Ahhh, it’s mid-December. It’s the point at which we have one foot in 2021 and we’re thinking about testing out the waters for 2022. Before 2020, we used to get excited about rushing into the new year. Now, we’re a bit gun shy. I saw someone post this online and couldn’t agree more:
Nobody claim 2022 as ‘your year.’ We’re all going to walk in real slow.
Be cautious and respectful.
Don’t touch anything.
I mean, they’re not wrong. Since we’re not in a hurry to rush into the new year, let’s take a moment to celebrate the whole year that we managed to survive. Again.
You showed up whether you wrote some words that worked out or you’re still fighting to get words on a page. That means something because somewhere out there, someone gave up. But you didn’t.
Do you remember what you wrote this year? What if there are some places where God used you to make a difference, but you might have been too focused on finishing the manuscript, pitching your proposal, or building your platform to notice?
This post is inspired by various social media platforms’ end-of-the-year notifications, like Spotify’s Wrapped. I had no idea that my most listened-to song was “joy” by For King & Country because I was busy living my life.
Stopping to reflect allows us to see in reverse the road that God has guided us along. Stopping to reflect also allows us to see how others have been impacted by our journey.
Here are three questions that I hope you take the time to answer as you reflect on your writing year. Enjoy the fact that you’ve written the words. Celebrate your consistency, perseverance, comeback, vulnerability, and breakthroughs.
- What blog or social media post are you most proud of this year, even if no one commented or clicked “like” or shared it? Why are you proud of it?
Perhaps you wrote from a place deep in your heart or maybe you took a risk in your creativity. Whether it’s because you wrote with literary precision or you wrote like you are running out of time.* Take a moment to look at what you created and smile. God stopped and celebrated what He created, so you can, too.
Make sure that you tap into that special place again in the coming year. As a literary agent, I want to represent clients who are passionate about what they are writing about, not clients who are writing just to get published.
- What blog or social media posts were most popular with your audience?
This is an important question for you to dig into and research. If you post a lot or consistently, examine your top ten or fifteen posts to determine what content resonates with your audience. If you are intentionally working on growing your platform, is your audience growing based on the content related to your fiction or non-fiction projects or something completely different. If so, this could be an opportunity for you to make an important adjustment to the kind of content that you share.
Two years ago, I reviewed my top posts and found that my audience engagement was much higher with posts that included pictures of me. I don’t love including pictures of me in my posts. However, another writing friend challenged me to a ten-day experiment where I shared a picture of myself each day and guess what, my engagement was much higher. So, while I have to push through some discomfort, I make sure that I’m in my posts since that is what draws my audience more into sharing themselves with me.
- What risks did you take with your writing this year that required an act of faith?
Writing is wearing our hearts on our sleeves. It’s important that we find the courage to take risks in our writing, not out of reckless abandon. Instead, we invite God to hold our hearts and protect us with His peace as we share our words or wounds with others.
Recently, I saw a fellow writer that I love and respect share about a dark period of life and how this writer faced a health crisis and overcame a prescription addiction. That writer wasn’t writing for attention, but took a risk and shared words that were masterfully written and so inspiring! Perhaps you switched writing genres or maybe you decided to share a story from your past or a struggle from the present.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it! A few months ago, I wrote a post about my oldest child’s gender transition and gay marriage. It wasn’t an easy post to write, but I put my heart in God’s hands before I wrote it and prayed with each word that went on the page. It was the riskiest, hardest, most vulnerable post I wrote last year. It also ended up being my top engaging post of the year. Again, it wasn’t easy, but it was a chance to allow God to do something through my words that required me to take a risk, but it was worth it.
At the beginning of the year, our Books & Such agency team swooned over Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Near the beginning of the book, she challenges creatives to “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
Get curious about what you’ve written this year and how it has transformed you and others. See if there are any nuggets of wisdom, fresh inspiration or even some “a-ha” moments just waiting to be discovered. Most of all, celebrate! You wrote words this year!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: What are you celebrating in your writing this year? We invite you to share your highlights below!
*A low-key reference to “Hamilton”, the musical