Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Evaluating the Writers Path

The writing path is a journey of a lifetime
I’ve found the writing path to be the journey of a lifetime. At times it’s fraught with discovery and at others, discouragement. I’ve learned how to avoid some of its pitfalls by spending some time each year gazing back at the way I’ve come.

This time of year, with Christmas and New Year's close at hand, my thoughts turn backward as I 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 a major relief.

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

It's also unique of each of us
This is particularly helpful because the writer's path is unique for each of us. In the past I've had trouble evaluating my progress because I was comparing my journey to someone else's. To begin the process, I start with some basic questions.
  • What were some of my writing highlights of the year? (Not necessarily the most lucrative, but the most rewarding.)
  • What were some of my writing setbacks for the year?
  • How are some ways I’ve grown during the past year?
  • Who has impacted my writing career and in what way? 

Spiritual markers help me stay
on God's path
As I map out these spiritual markers, the path God’s 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 this week.

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!


  1. My writing highlight was the opportunity to do profiles of three TEAM hospital workers from Nepal. I didn't do the interviews but I transcribed them and then wrote the profile. One in particular, of a man named Taradat, moved me. He began by saying that his English was very good and then he started telling story after story of leprosy patients that he had ministered to over the years. He talked about how God touched his patients' lives and then shared his own testimony. Sometimes, I got lost in hearing his story and almost forgot to transcribe. I was able to get two full articles for TEAM and it is something I will never forget. And, I believe it helped me forge a permanent relationship with TEAM.


    1. Deborah, that is so cool! Thank you so much for sharing your highlight here. Blessings, E

  2. As usual, such an applicable post, Edie!
    Interestingly, my "answer" is strung together by combining several of your questions:
    One of the highlights of this year was having my debut novel release, which caused a lot of growth this year, especially during what I at first thought were setbacks but later realized were things God used to change me and used to impact me, both personally and as a writer.

    And, yes, I know how long that sentence is.

    1. Beth, I think you touched on something I've found true in my life as well. My greatest triumphs also contain seeds of frustration. Thanks so much for taking time to share yours with us! Blessings, E

  3. I like reflecting. Thanks for these questions to use as a guide, Edie.

    1. Kim, thanks so much for stopping by! I'm glad some of these questions are helpful. Blessings, E

  4. Thank you AGAIN for your example to me. Christmas blessings, sweet friend...

  5. Thanks, Edie. I always appreciate your great content and helpful words. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. Thank you, Edie, for letting God use you to teach me HOW to evaluate where I am headed with writing. Though I have not yet been published, my heart's desire is to serve Him with my work.

    One of the highlights of my writing was when I found out that what I made up in my children's story about Daisy was pretty close to the truth. What fun to find out she was, indeed, a Christian camper! lol! I look forward to learning more of her history. You can check out Daisy on my facebook page, if you like.

    I'll be doing some soul searching with the remaining questions. Thanks again! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  7. To date, my only publishing is through my three blogs. I have done a few on other blogs. Being in Grad school, I've put my books on hold until I finish school next year. This evaluation is valuable and is causing me to do a lot of thinking for the future. Thanks for sharing Edie!