Throughout January every year, I feel like I'm being bombarded with posts and emails talking about New Years Resolutions, Five Year Plans, Word of the Year, and so on. When I was running a business, all the business coaches talked about plans and goals, including five year plans. It's hard not to get caught up in it all.
If last year taught me anything at all, it's that the best laid plans can be derailed with something completely unexpected. For me, it was my son ending up in hospital after three days of school, and continuing the year in a wheelchair, finally walking out of the hospital in November. There was no way we could have planned for this, no matter what resolutions or plans I had made at the start of the year.
I had plans for writing and publishing more, working more hours in my day job so we could afford to move house, get back to the gym, read more books, and so on. None of this happened the way I wanted it to, though hospital waiting rooms are great places to get more reading done!
In spite of my plans, I had my first book published with a traditional publisher and we had a fantastic book launch. I have so many ideas for new stories, and many experiences where I thought 'That will be great in a book one day'.
It also taught us a lesson in leaning on God and our church community. Everything we've been through, especially last year, is all in God's plan, and we can't see it at all. We have learned that prayers are answered, but not always in the way we expect, or in our time. We have learned that the family of God is more than just our immediate family, and that they really do care for us and want to support us during the happy times as well as the hard times.
These lessons apply not only in my home life, but also in my writing life. I never expected I would be writing fantasy novels for kids, in fact, writing novels for kids wasn't something I had expected when I got back into creative writing.
For this year, my plan is more along the lines of "Go with the flow", or, rather, "Let God lead me". I know the dreams I have for me and my family, and my writing. I still have plans, but I have learned to put these in God's hands, and to be flexible.
Here's to a fantastic 2018.
She currently has three middle grade books available and is working on more in any spare moment she isn't reading.
You can follow her writing journey at www.melissawrites.com.au and www.melissagijsbers.com