by DiAnn Mills
This is the season we prepare our writing goals for the next year. Some of you are cringing … I can feel it. Others are moaning … I can hear it. But if we don’t evaluate our progress in 2012 and list what we’d like to accomplish in 2013, where is our career going? Let’s discuss the pitfalls of 2012, then we can zip into our dreams and desires for 2013.
Take a look at last year’s goals. Be honest. Did you accomplish those expectations? If so, congratulations! If not, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, examine the causes.
Unrealistic goals. Sometimes in our exuberance to meet high goals, we demand too much of ourselves. If a writer pushes herself to reach the impossible, she will face the same disappointment on December 28, 2013.
Priorities. We are responsible human beings who live in a world of relationships. When we reach heaven, God is not going to ask us how many books we’ve written, but how many people did we touch for His kingdom. God comes first, then family, ministry needs, and finally our careers and writing. Yes, we must carve out time to write, but not at the expense of neglecting those divinely placed in our lives.
Time. Full time jobs and family take an enormous part of our day. Look for ways to carve out time for writing. To satisfy the creative muse, a writer may need to get up earlier in the mornings, give up midmorning coffee breaks, brown bag lunches, write when the rest of the household goes to bed, or give up a weekend activity. If God is in the project, He’ll help the writer find time to write.
Learning the Craft. Before a writer makes the bestseller list, she needs to learn the craft. A dancer always practices her steps. A pianist keeps her fingers nimble. An artist continues to experiment with color and technique. And a writer reads and rereads every article, blog, and book that may enhance the craft. Writers attend conferences and looks for those challenging workshops. Writers need review to snap them back into their project, making their book even better than before.
Fear. I’ve saved this aspect of to the end. Why? This is personal. Psychological. Many talented writers never get beyond their first chapter because they’re seized by fear. If old tapes paralyze your creativity, pray through them now. If God called you to write, then He will help you overcome fear. You may need a mentor or counselor.
Now that you’ve evaluated 2012, get those nimble fingers moving on a file titled “2013 goals.” You know why last year was a success or a disappointment. I dare you. Make those goals and celebrate life.
By the way, today is my birthday. What am I doing? I’m evaluating my goals for 2012 and listing those for 2013.
Bestselling author DiAnn Mills creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the ACFW and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011. She is a founding board member of ACFW.