proud.

    My word for 2015 will be ‘determination’. I originally thought of ‘fight’, but it felt too messy and inaccurate. ‘Conquer’ is also a great one. There has to be a word for ‘beat the year into submission and pin it to the mat’. 😉

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      Thanks for the kind words, Donelle. Determination and conquer are both great words–good luck choosing one!

      All the best in 2015.

  3. Vanessa Meads

    My word for 2014 was definitely “growth”. I worked very hard to leave bad habits behind and develop myself as a person throughout the year, and my hard work has really paid off.

    I have chosen “kindness” as my focus for 2015. Now that I like myself and feel good about where I am and where I’m going in life, I am ready to turn those positive feelings outwards and try to do a little bit of good for others. It’s going to be a great year!

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      Hi Vanessa,

      Welcome to my blog! Growth is a great word. Bad habits are so terribly hard to break. I plan to break a few myself this year.

      I love that you’re turning your success outward in 2015. I can hardly wait to hear about how it works out. Will you be blogging about it? Feel free to share your link if so.

      Happy New Year!

  4. Lisa

    I was away from computers for the last couple weeks – just catching up now…
    Great post!….Looking back over the year 2015 I have to say that the word for this year I turned 50 would be Adventure! (WITH the exclamation mark ;0) I did some truly amazing things and was always exploring.

    For 2015 I thought for a while and the word that came to me was “Be” as in Be in the moment, Be alive, Be kind, Be in love….It encompasses a lot of things that I want to BE this year.

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      Welcome back, my friend! It’s always nice to take a break from computers.

      Adventure is a fantastic word, especially as you turned 50. Bravo!

      I like your word for 2015, too. You can alter it to mean anything you like as the year unfolds.

      Happy New Year, and thanks for being such a wonderful friend and support system!


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