Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tips for Facing the Challenges of the Writer’s Life

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

A writer’s life doesn’t fit the 9-5 mold of most of the working world. Challenges smack us in the face, and we must be ready to evaluate what we are doing right and what we are doing not-so-right. Sometimes we need to evaluate our habits and if necessary make changes that will help us be successful in our writing career. 

Is my process of working a hindrance?
  • My desk is covered with to-do notes that need to be completed then tossed.
  • My stack of papers is duplicated electronically. Where is the shredder?
  • My to-be-read stack is taller than I am. Time to prioritize and  
  • give away.                   
  • My pile of magazines is ten years old. Do I really need them? Can I subscribe to them online?
  • My laptop needs replaced. Time to explore and research a replacement.

Other times, the process is difficult when a bad decision has the potential to create havoc.
  • Is my reader’s blog unique, interesting, or do I need more _______ ? (fill in the blank). 
  • How do I determine the number of writer conferences to attend in 2019?
  • How many writer conferences or speaking engagements should I 
  • accept in 2019?
  • Am I spending enough quality time with my husband and family?
  • Am I spending enough quality time with my friends?
  • Am I keeping God first place in spiritual, mental, and physical life?
  • Is my quiet time taking me spiritually deeper?
  • My latest book is completed. Do I send it to my editor or read it through one more time?
  • How many fiction and nonfiction books should I be reading per month?
  • Am I spending too much time being unproductive?
  • Are the blog posts I’m reading adding value to my professional career?
  • What can I do differently or change in 2019 that honors my God-given calling?

How do I gauge if a writer challenge is productive or destructive?

Will the challenge help me be a better writer?
Our skills need to grow as though we are in a perpetual state of learning. Nothing of value is free, either time or a financial investment. Some of the items that strengthen our skills are reading the how-to books, reading bestsellers, attending conferences, editing our work, mentoring a serious writer, and taking advantage of online blogs, podcasts, and webinars.

Will the challenge help me grow spiritually?
Many writers believe their work is a form of worship. If you are one of these writers, then deepening your relationship with God may cost you time and friendships. Is a Christian writer strong enough to stand up for his/her beliefs?

Will the challenge help my readers?
Successful writers don’t create for themselves but for readers so they will be entertained, inspired, and encouraged. Reaching readers is an effort. Sometimes it’s frustrating and mistakes are made. But when writers explore what readers need and where they hang out on social media, we can join the conversation and provide what they are looking for.

Perhaps our obstacles are really ladders to professionalism. How do you approach the challenges in your writing life?

Tips for Facing the Challenges of the Writer’s Life - @DiAnnMills on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Use the obstacles to take your writing to the next level, tips from @DiAnnMills on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Suspense Sister, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson. She teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook:, Twitter: or any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. Great insights, as always, Ms DiAnn. I find myself asking sometimes "Did I choose this life or did this life choose me?" You added great perspective to many questions I struggle with ma'am. God's blessings.

  2. Well, you definitely hit all the bases here. I’m sure you’ve been listening in on my thoughts and questions! Great article, DiAnn

  3. Great ideas! I heartily recommend giving God His time first--writing next--so glad to have back-up from another writer!