Type in the address and get a detailed map of the area including satellite photographs and even the locations of nearby restaurants or gas stations.
But to get directions from here to there? I have to type in my starting location. It reminds me of those maps in the mall that show where every different store is located … with a star or arrow labeling “You Are Here.”
I may know exactly where I want to end up, but navigating the journey ahead begins with an honest evaluation of where I am.
How can I determine my starting location? Sometimes it’s easy to see my faults and weaknesses. Other times I need the objective opinion of a trusted friend. My job does annual performance reviews where I get feedback on areas to improve. In writing, critique groups, contests, agents, and editors show me where I stack up against other authors and stories.
It’s tempting to justify, argue with, or dismiss these evaluations, especially if they hit on a sensitive area. But, I want to grow. And in order to measure that growth, I need a starting point.
What about you? How do you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses? Who would ask to give input?