New Year, Great Start!

It’s a new year and things are already off to a great start! 

Lawless releases on January 18th, my novel revisions are coming along nicely, and I finally took my podcasting equipment out of the boxes they’ve been collecting dust in for the past two years.

This is the time of year when most people create goals or renew their old ones—and I’m no different.

I have a couple new goals for this year:

#1 Start a podcast

Seeing as I’ve already set up the equipment and have been playing around with different episode ideas, I’m well on my way to accomplishing this goal already, which is great!

I mean, why procrastinate all your goals to the end of the year when you can knock some of them out at the beginning?

#2 Read A Minimum of 25 Books

I love reading, but oftentimes I sacrifice reading for the sake of having more time to write, work, watch movies, or basically anything else. 

But reading is an important part of being a writer. I can learn a lot from reading books by different authors, like why a story works/doesn’t work, how to create better characters, improve my dialogue, get a better understanding of story structure, etc.

#3 Get Published At Least 4 Times

This is probably my most ambitious goal, but I believe it’s more than possible.

Between Lawless, the second and third books in the Adventures In Eldnaire trilogy, and my novel (join my newsletter or follow me on Instagram for updates on that), I have plenty of opportunities to publish four books in 2024.

So yeah, these are the new goals I created for this year, but I still have plenty of other goals that have carried over from last year.

One in particular is very important to me.

Top Priority Goal For 2024: Love What I Write (Despite Inevitable Imperfections)

In 2024, I’m giving myself permission to love what I write.

It may sound weird when I put it like that, but when I first started writing, I self-sabotaged myself with the fear of being prideful or getting rejected by others.

Calling it modesty or humility, I bashed my writing, wore down my self-confidence, and completely ruined my ability to be objective toward my work.

I couldn’t take or enjoy a compliment on my writing, because I felt like I didn’t deserve any praise—not that I enjoyed getting any criticism either, but negativity felt closer to the truth than encouragement. 

I took criticism well in front of people only to turn around and cry once I was alone. 

It was an unhealthy state of mind—always rejecting the good while accepting the bad—and I was so unhappy. 

But I was more afraid of becoming someone who couldn’t see any fault in their work than in becoming a professional self-deprecator.

My writing will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean I have the right to hate it. Each and every time I work on a story or look back at things I’ve written in the past, I see how much my writing has improved since I first started.

My Mission

Nearly five years ago, God introduced writing into my life as a mission.

The mission is to write stories that engage the hearts and minds of the people who read them. Stories that bring up difficult topics and portray the darkness of the world without giving into that darkness.

Stories that aren’t particularly “Christian” but still draw attention back to Christ.

I can’t accomplish that mission by writing off everything I write as awful. I can’t blind myself to the progress I’ve made, or refuse to give my work the same objectivity I give to others when I read their books.

The majority of my journey as a writer has been tearing down the lies and assumptions I created when I first began writing.

But now that we’re entering 2024, I’m in a position where I’m not afraid of liking my writing. 

In fact, now I can love my writing—imperfections and all—because each word, each sentence, character, theme, and story I write brings me closer to accomplishing the goal God gave me.

Before You Go…

Do you have any new or renewed goals for 2024?

Let me know down in the comments. I’d love to hear about them!

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Lawless today!

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