January might be nearly half over (okay, that’s an exaggeration), but there’s still time to be making resolutions and goals!
Here I’ve compiled ten ideas for growing as a Christian and growing as a writer (five ideas each). What do they have to do with each other? Not much—it was just convenient to put them in a post together xD
1. Commit To A Bible Reading Plan
They are millions of them out there, and they all encourage you to do the same thing—spend some time, at least five minutes, in God’s Word every day. I’m the sort of person who does bible-reading marathons—five epistles in one day. Maybe a Gospel. And then…nothing for two weeks. And I bemoan how impossible it is to finish longer books like psalms when the real reason why I can’t is because I’m not consistent.
A bible reading plan. Mine takes readings from three parts of the bible every day and only takes me about ten minutes. And while I have my bible open, I’m more encouraged to go and read other sections beyond my reading plan as well.
2. Schedule Time To Pray
Schedule, I say? Yes, because if you don’t block off time, your to-do list is going to take it. While prayer and conversation with God should be constant, I try to take twenty minutes a day specifically for quiet prayer and reflection. It doesn’t always work, but having “I need to set aside time to pray” in my mind during the day encourages me to make it happen.
3. Begin A Spiritual Journal
GUYS. This. Is. Amazing. I started a spiritual journal back in September and do not regret it. What is it, you might ask? It’s whatever you want it to be. For me, I just ramble about things I’m wrestling with in my mind, or praises, or, most often, prayers. I have a difficult time forming coherent prayers in my mind, especially when I’m stressed, so writing them out really helps. It’s also wonderful to flip back through the pages and see what God was teaching me at the time.
4. Meditate On God’s Love
“God loves us”—we’re told it and say it all the time. But do we actually understand how much He loves us? Do we really, fully realize how much Christ suffered for us—nobodies? Do we realize what our sin does to Him? Do we realize what He has done for us in freeing us?
Questions like that are great launching pads to deep prayers where you get lost and overwhelmed by the realization of how great His love is.
5. Pray For People You Don’t Usually Pray For
Remembering to pray for friends and family comes pretty naturally. But what about the people who don’t always come to mind right away, like the person you met at church last week or a friend you haven’t talked to in years? Remembering them can help us grow to love our neighbor, even if our prayer for them is simply “bless them and draw them closer to You.”
1. Join Or Spend More Time On A Writing Community
I used to be skeptical about writing communities, to be honest. I thought I didn’t have enough time, enough knowledge, or (sadly) I didn’t think I could get much out of them with the stage I was at on my writing journey.
Thankfully, I recently discovered how wrong I was! Writing communities keep you motivated, inspired, and connected with other like-minded people. There are billions of them on Facebook, but my go-to places are Kingdom Pen and the Young Writers Workshop.
2. Invest In Tools To Help Your Craft
Yes, you can learn a lot by reading and writing often. But you can learn more by studying how to do it like you study school subjects—only it’s ten times more fun, because you actually like what you’re doing 😉 . Reading blogs, reading books, and even spending a little money on writing courses can really help you improve.
I personally suggest Kingdom Pen and Helping Writers Become Authors as blogs, K.M. Weiland’s writing craft books and the Emotion Thesaurus series for books, and Kingdom Pen for writing courses. If you want to invest monthly, the Young Writers Workshop opens up again at the end of the month 😊 (I promise I didn’t write this post as a promotional 😉)
3. Join A Critique Group Or Find A Critique Partner
*guiltily has not done this for several months* But when I was in a critique group, I found it very helpful. Everyone says writing is a solitary craft—I care to differ. Two minds together are smarter than one, and ten are much better than one. Ever try brainstorming a plot twist by yourself? It’s hard. But with several people? It’s going to be one great plot twist.
4. Get A Writing Mentor
Aka, the #1 way to grow as a writer. Writing mentors are tough to find, but having someone who has done what you want to do is invaluable as a writer. Even if you can only talk to them once a week or even once a month, it can go a long way.
5. Attend A Writers Conference
LIKE REALM MAKERS *clears throat* yes, that’s probably the best one out there for speculative writers. Anywho, you’ll learn a ton, spend a lot of money on books, and your dream of publishing will solidify as the people you’ve been stalking on the Internet finally meet you face to face. It’s also great for networking and pitching your novel!
There you have it, before I ramble on and add something about challenging yourself to use bible verses as short story or poem prompts to help you remember them.
Anyone ever tried that? 😉
How do you want to grow this year? Any tips on how to grow spiritually? What is your favorite tool for growing as a writer?