by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D.
I recently spoke to hundreds of wordsmiths at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference (ACFW) in Indianapolis. It’s an exciting time for writers, and yet, it can throw you a little off kilter emotionally.
As an author—even those who haven’t yet published—your career is filled with ups and downs and all sorts of emotional spiraling. I’d tell you this is normal but you’d probably throw something at me.
It’s critical to your success as an author and to your mental health to find your own true north. That’s the place where you feel emotionally charged, peaceful, energized, needed, confident and accomplished.
And, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your writing. It shouldn’t involve being published because you have no control over whether or not a pub house picks up your masterpiece and distributes it to the masses.
No, your true north is who you really are, not what you do. It’s what you believe at the core of your being. Once you find it, you can then approach your writing career from that position. Trust me, it feels much better!
So how do you find your true north? Here are a few tips that will help you in that quest:
1) You can’t find it externally. Your true north comes from within your own soul. It’s what makes you feel like you belong. You’ll never find that in the world.
2) It’s who you are, not what you do. Writers are notorious for doing word counts, edits, galley edits, marketing and all those activities that contribute to their success. True north has nothing to do with what you do.
3) No one can find it for you. No, not even your closest friend, spouse, parent, teacher, pastor can determine what your true north is. They love you, but they aren’t you.
4) True north brings peace. Remember that peace that passes understanding God said we should allow to rule our hearts and decisions? That’s true north!
5) You’ll never be satisfied until you find it. And you’ll never be lost once you do. No matter what storms may come in life, you can navigate them from a position of true north. You’ll always find your way.
6) True north will guide every decision you make and will never steer you wrong. Trust me on this one.
God is in the center of my true north. Everything I face in life, career, and emotions is filtered through my God centered true north. I have peace, joy, happiness, wisdom, and a whole lot of other blessings.
As you move into autumn, find your true north. If you have found it, use it to guide you through your writing, your stories, your characters and plots, your career decisions and… well, everything.
When you meet a truly happy person, you know they have found their true north. Have you found yours?
What is your true north? Describe it here!
Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching (www.magellanlifecoaching.com). She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MagellanCoach.