Monday, December 30, 2019

Intentional Consistency—A Writer's Best Plan for the New Year

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The title of this post may seem too obvious to merit mention, but I would beg you to stick with me. Life these days is incredibly busy. We’re subdividing our time into smaller and smaller portions, leaving us with just more details to keep track of.
Writing can easily fall between the cracks.

But I would propose that worked-in-between-the-insanity isn’t where our writing belongs. We have been given a gift and entrusted with a calling. I’ve come to believe it’s poor stewardship on my part to ignore that. So I’ve decided to begin the practice of writing with intentional consistency.

But all around, no matter my good intentions, life continues to loom and intrude. 

So how am I putting intentional consistency into practice? 

1.  I’ve determined my most creative hours of the day and blocked them off on my calendar. For me it’s the morning—anytime before noon. Truthfully, I’m not able to spend every single morning writing, but with the time blocked off, it makes me weigh other opportunities differently. 

2. I set weekly goals. I prefer weekly over daily goals because they’re easier to meet. If I miss a day for some reason, I still have the rest of the week to meet the expectations I’ve set.  Sometimes I structure my goals around word count, but not always. Right now I’m working on a series of devotions, so I have a set number I want to finish editing each week. 

3. I write regularly. No, I don’t always write something every day. I believe writers should have a Sabbath rest. But I write when I don’t feel like it, as well as when I feel like it. Hear my heart on this. We are all busy. We all have important things that need doing. But if we’re going to call ourselves writers then writing MUST be one of those things. We can’t just talk about writing, critique other writers, or plan to write when life slows down. If we choose that attitude then we’re no better than the rich man in Luke 12 who was planning to build bigger barns. We are not promised tomorrow and we’ve got to quit squandering today.

4. I respect my calling. This is an attitude change for me. Through prayer and study, I’ve determined that God expects me to be obedient. I know, not a huge revelation, but just wait. That obedience isn’t supposed to only be in regard to the hard or the difficult things in my life. Obedience is foundational to everything. You see, I love writing and because it’s fun, I had developed the idea that it wasn’t important. And by the way, this has nothing to do with whether or not I'm making money with my writing. It has to do with obedience only.

5. I’m willing to let God set my priorities, even when it means saying no. I’m doing my best to model my life on Jesus. As I’ve studied His life, I’ve realized that He was not constrained by someone else’s agenda—even when it was urgent. He walked away from crowds who needed healing, those who were hurting, even disciples who were confused. Only God set His priorities. Everywhere around us are ministries that need workers, children who need babysitting, and loved ones who need help. I am not God. I cannot be everywhere at once. God is the only one who can make sense of all the needs surrounding me. When He says no, I go with it. When He says write, I sit down and write.

6. I’ve enlisted a team. Actually, I have a couple of them. I have a prayer team who pray specifically for me and my writing ministry. I also have a group of writers that I meet with regularly. Both groups hold me accountable and help me remember my priorities. They also give me the perspective I need to make wise choices. 

7. I now take time off. I’ve tried to work every waking hour I can, and it just doesn’t work. I’m not capable of sustaining that time of schedule. It makes me cranky, tired, and generally difficult to live with. It’s also NOT fair to my family and friends. Relationships do matter. When my life is out of balance, my calling isn’t the only thing that suffers. 

8. I nurture my relationship with God. This is foundational and without it, numbers 1 through 7 are meaningless. I make regular times of prayer and study a priority. I’ve discovered—the hard way—that the crazier life gets, the more time I need with God. 

None of these eight things is earth shattering, in fact they’re fairly obvious unless we’re applying them to ourselves. For me though, they required a dramatic shift in thinking and acting. I’d love for you to share your thoughts on intentional consistency in your writing life. Be sure to share your comments in the section below. 

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Intentional Consistency—A Writer's Best Plan for the New Year - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


  1. Edie,

    Thanks for these insights. Each one resonated and I instantly saw the value in them. I love the term intentional consistency. The writing life is a marathon and not a sprint. The discipline (a word many people dislike) will pay off and you will be able to get the writing done.

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  2. Great advice! I'm trying to put more structure into my writing routine. And be obedient to God's will.

    1. Following God's will is the ULTIMATE intentional consistency! Blessings, E

  3. This I can get behind. Intentional consistency, I like it. The key word is intentional. As in a choice and a priority.
    Happy New Year, Edie. Wishing you many blessings and in everything you do.
    And thank you for all you taught me in the past year.

  4. Wonderful reminders! Instead of "my word" for 2020, I'm going to have "my phrase" -- intentional consistency. Perfect!

  5. So good, Edie, thanks. This was exactly the same words the Lord has given me for this year, too! May He help us all with the discipline this requires in the face of our crazy-busy lives. Blessings! You are much appreciated. 🥰

  6. Hi Edie,

    Great post! Thanks for the reminder that I need to have more consistency with my writing. Between work and grad school, that may mean two days a week of personal writing. That’s ok. It will help the transition into my first summer without either going on. I do a lot of required writing, but God has laid on my heart that sometimes we all need to do something a little more fun. Love you!


  7. Thank you so VERY much for this blog entry—Intentional Consistency. This has been on my mind lately. My enemy is illness but God must have a reason, he led me to your blog. This particular one has left me in tears of praise and trepidation.

  8. Edie: I needed this message. I will be sharing it with our fledgling writing group.