For a couple weeks at least, I had been pondering my writing goals for the New Year. After all, what better time than the start of a new year to make some concrete plans for writing and attempting to making progress in some of my books? There are, by now, well above 50 in my head.
I’ve made writing goals before. A few times this past year, I made writing goals at the beginning of each month – to have a particular number of blog posts written, and a certain number of words written in one or the other or a few books, etc.
The only problem was that I never really reached those goals.
I thought for a while that the issue was my lack of discipline. But when it comes to completing writing goals and editing projects for others, I always get it done in time.
I’ve only begun to realize that writing, at least for me, is somewhat a journey of faith. It’s not something that I can decide to write a certain number of words or have a particular book project complete by a specific date. Yes, it’s great to have goals, and to shoot for deadlines. But I’m starting to realize that doesn’t completely work for me.
This past summer I was looking forward to getting a great deal of writing done, and suddenly, everything was quiet. It was a silence that lasted for months. No ideas. No words were forthcoming. My blogs rested dormant. My manuscript documents unopened. My word count unchanged.
I knew I couldn’t just push my way through the silence, because writing is an inspiration. If I were to write without that, it would be dry, uninspired words … nothing more.
With the stirring of autumn, ideas and words began to flow again. But how long they will last and where they will lead, I do not know.
It’s kind of like the journey of life.
We make plans. We follow a path. We might know our eventual destination, but there is much we do not know.
And there are many surprises on the journey.
We often just have to trust that the One who designed the path knows where it is leading, and that it leads to a good place in the end.
Like the journey of my life, I know the end of the road for most of the stories I am writing, but the exact contours and delicate details of the road … I do not know.
It is a journey of discovery, and I look forward to the journey in the year to come … both the journey of life, and the journey of a writer.
My greatest prayer – in my writing as in my life – is that they can both serve as a light of sorts.
Perhaps a candle set on the table.
Perhaps a light on a hill.
Perhaps a star in the night sky.
All in some way, something that will help to lead toward Home. A place of light, life and beauty.
None of us are there yet, but I welcome you to walk beside me on the journey.
Happy New Year!