As writers, we may look back over the year and reflect on what we've accomplished or what we've failed to accomplish.
Either way, there are benefits to reflecting on our writing and writing-related goals through the lens of God's goodness.
When we made our plans w-a-y back at the end of 2021, we didn't know what the following 12 months would bring. And for some of us, that's an understatement to say the least.
Every year, I make plans and set goals. (This is one of my favourite things to do.) Throughout the year, I update those goals.
I, unlike many people, don't mind dreaming big on paper (or the computer screen) and then bumping things to the next week, month, or even, the next year.
For several years, I've dreamed of indie publishing two or more books annually. Could I? Quite possibly, but it hasn't happened yet. And that's okay.
The good news! I've gotten back to writing the YA spec fiction I started two or three years ago during NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. A number of individuals have encouraged me, although they only recently found out about the project. Never underestimate what a kind word to a fellow writer might mean to them.
What will happen with this book, what I hope is the first in a series? Only God knows. But I need to push past "the murky middle," where my enthusiasm for a project typically dies out, and persevere. Those encouraging comments by a couple of individuals went a long way to motivating and energizing me. God used them to spur me on.
As I mentioned, I'm great at dreaming big. However, I also put the "pro" in PROcrastination.
I'll do better tomorrow—or next week. This thought runs through my mind a lot.
Sometimes, I fail to achieve my goals because I put too many things on my To-Do List. Sometimes, it's because I've become an expert at procrastinating.
Still, as I reflect on the goals I achieved—and those I didn't—it's important that I do so prayerfully. As I set my goals for the coming year, I intend to let my imagination soar. But I also intend to ask the Lord for wisdom, so I can know what projects He wants me to focus on in 2023.
While I began working on my coauthor, Paralympian Deb Willows, on the follow-up to her first memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, an embarrassingly long time ago, we have made strides forward this year. We have begun to meet online every 1-2 weeks, and I did have the opportunity to spend the best parts of a week with her, working on the book and enjoying our friendship.
God caused our paths to cross, and Deb has been an inspiration and an encouragement to me over the years. She has had an especially rough go of it over the last few years. Because of it, the book, tentatively titled Keep Looking Up, will be much different than we originally intended. On the positive side, it has the potential of impacting readers in a powerful way.
So, even though I didn't work on this project as diligently as I would have liked to, I see God's hand in it all. Learning to balance my understanding of God's sovereignty and my responsibility to accomplish the tasks before me is an ongoing endeavour.
Although I haven't achieved anywhere near what I had hoped to this year, I have seen God's goodness at work in my life. How about you?
What is one writing goal you've made steps toward accomplishing this year?
What is one unfinished project you would like to complete in 2023?
What is one specific priority you believe God has for your writing life?
Whether 2022 has been incredibly productive or filled with unexpected challenges that have kept us from accomplishing the goals we set for ourselves, let's ask ourselves how we can see God's goodness through it all.