Education,  The Craft of Writing

Strategic Planning for the Writing Life

Photo by Mira Kireeva on Unsplash

When I worked as an administrative assistant, every year I was required to take a strategic driving course. For insurance purposes, they needed to know that I was aware of how to plan for unexpected incidents while driving on company time.

Each time I sat through this repetitive class, it reminded me to have a vision for where I was headed. And it prompted thoughts beyond driving about the larger lessons on the importance of looking forward with hope.

Proverbs 29:18 illustrates this for us as believers when Solomon writes, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (KJV).

God’s vision and plan for us is to follow Him, walking in personal relationship with Him through faith. Sin was never a part of His design for us. Through Christ, He gives us the ability to step into His original plan, blessing us with a new, eternal perspective. Those whose eyes are opened to this vision and live accordingly, experience the blessing of God on their lives.

As writers, we are wise to keep this same mindset in front of us to avoid the bumps in the road and the unexpected incidents from wrecking our vision. If we want to fulfill our call to write, we need to be intentional about creating a strategic plan. Building a strategy requires us to look ahead at our destination. It also involves building techniques and systems into place that keep detours from hindering progress. Life, like driving, requires us to look around the curves, have patience with slow movement, plan for delays, and be alert on our journey to the destination.

As a driven, accomplishment-seeking personality, it is easy to find the in-between moments of filling empty pages with meaningful words as merely a means to an end. I am not good at waiting to see the fruit ripen or the ideas foster connection with other human beings outside of the white space in front of me.

I am tempted to devalue the slow work of learning, falling, rising, growing, and eventually flourishing. Just as the Christian life is one of waiting for hopes realized and the eventual renewal of all things, we work it out through the bumpy journey and unseen future. We live with a forward-facing vision and eternal eyes, trusting His grace is sufficient in our weakness.

It is tempting to get frustrated with our in-process, imperfect, always-becoming reality.

This in-between place is at times awkward and challenging. Learning involves risk; both failure and success.

Part of my strategic plan in the waiting looks like this:

While I am working, learning, and growing, I will use the same measure of grace toward myself as God shows to me in my relationship with Him. I am always becoming, and if I can remember this truth, the messy middle won’t easily derail me. Perseverance requires us to believe that God has a vision for us to walk in the good works He has planned for us. Our job is to obediently and faithfully show up and follow the specific vision He places within each of us.

My writing plan will allow grace for the growing pains of:

  • Rough edits
  • Awkward reels
  • Imperfect progress
  • Stock photos
  • Asking for help in areas of weakness
  • Rejection letters

The vision for my writing will include pursuing:

  • Excellence – doing everything for the glory of God and using my gifts to their fullest.
  • Authenticity – being myself and not copying someone else’s unique style. I won’t be gimmicky nor write to conform and please the masses. Whatever God compels me to write, I will. Truth is not always popular.

My plan will be to avoid:

  • Living for likes or seeking validation from anyone but God.
  • Speaking negativity over my words.
  • Hiding what is meant to be shared for fear of what others think.
  • Comparing myself to someone else’s blessing or journey.

My vision will include slowing down to invest in:

  • Honing my writing voice.
  • Growing my specific gifts and talents.
  • Prayerfully seeking God’s direction for my writing dreams.
  • Relationships with other writers of hope-filled words.

Life, like driving, requires us to look around the curves, have patience with slow movement, plan for delays, and be alert on our journey to the destination.

Strategic planning allows us to rest in truth while moving forward.

It also sets realistic expectations for the reality of a God-honoring, sustainable writing life.

As a writer, what strategic plans do you have for creating vision and longevity in your calling? I would love to hear!

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  • Jennifer

    Thanks you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom! As a newer writer, your vision is helpful to me. I particularly love the plan to avoid hiding things that should be shared due to fear of what others think. You have inspired me to sit down and make my own strategic plan. 🙂

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