By Michelle Shocklee
A new year is upon us. I imagine most of us have hopes and dreams for 2018. Perhaps you’d like more book contracts (wouldn’t we all!), more book sales, or maybe you want to finish that first novel. Do you make resolutions? I’m not one to resolve to diet or exercise (mainly because of past failures to keep them going), but I do look to the days ahead and pray for God’s blessings and guidance as I do my best to serve him in my daily life. As I posted on Facebook today, I want to delight myself in the Lord as Psalm 37:4 says, because he truly does want to give each of us the desires of our heart.
As I ponder that verse and all the possibilities of a new year, I can’t help but wonder how it all applies to my writing life. Setting goals can be a great help to a writer, especially in today’s busy world. Goals can keep us on track, especially if we tend to get distracted easily. If you’re one who needs to put a goal down on paper in order to help you achieve it, do it! Write it on your calendar. Be sure to be realistic, though, to avoid stress and pressure and, ultimately, guilt if you don’t quite make it. Tell someone about your goal, too, so they can help you along the way. Some writing related goals can be:
- Finish your novel
- Send a query to an agent
- Develop a new book proposal
- Do more marketing
- Start a blog
I have two books releasing in February. Admittedly, I’m behind in my marketing efforts, mainly because of moving to a new state and starting a new job last fall, but now I’ve got to play catchup. Life can definitely be full, so we writers must make a real effort to keep focused. When we get bogged down, Isaiah 30:21 is a comfort:
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”
I love the imagery of that verse. Imagine yourself going down the path of life, looking right and left, wondering which way to go. Sometimes we aren’t sure of what direction we should take in our writing careers. Should we sign with that agent? Should I spend money to attend a conference? Is it time to put the book of my heart that hasn’t sold on the back burner and work on something new? The beautiful thing about this verse is, when we’re walking the path of life with the Lord, his voice will lead us. “This is the way; walk in it.”
My hope and prayer for each of you this year is that God will give you the desires of your heart, whatever they may be. Remember that his timing is perfect, so don’t rush ahead of him or lag behind. Keep faithful and busy.
Do you have a writing goal for 2018? I’d love to hear it!
Michelle Shocklee is the author of The Widow of Rose Hill, part of a historical romance series set in Texas. Her novella, To Heal Thy Heart, is included in The Mail-Order Brides Collection, releasing February 1, 2018. She and her husband of thirty years make their home in Tennessee where they work as Estate Caretakers. Contact Michelle on her website, blog, Facebook or Twitter.