Imagine: You’re in the kitchen ready to bake a cake (for some, this may be a big stretch). Everything you need strews the counter – mixer, bowl, flour, eggs, milk, etc. – everything except a recipe. Now, for some of you this might not present a problem, but the rest of us contact Houston.
We don’t know what to do – how many eggs to use, when to add ingredients, how long to beat the batter, how much time to put on the timer. Without a plan we can’t function. A recipe is a plan for making a cake. Without it we can only guess at ingredients, measurements, processes and times. Without it we might not produce a cake anyone will want to eat (ourselves included).
The cake in my illustration represents the fulfillment of your life’s purposes through your writing. The ingredients symbolize your writing goals. Important, yes, but they are not the completed cake. They may never become the cake if you don’t roll up your sleeves and follow some sort of recipe, even a mental one. But first, you’ll need to sort your cake ingredients out from the pickles and salad makings on the same counter.
Pickles? Salad? Weren’t we talking about cake? Yes, but these items picture your brainstormed goals. If you don’t refine your goals, you might combine the wrong ingredients and make something that doesn’t even resemble a cake. To work with clarity and efficiency, clear the counter of those things that don’t belong in your cake.
Last time, we brainstormed goals and gave ourselves permission to dream big. That was fun! Now let’s look at reality. I’m the last person to put a pin in anyone’s balloon. If anything, most of us need a boost in the direction of self confidence. However, writers can have more dreams than they’ll ever fulfill in a single lifetime. Draw tangible goals and bake your “cake” from dreams that help fulfill your purposes in life.
Some earmarks of a dream to refine with goals:
- It lines up with my life’s purposes. (Toss out time wasters.)
- I can do or learn to do it. (Careful not to focus on your limits. You can do more than you probably think you can.)
- I have the resources to fulfill it. (See above.)
- It’s worthy of an investment of time and self.
- My spouse will at least tolerate my pursuit of this dream.
- It will not destroy family relationships. (Although it may stretch relationships.)
- It won’t violate my conscience, spiritual convictions or my person.
- I feel a passion for fulfilling it.
- It will make a mark, no matter how small, in eternity.
Determine which of your brainstormed goals to use as ingredients in your “cake.” Pray for discernment. Next time, we’ll deal with balance and timing. Then we can develop the recipe to build a platform.
©2010 Janalyn Voigt
Janalyn has written adventures kissed by romance in the fantasy and historical fiction genres.
DAWNSINGER, book one of her TALES OF FAERAVEN trilogy, will release with Port Yonder press. Her publication credits include Focus on the Family, Scripture Press and Pentecostal Evangel. Janalyn is affiliated with ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and has been a NCWA member since 2008. Visit her website at http://janalynvoigt.com/