I'll be taking about a year off of my CAN blog and other CAN activities (but will still "lurk" on the message boards and chime in from time to time - and will still keep writing my Beliefnet blog). The reasons for this are several: Because of a new autoimmune disease/condition diagnosis, I'll be starting a rather potent immunosuppressive drug and don't know what the side effects will be; I have a number of longer writing projects that I am eager to complete; and, well, sometimes I know I have to "do" rather than write about doing!
Which leads me to my blog topic.
In the midst of our hectic schedules and multiple deadlines, it's always a good idea to revisit the "genesis" of it all, and then gauge projects at hand with what your reason for writing needs to yield. In other words, given that you are a writer at heart and have a love of storytelling, and could turn that storytelling ability to any number of different styles and genres, is what you're writing now what you're meant to write? Purposed to write? Gifted to write?
There's no easy answer to this question, and certainly it's individual for each person. But there are some helpful gauges to determine if you are, indeed, on the right track.
One gauge is your answer to this: Are the projects you have now enabling you to say what you have to say? Or, is God tapping you on the shoulder and whispering, "Not here, my child. Over there."?
If you are very reluctant to get to the keyboard, or if you have become a master or mistress of procrastination, scrambling at the nth hour of a deadline, perhaps God is tapping you on the proverbial shoulder, encouraging you to stop, revisit why you write, and find the better path for your writing talents. As with other things involved in finding purpose in our lives, once writing projects mesh with your need to coommunicate specific sentiments, beliefs, or observations, you probably won't feel as much like procrastinating. Rather, you'll have abundant "fire in the belly" to get to work!
Another good gauge is if the paychecks become more important than the work itself, or your pursuit of the business end of writing becomes so all-consuming that you cut into your actual writing time.
Another gauge: You find yourself pursuing more of the same kinds of projects, rather than stretching your gifts to "make the most of them."
Throughout our careers, it's wise to take time to pray over our writing lives career focus. And, to take time to listen to God as he informs us with his tap on the shoulder.
Despite the health issues that loom (and they are very serious), I am quite excited about the coming year. Through prayer, a bit of "deck clearing," and renewed determination, I am ever more sure of why I write, and I'm looking forward to putting fingers to the keyboard like never before! I pray that this year ahead is full of inspiration for you, too, and that your reasons for writing propel you to author amazing works of inspiration and faith. I look forward to reading them!
Joy and peace,