When I was a child, my parents asked all the children in our family to make Christmas lists.
We passed around our papers so that everyone knew what to get or make for each other. We tried not to ask for outlandish things since we knew that with involvement in the family ministry, finances were not plentious (Back then, ministry meant sacrifice not the glamour of Armani and diamonds, like some in modern ministry seem to think).
Although the wishlist idea sounds self-centered, our family already had a practice of giving to the community in abundance even when we had little ourselves.
Making a wishlist was a valuable lesson in assessing wants vs. needs and in honoring the needs and wishes of others.
The practice has stuck with me. Every year, I follow the family tradition and ask the people in my present day family to make their own wishlists. It sure makes shopping a little easier for me, too!
It wasn't difficult for me to get into wish-listing. I'm a list-maker by nature anyway. I love analyzing and keeping track of things.
New Years is another time to employ this principle. I make an annual list of resolutions to change old behaviors and to start new ones.
Periodic introspection and needs-analysis are beneficial because they keep us honest with ourselves.
As I approach the end of the year, I find myself going to that listmaking mode and crossing of the goals I've completed for the year as well as setting new goals as a writer. This includes a wishlist of tools that I think I need to continue as a writer. I never know how I'm going to accomplish or acquire them but I ask God in faith and trust that He will provide exactly what I need. Sometimes He gives me the desires of my heart in an ownership capacity and other times He provides the opportunity to borrow or share. It's a great lesson in faith and spiritual warfare, too. (By the way, God tells us we have not because we ask not or we ask amiss.
Prayer is a fantastic way to check the priorities of your wish list items and to see God work miracles on behalf of your obvious and seemingly hopeless lack.)
No warrior goes to war without preparing his armor and weapons of warfare. Neither does a writer jump out there without preparation and education. He or she also needs proper instruments with which to write and be published. He needs a battle plan and a map telling him where to submit and with what directions.
What tools do you need as a writer to make it on the Christian and /or secular markets? Here are some things I recommend putting on your wishlist (most are on mine; several I already have access to):
Sally Stuart's Christian Writers Market Guide http://www.stuartmarket.com/
Writer's Digest Magazine http://www.writersdigest.com/GeneralMenu/
Writer's Market Guide for: poets, novelists, short story writers, songwriters, children's writers and illustrators, photographers, screen and playwrights, agents and everything you could ever want to learn as a writer or artist. http://www.writersdigestshop.com/category/market-books
Novel Writing for Dummies.http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470059109.html
The Writer Magazine http://www.writermag.com/wrt/
Magazines, newspapers and books in genres which you want to become published.
What is on your writer's wishlist? Did I miss anything?