Happy New Year, Christian writers! 2017 already – wow! Where did the last few years go? 🙂 Can it really be 17 years since the turn of the century? Incredible!
At the beginning of another year many of us take time to reflect on the year just gone and to look ahead at the one that has just started. Every day God’s mercies are new, and every day we can start afresh, but it is useful every now and then to pause and take stock of what we really want to accomplish, to consider what our gifts really are, and how we can best use them to serve others.This does, of course, extend to our writing! So here are three essential questions I think we should all have in mind as we start the new year:
1. What do I want to accomplish with my writing in 2017? Do you want to write letters to prisoners, or articles for your church newsletter? Would you rather try your hand at a short stories, or begin (or finish!) a full-length novel with the aim of passing on the good news of Jesus to young people? There are so many ways you can use your gift of writing: what is most on your heart for this year?
2. How can I improve my writing? Will you take a course (the Write for a Reason writing course starts on 9th January – click here if you’d like to take a look), read books on the art of writing, attend a writers’ day, read more novels for inspiration . . . or all of the above? 🙂 (You can also join the Write for a Reason monthly membership programme.) The time given to us is precious, and we have been given talents to use, not to bury. Sharpening our talents is a good use of time – a good story can touch hearts, but a brilliant story can touch many more. There’s always room for improvement.
3. How am I going to make sure I do what I need to do? How will you schedule your writing time? Will you grab a moment here and there, or plan some dates in your diary? Will you write every day, twice a week, or block a week out in the holidays? Decide what works best for you – and stick to it! Find someone to be accountable to, if you feel you might lose steam part of the way through the year. (I wrote a writing tip about accountability some while ago – you can read it here.)
Forgive me if this sounds morbid, but none us know how long we have on earth. We live in London, where the current threat level for international terrorism is SEVERE. Just suppose this was your last year, what would you want to accomplish?
Let’s make this a good writing year! The power is in your pen!
Love to you all,