What’s In A Word?

Forwarded from a friend?

Subscribe for the monthly update.

Emily P.G. Erickson's word for 2023: responsive.

Do you like hearing people’s words of the year? I do.

Words of the year are such a restrained bit of information — often no more than 10 letters. But that scattering of symbols says a lot about where someone has been and where they hope to go. It’s intimate, really. So it feels vulnerable and meaningful to share that my word for 2023 is responsive.

In the past, I’ve been quite good at naming a goal and gunning for it until I get it. I’m glad I can do that, but it has some downsides. I’ve found it’s easy to forget about the things that land outside of the target I’ve eyed but which are still important. Being goal-oriented encourages blinders. Plus, a year can contain a lot, and it’s natural for things to shift.

Responsiveness is meant to be an antidote to those problems. To me, the word invites presence, attention, and flexibility — all things I want more of in 2023.

New Writing From Me

All About Sadness: What Causes It, How to Cope With It, and When to Get Help at Everyday Health by Emily P.G. Erickson

I probably shouldn’t pick favorites, but oh well. The pair of pieces I wrote for Everyday Health about sadness are my favorite things I wrote this fall (the longer of the set is out new this month!). I got to interview some super smart people about an often-misunderstood emotion (Steven C. Hayes! Deb Dana! Ethan Kross! Meaghan Barlow!). The whole process made me feel much more warmly toward a feeling I tend to give the cold shoulder. I hope you’ll read and share my guide: All About Sadness: What Causes It, How to Cope With It, and When to Get Help.

Books I Think You’ll Like

All This Could Be Different: A Novel by Sarah Thankam Mathews in Emily P.G. Erickson's bookshop

When I pick a book for my book club, I often take a risk and select something I haven’t yet read. I’m hosting this month for our 11th birthday and went with All This Could Be Different: A Novel by Sarah Thankam Mathews thanks to some favorable reviews. Then I crossed my fingers and dove in. Oh boy. What a novel! It’s fresh and true and complicated. Reading it energized me as a writer and a human. I am drawn to books that with complex characters who grow and change and love and this book offered all three. A hearty recommendation.

Blame: A Novel by Michelle Huneven in Emily P.G. Erickon's Bookshop

A friend recommended I read Michelle Huneven’s Blame: A Novel. My library didn’t have any copies, so I downloaded the Kindle sample, figuring I could at least read the first 10% for free. But within those pages I got pulled in so deep I had to open my browser to buy the whole thing when my sample ran out. I love this book. The writing is great. The themes are fantastic. And for a novel that felt pretty cerebral, its plot clipped along with a tension I usually associate with thrillers or beach reads. The worst Goodreads reviews say that knowing more about the plot kinda ruins it, so if you want to read it, I recommend just diving in the way I did.

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe at Challengers in Emily P.G. Erickson's bookshop

As a birthday present for a beloved buddy, I picked up Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe at Challengers, a comic book store in Chicago that my sister-in-law works at. While I waited to give it to my friend, I couldn’t help myself and read the whole thing in an afternoon. I think books are the kind of present that only get more special when shared (I hope you agree, C! 😉 ). The memoir is about exactly what it sounds like, and offers a vulnerable peek into one person’s complicated experience of gender.

Check out my Bookshop here for more excellent reads!

Let’s Connect!

If you’re reading this in your inbox, you can find a shareable version online. You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You’re welcome to comment below (or by pressing the blue button in your email) — and you can always reach me at emilypgerickson@gmail.com.

Sharing is Caring!

*I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a freelance writer specializing in mental health and parenting. She has written for popular digital publications, including Everyday Health, Health, The New York Times, Parents, Romper, WIRED, and more. Emily is a professional member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). Previously, Emily researched PTSD for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and earned a master's in psychology. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: