Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday Review—The Only Post on New Year's Resolutions You’ll Need!

Prayer for the New Year
by Lynn Blackburn

At the risk of sending you diving into that stash of dark chocolate you hid on January first, let me ask a question.

How did your plans for 2011 pan out?
Did you finish your novel? Land an agent? Sign a three-book deal?
If the answer is, “YES!” then allow me to offer my congratulations!
But for many the answer is, “Well, you see, there was this thing, and then that thing, and everybody knows how tough publishing is . . .”

Indeed. It's enough to make a writer wonder if it's time to try basket weaving for fun and profit. Or maybe to start thinking, “I coulda been a contender . . . ”

Oh please.

Are you done wallowing? No? You've got three more seconds.
Okay. You're done.

My dad had a friend who put it this way, “I'd rather shoot for the stars and hit a stump than shoot for a stump and blow my big toe off.”

It's time to shoot for the stars! I know the economy is lousy, publishing is uncertain, and there are 1,738 things that have to happen for your dream to come true.
But the alternative is unacceptable. I'll grant you that big toes aren't required for writing, but why risk it? Aim high!

Do you long to write a book or devotional? Learn how to do it. Go to a conference. Put yourself in a position for amazing things to happen.

Do you have parts of several novels on your hard drive? Finish one! It may stink, but you'll learn a lot and join the ranks of writers who didn't get their first, second, or third book published. But they didn't quit. They kept shooting for the stars. Sure, they annihilated a few stumps along the way, but they can still wear open-toed shoes!

For 2012, I'm choosing to rest in God's sovereign will for my writing career and I'm praying, “Lord, this is what I desire. Please do it or something better.”

His “better” may look like a stump to me, and that's okay. He’s God and last time I checked, He’s in charge of stars and stumps. He also has a habit of turning what looks like an earthly stump into a star-studded galaxy to brighten His kingdom.

So I’m putting it out there and saying, “Lord, I'd like to have a novel published in the next five years. In 2012, I want to finish a novella, another novel, and attend a conference. Please do it or something better.”

So let's hear it. What’s your big dream and your specific prayer for 2012? 
Don't be shy. Shoot for the stars and don’t forget to join the conversation!”

(BTW – My prayer came from a Bible study called One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. An excellent study and one I found particularly applicable as I walk the twisty road to publication.)


Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writers. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.


  1. I'm shooting for the stars with you, Lynn! And if I end up at the stump, well, God's in control of that, too! ;) Hope to see you at conference!

  2. Alycia - I hope so, too! I can't wait to see what God does with all of us this year!

  3. Lynn, to use a well-worn phrase "I'm letting go and letting God" in 2012; I am a wannabe writer and have been since I was eight years old. I have decided to do something about the desire so I will be attending my first writer's conference this year. I am scared but determined. EB

  4. Alycia, I'm with you!
    EB, which conference are you attending?
    Lynn, thanks for a great post - for letting me choose the title!

  5. I'm with you, Lynn! I'm aiming high and trusting the Lord to land my desires to the place or places of His choosing.

  6. Absolutely Lynn. I want to finish the first draft of my story and hopefully the first edit as well. God'll get me as far as He wants as long as I keep working toward the goal.

  7. I love this. It's a fun kick in the pants to get going in 2012. I hope it's okay if I post your prayer (and give you credit, of course) on my FB page ... I need to see it often. Thanks, Lynn.

  8. Thanks for all the great comments!EB - I attended my first conference a year and half ago and it was life changing. You'll love it!
    Edie - Thanks for taking a chance on me!
    Cathy - I'm so glad I get to shoot for the stars with you!
    Ellen - I love how specific you are! Can't wait to see what God does.
    Kim - Feel free! That prayer came from Priscilla Shirer and applies to so many areas of our lives.

  9. My main goal is to write five pages, five days a week to finish my memoir manuscript.

  10. Thanks for the nudge, Lynn. My goals are to finish my first novella, write a screenplay, and continue to grow for Christian speakers.

  11. Thanks for the challenge, Lynn!!

    I have a couple of works in progress...slow progress. Hope to get MOVING on them! Also, I plan to pursue more opportunities with article writing.

    Loved One in a Million!! Priscilla Shirer is fabulous!

  12. Seems I'm on a journey right now of exactly what God wants me to do - besides be obedient to His command for me to write. Some days are overwhelming and just plain hard for me with the requirements of trying to get published. However, this year I need to just let God use what I've written and do with it what He wants. I need to keep writing. I panic sometimes when I wonder if it's going to happen before I die--I'm turning 58 on the 18th and have health issues. But I realize, it's all a part of His plan. It's the journey that's important, not necessarily a book in my hands. My prayer? Lord, guide my every effort to bring me and my readers closer to you. My goal this year? Relax.

  13. Thanks, Lynn, and I'm content with the stump if that's what He chooses :)

    In the meantime, my plans for 2012 include more devos and article submissions, plus reviving & reworking a Bible study I wrote. Maybe the Lord will let me propose it in 2013 :)

  14. Hi I am new to blogging but that is one of my goals for 2012. I decided to self publish in 2011 so have a couple of books on Smashwords and Amazon so this year I am researching how to market them.
    I like the scripture you chose for your article and the prayer. I will start praying your prayer and see what happens. Things have already started so can't wait to see more.

  15. Stacy, Vonda, & Kristi - I love your goals!
    Karen - Your prayer is precious. I love how you include your readers - I may be borrowing that!
    Susan & Sandy - I can't wait to see what God does - whether it be stumps or stars!
    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to chime in!