One Word or 500 Words

Finding my Writing Voice in 2014, One Word at a Time

I’m a writer, have been for longer than I can remember loving to write.

But it seems like the more I wanted to write, talked about writing, pushed to write … I lost it. That spark. The enjoyment of writing. So I have joined a few challenges to help make writing a habit, blogging a consistent effort, and playing with words fun and purposeful.

You Don’t Have to be a Writer to Write

Not every special needs parent is a writer – I totally understand that – but there are reasons that writing and even blogging could be helpful. Journaling, for example, is an excellent way to understand how you feel about this emotional journey we’re on. Sometimes looking at your emotions on the page (or screen) is a way to face the stress, the crazy and insane levels of stress, that we face daily as special needs parents.

For me, writing used to be an outlet but recently became almost too hard … as crazy as that may seem. If you look back you will see I’ve written very little over the past year. I’d like to change that this year.

To that end I’ve joined three very different challenges, each for a different purpose. I’d love for you to join me in one or all of them!

My 500 Words

500 Words Writing Challenge

My 500 words challenge is being headed up by writer Jeff Goins as a way to help writers, well, write. I love the challenge because you don’t have to post anything, you can write for yourself, for that book you want to someday publish, or for your blog. And while the challenge is for writers, I think this one is a perfect one for special needs parents to join as well.

The goal is literally just to write 500 words a day. Carve out the minutes and just write. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to flow. Doesn’t even have to be spelled correctly!

But it’s a way to find your voice again.

The fact is we are all losing our voice. We carry on in the trenches every day doing what we do best – taking care of our amazing families – and in the process we lose bits and pieces of ourselves. Journaling, which is what I would term writing for yourself, is a way to release that stress, to deal with it, to heal from it, to accept it even.

What about you?

Do you have a secret love of history? Art? Photography? Maybe your journal can include writing about and including snapshots or links to pieces that move you, inspire you. The point is, it’s a way to get in touch with yourself, to use your voice. You don’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks about it – it can be just for you. (mine!!!!)

The 500 Words challenge is all for me – while you will see the evidence from my postings, my only true goal is to get back in the habit of writing, and loving writing, for myself. To find out more information and sign up for the 500 Words challenge, click through to Jeff’s post.

Next up – the Ultimate Blog Challenge

Ultimate Blog Challenge Blogging Challenge

The Ultimate Blog Challenge, begun by Michelle Shaeffer and now run by her and Michele Scism, is literally a 31-day blogging marathon. By joining you will get daily post ideas, encouragement, and a ton of ideas for different types of posts you can do at your own blog.

The goal is, of course, to end the month with 31 blog posts. I’ve seen participants join for each of their blogs, and I’ve sadly never completed the challenge (I’m horrible, I know!) … but this is my year – I just know I will get to 31 posts between my posts here at the Cafe and at my new Kat’s Media blog.

If you are new to blogging, the challenge can help you jumpstart your blog, and if you are a seasoned pro this will teach you at least a few new tricks.

Me? I’m neither new to blogging or a pro – I am here for the consistency. I want to end the month with 31 posts (at least!) Sound interesting to you? You can join me at the Ultimate Blog Challenge site!

It All Comes Down to ONE Word

We keep moving forward, opening new

I came up with a theme last year and I felt like it helped me remember what it’s all about. Last year my “theme” was “Keep Moving Forward” … it’s a Disney quote I shared in a ton of different ways throughout the year, but the sentiment was what I needed to make through rough spots and rock the triumphs … moving forward no matter what we find in our path.

We do it every day.

But if we do it with purpose … well, I think it helps to think of it that way.

But I stumbled upon this amazing idea (okay another writer posted about it and I had to be a copycat) … it’s called #OneWord and the whole purpose of your WORD is to help you focus on one way to move forward … and it sounded right up my alley! From their site:

Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap that long list of goals you won’t remember three weeks from now anyway. 

Choose just one word.

One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.

~ One Word 365 Website

I’ve been playing around with the idea already, thinking I would renew my theme of the year. And it didn’t really take me that long to decide on the word that would work for me this year.


