In 2012 I wrote my vision statement–a statement of my goals as an author. I think it’s important to not only create such a document, but to revisit it regularly to see how I’m doing and what needs to change. So as 2020 gets underway (and since today is Epiphany!), I thought I’d check in with my writing goals . . .

  • Share my faith and love of Christ with the world through my novels. Ensure each novel has a clear, Christian message that can be easily grasped and incorporated into daily living for my readers. I’ve gotten quite a few comments about my books having a clear Christian message without beating anyone over the head–that sounds about right to me.
  • Use my writing as a platform to reach broader audiences with the message of Christ through speaking, blogging, book signings, book clubs, etc. Stay humble and accessible. This stays the same. I’ve continued to do signings, interact with book clubs, and keep up my blogging. As for staying humble and accessible–that’s NOT hard. This business has given me far more opportunities to check my ego than I’d like!
  • Be a good steward of any money I make. Prayerfully use the money to support the ministries God has given me. While I’m not exactly pulling down the big bucks, I am grateful that writing supplements our income and that I can use it to support several ministries in a small way
  • Invest in myself and other writers through workshops. Attend and lead classes. Always strive to make my writing better and to encourage other writers to share their faith through writing. I continue to coordinate the writing contest at a local conference and teach classes every chance I get. I continue to attend conferences to network and to LEARN.
  • Continue to build a supportive writing “family” made up of other writers, friends and fans who will help cheer me on while I do the same for them. That would be YOU along with so many writers I’ve gotten to know along the way. Thanks for joining me on this journey!
  • My goal for 2015 was to work on growing my writing to the place where I could work my “day job” part time and focus more on writing and all that comes with it. -As of February 2020 my “day job” will scale back to 30 hours per week (basically four days) so I can use that extra day to focus on writing and marketing. I’m excited and a little nervous about this change!
  • My goal for 2018 was to raise the stakes in my writing. To be willing to take risks and push my stories into places and subjects that might feel uncomfortable to me at first. -With my most recent story–When Silence Sings–I stepped away from romance and moved toward historical women’s fiction. I wrote a character who was pretty awful and not fully redeemed by the end of the story. My 2021 book will follow a similar path with a father/son story.
  • So what’s my goal for 2020? I’m striving to reach beyond the bounds of Christian publishing with appearances at secular book events and outreach to general market outlets. I want to be an Appalachian author who writes about faith rather than a Christian author who writes about Appalachia!

There are few things more satisfying to me than having a plan and making progress. I’m a list-checker-offer. Can’t wait to see where I’ll be in another few years. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I do know God’s plans are bigger–and better–than mine.

How about you–do you set goals (I’m NOT talking resolutions here!)?