Friday, January 10, 2014

Evaluating The Writer’s Path—A Journey of a Lifetime

by Edie Melson

The writer’s path is a journey of a lifetime—one fraught with discovery and discouragement. We can avoid some of its pitfalls if we define that path early on. Today, I want to share some insights into my writing journey and the markers I look for to help me stay at least in the vicinity of the path.

This time of year, with Christmas and New Year's still looming close behind, my thoughts turn backward. I use this time to evaluate the past year and prepare for the next one. I've given up New Year's Resolutions completely and find the freedom from those expectations (and failures) a major relief.

But I have implemented something else instead. My husband and I spend some time looking back at our spiritual markers for the past year. We evaluate them individually, as a couple and as a family. I also look at them in regard to my past year as a writer.

This is particularly helpful, because staying on the writer's path is difficult because each of our paths are so unique and varied. In the past I've had trouble evaluating my progress because I was comparing my journey to someone else's. I’ve come up with some questions to help me process where I’ve been and where I’m headed.

Questions to Get Me Started
  • What were some of my writing successes this past year? (Not necessarily the most lucrative, but the most rewarding)
  • What were some of my writing setbacks this past year?
  • What writing advice stands out in my mind because it seemed to have been aimed directly at me?
  • What brought me the most joy? (Writing related) 

As I map out these spiritual markers, the path God has had me on becomes quite clear. And, by knowing where I've been, it becomes clearer where to go next.

I'd love to hear some of your answers to these questions. I'll be posting mine later in the comments section.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!




  1. I loved your post this morning...especially why you don't make new year resolutions. No, no. That was cute though and so true in most everyone's life who trys. What I loved was the questions we should ask ourselves, because as a writer I found I would compare myself to other writers and wonder why I hadn't made it to their point they had attained yet. Finally God showed me He has a path for each of us. Mine path is still ahead of me with many blessings along the way, and as long as I keep my focus on Him, He will lead me down the right (or write) road. He's brought me a long way in the seven years I've been published & the 20 years I was striving for it, but truly He brought me a long way to get to the road as a writer for Him. I love writing to glorify His Kingdom and glad (& blessed) to be a part of it. Each year I see the growth He has done for me. So thanks Edie for giving us the right questions to ask ourselves. God bless you!!!

  2. 2013 was a big year for me. It was the year I finally made "The Decision." I decided that I would focus on my writing above all other activites outside work, faith, and family. I'd been on the fence for several years and knew I had to get serious or set it aside indefinately. That was a big move for me. I gave up a lot to make it happen. Along the way I rekindled some old friendships, including Brandilyn Collins, who read a manuscript of mine and gave some great advice (beat the crap out of your protagonist...or something along those lines). I polished and submitted the last mystery I wrote, then set about persuing my spec fiction dreams (I didn't know it was spec until you told me...I feel much nerdier now). And I do feel that this is the direction God is moving me. I never felt at peace when I wasn't writing. Now it's as if I'm on a well worn path created just for me. No turning back now!