My word of the year. Because determination is what will help me keep moving forward when I want to give up, it’s what will keep me praying and hoping when I would rather cry, and it’s what will keep me up nights working to make my business grow.

I can’t wait to put that into perspective and to consciously live my life with that in my mind … and I’m sure I’ll write more about it … 2014 promises to be a year of change and craziness, as it always is in our family. But this year I’ll be meeting that insanity head-on with some determination.

How about you? Are you going to participate in any of the challenges I’ve mentioned? Have you picked out your own word? Are you doing something else entirely? I would LOVE to hear about it in the comments!

Katrina Moody

Katrina Moody

Graphic Designer, Wordpress Addict, Blogger at Kat's Media & More
I'm a special needs parent before just about everything else in life, but also a passionate advocate for my three boys and husband, who all have a bit of awesomeness about them. Awesomeness = Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome, Autism, Epilepsy, Dyslexia, Cerebral Palsy, and more. It all adds up to some awesome kids and an amazing family.
Katrina Moody
Katrina Moody


  1. Angela Bickford says

    Love this! Glad you’re doing these challenges and that you found the OneWord365 one! Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings us! (p.s. I’m a special needs mom too – I had triplets at 27w5d and lost one at 49 days old; my survivors have ongoing therapy, appointments, and sensory issues, among other things). (

    • says

      Nice to “meet” you Angela! So great to see others who are part of this unique special needs family online too! As for 2014 – I expect great things this year 😀

      I’m so sorry for your loss! I do understand that ongoing therapy and appointment thing, though – most my guys have theirs through school now but I’m still very involved in their goals, and of course we supplement at home! How old are your survivors now? Logan and Andy (9 and 13) were both 33 weekers who had stopped growing due to IUGR. Each of them had different triumphs and challenges in the NICU, but I was (and still am) thankful we made it that far! I’ll have to check out your site!

      • Angela Bickford says

        Thanks! I saw that you commented on my site – will reply in a sec! It is definitely nice to connect with another mom who understands. My survivors turned 2 on 12/9 – they’re doing amazingly well considering, so I can’t feel anything but blessed. So crazy that both of yours came at the same gestation! You’re right – the NICU is it’s own kind of world – 111 days for us, but we’ve been back to the hospital multiple times for surgeries and emergencies. :( Glad we connected!

  2. Mary says

    I have fallen out of the habit of blogging consistently and it makes me feel like I’m neglecting an important part of my life. I joined 500 words to challenge myself to get back into it. It’s nice “meeting” you and good luck to us both!

    • says

      I feel like that too – blogging has brought me so much joy and writing has always felt so freeing – I want to get back to that! Thanks so much for stopping by Mary! I really appreciate it!

  3. Dina Demarest says

    My word of the new year is quality. I’m going to put more evergreen content up and less crap content. I’m backing away from reviews and giveaways in exchange for crafts, fun with kids, marriage articles and recipes. Great post to inspire us this year.

    • says

      Oh I like that @Dina Demarest:disqus! I won’t be doing as many reviews and giveaways here at the Cafe either … I just want this site to be a little bit of a haven, you know? Thanks for commenting!

  4. LaDonna Dennis says

    This is a great challenge you have for yourself Kat. I wish you nothing but success. You are one of the brightest, most loving individuals I know. Bets of luck to you in 2014. I know you can do this.

  5. Cristina @triathlonmami says

    wow! I loved this. I have a million general ideas that i can’t put into words. perhaps the 500 challenge is just what I need to get started.

  6. RetirefortheFunofit says

    Good luck with your challenges of writing each day. Since I started to write my blog last year, I’m loving it more. My posts are about things I enjoy, so each post is about what I love.

  7. Tiffany Steadman-Collins says

    This seems like a great challenge. Your a wonderful writer I am sure you will have no issue meeting your challenge:)

  8. Joanna Sormunen says

    Hope you have a terrific 2014! I think determination is a perfect word for you. May this year treat you gently and give you lots of love and happiness. And may you achieve your goals!

  9. Heather says

    My word this year was Perseverance. :) I used that same technique last year while trying to blog as a homeschool teacher, piano teacher, blogger, and mom to three beautiful girls, and it carried me through. :)

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