Yes, I went to my writing group’s first meeting of the new year. Yes, we did talk about New Year’s resolutions. But this time it was different. We weren’t concerned about writing them in just the right way to make them achievable. Instead, we went around the table and when we shared our 2020 writing goal we also shared why that goal was particularly important to us and told each other what the main obstacle was that might prevent it from happening.
Interestingly, the word “time” was brought up at each turn. So we decided to drill it down. Why couldn’t we find the time? Yes, we’re all busy, but if our writing project is important to us (and it must be since we’re in a writing group) then what was really happening? What kept us from the often-sacrificial commitment? Interestingly, it mostly came down to fear. What if I carve out an extra 30 minutes in the day to write, but I’m still not productive? What if I make a two-hour appointment with myself each week to work on my book, but it’s never accepted for publication? What if I make the effort but continue to be interrupted or get writer’s block? Is the commitment of my valuable time worth it?
Each of us acknowledged our root reason, said it out loud, and got a realistic view from the others. We were strengthened for our journey and each reminded that God has given us a gift and the desire to share that gift. What a release! The next thing we did was commit to being accountable to each other for our specific writing goal at the first meeting of every month, with failure totally allowed but excuses completely not.
I left the gathering recharged, not burdened down. Now when I put off sitting down at my computer to work on my novel, I’ll remember my fellow writers encouragement that there are never too many books in the world and I’ll remind myself how many low-selling books I happen to love (if confessing the root reason behind my own procrastination to my group helped, confessing it here should help even more!). I’ll remember the complicated way God brought me to begin my writing journey. I’ll also remember I made a commitment and have a monthly check-in. I have been strengthened and empowered in my resolve and reminded I am rooted in love and not fear.
So yes, this is another New Year’s resolution post but, hopefully, one that will help you make it through the “February Forget Your Resolutions” test. I encourage you to find a group or a person to share your writing goal for 2020 with and be accountable to them. Tell them why it’s important to you and be brave enough to drill down on what might keep you from attaining it. And if you’re willing, I’d love for you to share your writing goal in the comments section – whether it’s a brand new goal or a holdover from last year or last month. Let’s encourage one another on our journey.
Pamela J. Dickey is the Coordinator for the Northwest Christian Writers Association Blog. She is a speaker, writer, personal consultant, and training facilitator. Founder of Burn Bright Coaching, she draws on her background as a personal and career development coach, certified corporate trainer, and ordained minister to equip her clients and audiences to discover and pursue their life’s purpose — personal, professional, and spiritual — to help them Burn Bright.