Beware the Pitfalls of Writing Goals

Photo by Alexas Fotos via pixabay

My writer’s group asked a simple question, “What are your goals and ambitions regarding writing?”

My goals seem very different now than they ever have been. My past ideas for books seem a distant memory.

I wanted to become a famous author, writing at my beautiful retreat on the lake, travelling across the country with my family to attend book signings and give presentations. I wanted to be well known with my name on the spine of many books.

But now, the honeymoon is over. The thought of building a platform, giving interviews, and writing to meet deadlines just leaves me with shivers. And not good ones.

I cringe when I think of the number of books an author like Jan Karon or Karen Kingsbury pumps out. I moan at the idea of travelling to unknown places with unknown people. I tire at the thought of pumping out weekly, biweekly and monthly articles. I shudder at the idea of maintaining a daily blog and website.

What started out as excitement, enthusiasm and energy to become what God called me to be has dropped to disappointment, despondency and drudgery.

But that is where the problem originated — in my thinking that God had called me to be a writer.

He did not.

In further reflection, I remember His call to me; “Write to bring others closer to me.”

He didn’t say, “Write to be famous.” He didn’t say, “Write to build a platform.” He didn’t say, “Write a blog, a website, articles, columns, books and novels.”

Although His call may have included those mediums, they themselves were not the ends. They would merely be a means to an end — His end.

So what are my goals and ambitions regarding writing?

I have written a novella about a mother faced with such crushing betrayal that her only hope for peace is to rely on the love of the One who first loved her. It was written to bring women closer to God through the example of the main character in this fiction.

I have written devotionals explaining God’s character and all I have learned along my journey as a new Christian. They were written to share my experiences with a loving God in every day life, with my family and with my health. They were written to bring new Christians and unchurched readers closer to God through the example of my own life.

I have written fitness books that chronicle my experiences of bringing God into the forefront of my health and fitness regime. It was written to show new believers and mature Christians that God can and should be part of our every day life — even in fitness.

I believe that my original intentions to “write to bring other’s closer to God” started out with the right motive, but somewhere I changed it to “write to become a writer.”

My focus moved onto me and away from God.

I am reminded to write letters. Oh, how exciting to put pen to paper, to fold a note into an envelope and seal the letter with a stamp.

I am reminded to write emails. Emails to encourage and enlighten.

I am reminded to write cards. Cards to celebrate, to congratulate and to console.

Yes, I write but that does not mean that I need to make a career of being a writer. I simply need to answer God’s call to write to bring others closer to Him — in any way He sees fit.

What writing goals do you have?

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +428,678 people.

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