The brutal outcome is dedication becomes an obsession and the writer races down a dead end road. Being labeled CTO (Commitment Turned to Obsession) is not on the top list of writer attributes. The symptoms can sneak up on us, and before we realize it, the disease reaches a full blown epidemic damaging our bodies and souls. So how can we diagnose the dreadful disease of putting our writing first in our lives?
Listed below are ways we can easily spiral downhill. If any of these twists at your heart, perhaps the suggestions following it will steer you back on the right road.
How Commitment Leads to Obsession
- Determination is a noble characteristic of any person who makes a decision to accomplish a goal. Determination tumbles downhill when it controls our thoughts, and we can no longer concentrate or have an interest in anything else in our lives.
- Goal setting is the detailed planning of how we’ll accomplish our dreams and aspirations. We slowly climb the steps, which are rungs on the ladder of success. Nothing can be skipped or eliminated; all are vital to attain satisfaction. Goal setting that is unrealistic or unattainable hovers over our lives like a menacing cloud. Hints of doubt and shame creep in as though we aren’t good enough or smart enough to reach an expectation.
- Isolation is admirable to work through knowledge, to study, and achieve a level of understanding. Learning how to write and establishing insight into marketing and promotion is usually a solo affair. But if we spend all our days behind a closed door, what happens to our other responsibilities?
- Priorities are essential to provide significance and security to everything we do. Priorities help us envision our purpose while living a balanced emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual life. When a priority shuts out our loved ones and threatens our health and sanity, we are no longer a valuable asset to others or ourselves.
- Recognizing a symptom of CTO is the first step!
- Spend time in prayer about your problem.
- Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your desire to be healthy in every sense of the word while striving to become a published writer.
- Take a deep breath! Your desire to be successful is a good thing. God has given you a wonderful gift. He’s also equipped you with tools and a means to reach your goals with determination, goal setting, isolation, and priorities.
Crossing CTO off your list of writer characteristics can be done. It might take time and patience on your part and help from others. But you can be successful as a writer—and a productive member of God’s team.
|About the Author|
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.
by DiAnn Mills
Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?
That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.
When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.