Sunday, December 30, 2018

Moving Forward by Looking Back - One Word 2019

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

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, between Christmas and New Year's, 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. 

The other thing I do this time of year is to choose my ONE WORD and SCRIPTURE for the next year. I've been choosing a Bible verse for the upcoming year since 1996, but I just started choosing a single word to go with it since 2012. My close writing friend Beth Vogt started me on it and the practice has proved invaluable.


This year, the ONE WORD I've chosen is FULL. I have always struggled with filling my schedule too full of stuff and things that sound fun...or important...or necessary—all without asking God. So this year, I'm focusing on what God says is full for me. When I do that, I feel like I'll be more fruitful, more prayerful and more thankful. It will keep me from dealing with days that are stressful or situations that make me fearful. For me, this is a powerful word and I'm looking forward to year of exploring all God has for me. 

The verse I feel like God has led me to to go along with this is:

And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19 (NASB)

I'd love for you to share your ONE WORD and/or Bible verse for the year, and hear some of your answers to these questions. 

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. I haven't found my word yet, but will be praying and studying to find what God wants for me. I've only been choosing a word for the last 4 years, but I really love it. It focuses my spiritual life. Now I'll have to add a verse to it. I like that. Thanks, Edie!

    1. Keep us posted and let us know when you find your word 💕

  2. My word for 2019 is peace. Go away stress. The best peace is found in God, Lord of Peace.

  3. Thank you, Edie, for your wise-aid. I think my word for the upcoming writing adventures is likely to be focus. Sometimes surrounding events make me feel sandpapered, so I need to repeatedly stop to center myself in God's will.
    Elena Corey

  4. Loved this post. Need to pray for discernment. Patience and balance come to mind. I'm not sure which is more of a need than the other. Will pray on it. Thank you. This is much needed.

  5. My word is hope. Which correlates with my upcoming debut novel, Jessie's Hope. :) my verse is Isaiah 43:19:
    "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
    I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."

  6. I really enjoyed this post. So glad to have read it from DiAnn Mills' tweet of it. My word needs to be Focus. Focus on writing and more importantly focus on Christ fully first so that everything else falls into their proper places. Thanks for sharing this post!

  7. I've been praying about my word for this new year. As usual, I think it's going to be a phrase, not a word. I've been overwhelmed this past year with marketing, learning new software, dealing with health issues, and trying to find time to actually write. Also, as I age, I have found that time passes much too quickly and I find myself with fewer things marked off my To Do list. When overwhelmed, I tend to procrastinate because I don't know what to do first. So, my "word" seems to be a familiar slogan -- Just Do It!

    1. I know that God is continuing to equip you. You’re an inspiration to so many of us!

  8. My word for 2019 is Faith:

    My scripture for 2019 is: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2

  9. Hi Edie,

    I just started doing this in 2018. In 2018, my word was Joy. My verse was Habbukuk 3:19. But for 2019 (drum roll please), my word is Believe. My verse is Hebrews 11:6. I need to not only believe He will do it, but that I was chosen to fulfill His calling.

    I love your word! Just perfect for you! Happy New Year, Edie!


  10. Love your "one word." Thanks for sharing. My 2019 word is impossible. We serve a God who does the impossible. My verse is Psalm 18:33: He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. My new book project seems impossible, but GOD!