September 30, 2016

Good Intentions, Better Outcomes by Susan Barclay



This was the year I was supposed to be more intentional. I started off by reading The Twelve Week Year and was inspired to follow its principles and practices. Indeed this would have meant reviewing my goals at various points along the way and hopefully resulted in greater productivity.



What happened?



It’s not that I got lazy. At least I don’t think so. I think what  happened was that I discovered intentionality was too broad a term to cover my 2016, what I actually needed was to be more intentional in prayer. And while I didn’t create a new game plan around this action, I did increase the regularity and frequency of my prayers, as well as their quality. I also read a few books on prayer, most notably those by Jim Cymbala, long-time pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, and I've come to realize the absolute priority and importance of this Christian ‘discipline.’ My eyes have opened to the neglect of prayer in the church and in individual lives, including mine, and to the absolute power of prayer when one engages in it. I’ve seen prayers answered, which inspires me to pray even more.



But back to goals. They're good to have. If we don’t shoot for a target, we’re not apt to hit one. As far as my writing goals go, I’m still hoping to finish my novel this year. Now that my ‘children’ are both young adults, one living in residence, the other moving in with a friend next month, I should have a lot more time to write and to stay on top of other areas of my life like laundry, dishes and regular housekeeping. Things may stay cleaner and tidier for longer periods of time – hallelujah! It may be easier to reach personal attainable goals and to track and tweak them. I plan to read The Twelve Week Year again, or books similarly themed, and to aim for the most productive life I can have, prayer- and other-wise.



Is there a book on productivity you would recommend, one that has really set you on a good path? If so, please name it in the comments below!

September 29, 2016

How To Make Your Days Count As A Writer by Bob Jones


They say time flies because you’re having fun or aging. I must be having a fun time growing old because, Mr. Scott, it feels like the year is flying by at warp speed.

You can’t slow down time but you can make the best of your time. Setting goals is one of the best ways I’ve found to make my life count for something great. Reviewing my goals regularly is a way of making my goals count.

Goals!  

I’ve been setting professional and personal goals for over thirty-five years. Only in the past two years have I set writing goals. December is typically my goal-setting time. I dream my goals up, pray my goals in, write my goals down and start living in the direction of fulfilling them.

Every day is my goal watching time. Every single day.

Typically, I don’t share my writing goals with other people. So the rest of this post is a bit of a risky departure for me.

Will people think my goals are too small? Too audacious? Not audacious enough? Inspiring? Boring?

My new behavioral goal is vulnerability so here goes.

My Goals For 2016:

#1 Write two blog posts/week every week of the year.
#2 Reach an average of 1,000 views/day on my blogsite by December 31st.
#3 Publish six articles in my denomination’s national magazine.
#4 Publish one article in a national Christian magazine.
#5 Publish one article in a national newspaper.
#6 Publish sixteen articles in local papers.
#7 Enter my book, “Ornament” in the Word Guild’s Writers Contest.
#8 Sell the rest of the copies of my book.
#9 Read six books on writing in the year.


Reviewing my goals daily in January is done with a lot of optimism.  Reviewing them daily in April is a combo of thrill, chill and anxiety. 

Reviewing them in September is a reality check.

So, how am I doing?

#1 – On track.  Check
#2 – No where close. The one day I had 1760 views was a guest post.
#3 – 3 articles published so far.
#4 – Zero articles submitted.
#5 – Zero articles accepted.
#6 – Ten articles published so far with four months to go.
#7 – “Ornament” was awarded “Best Life Story in 2016” WOW!
#8 – Sold 2630 with 870 to go.
#9 – I’ve read two books to date. “Bird by Bird” A. Lamott and “The Writing Life” by A. Dillard

What are your goals for the rest of this year?

 
Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.

September 28, 2016

Must We Set Goals? - Bruce Atchison

This month's theme makes me feel guilty. Why? Because I've not even begun to meet my goal of writing my manuscript of You Think You're Going to Heaven? My New Year's resolution has fallen by the wayside, just as have the autumn leaves.

But should I feel guilty? Look at what James 4:13-16 (BBE) says. "How foolish it is to say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into this town, and be there for a year and do business there and get wealth:' When you are not certain what will take place tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist, which is seen for a little time and then is gone. But the right thing to say would be, 'If it is the Lord's pleasure and if we are still living, we will do this and that.' But now you go on glorying in your pride: and all such glorying is evil.

While it's folly to assume that we will accomplish something, it's still important to plan. I blew it when I resolved to write an entire manuscript this year. Even so, I have been blogging on the topic of who the Bible says will go to heaven.

I still plan on writing my book, even though I've been distracted from actually writing the entire manuscript. In the dark days of winter, I plan on expanding on my blog posts so that I can include them in my next book.

September 27, 2016

Your Event Here!

Did you now that the 27th of each month is set aside for promotion here on the 'Inscribe Writers' Online' blog? There was a lot of activity leading up to fall conference, but now that the conference has ended, we are looking for items to fill this slot.

If you have a book event, a book launch, or some other book-ish event that you would like to share, make sure you contact the blog moderator in time to get it on the blog. (tracy[dot]krauss[at]gmail[dot]com)

In the mean time here are some pictures from Inscribe's 2016 conference.

Janette Oake presenting the new award begun in her honour

Janice Dick - the first recipient of the Janette Oake award

VIP day's guest speaker Carolyne Aarsen (and Tracy Krauss)

Bobbi junior receives the 'Leadership' award

Barnabas award winner Eleanor Berton (right)

Tools for Authors panel

September 26, 2016

One Of Those Years by Marnie Pohlmann

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. 
(Proverbs 16:9 NLT)
Have you ever had a time when nothing goes as planned?
Checking my writing goals for this year shows 2016 is one of those years for me.

I did not set specific goals this year, as I explained in my Missing Pieces post last January, but I did still make a list of writing items I hoped to accomplish.
  •     Continue contributing to this Inscribe Writers Online blog once each month.
  •   Set up my own blog and post once each week.
  •    Go through my old diaries and journals to glean anything that could be helpful to others.
  •    Write my Circus book.
  •    Complete a Christian Literature Survey course.
  •    Participate in writing contests.
  •    Attend Inscribe’s Fall Conference.

So how am I doing?
Epic fail!

I have made small progress on some items, but overall, life has interrupted my writing.

For months I have been struggling with a tsunami of situations that bring mental, emotional, physical and spiritual waves of distress. There is seemingly endless upheaval within my family’s life.

I am not alone. Others, too, have had a year of stretching their faith – health, housing, finances, friendships. The very joys that make up life are also the trials of fire each of us must walk through.

Am I stressed by it all? Of course! Yet there is also peace in the midst of this chaos, and even laughter.

I have not succeeded at my writing goals, but I am still able to write words, and even better - I am living the Word!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 4:2-5 NLT)

I am learning to trust that God has the details under control. He is present in the midst of our storms.  I am learning to hold my plans loosely so God can direct my path.

I don’t know how the story of 2016 will end, but I know "The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights" (Habakkuk 3:19 NLT)