April 06, 2015

Income or Outcome? by Glynis M. Belec

Today I scribbled down some more notes in my big green idea ledger. I love my old fashioned scribbler - it's a warm and wonderful story place where I go to get refuelled if I run out of ideas.

I know it's kind of dopey in this day and age to use such a relic to store ideas. I should get with it technologically speaking and create an idea file for such thoughts. But there is just something wonderfully stimulating when I crack open the pages of my 'old faithful' looking for inspiration. Maybe a little nostalgic; perhaps a little comforting; definitely the place to go for this gal.

Some of the ideas in this book are from decades ago, but it's quite amazing and fascinating to me when fresh ideas from my old notes surface. And they really do. When I page through the old book I often feel articles or story lines percolate and sometimes an entire editorial bubbles to the surface and then it is all I can do to get the words typed into my trusty laptop.

Many of the entries in my ledger are lists. Some are random words or clever thoughts I had or ideas I heard from sermons, speakers, children's conversations.

The title for this piece held a particular fascination for me today as I leafed through my ledger. Income or Outcome? I started to consider what the dickens I was talking about when I wrote down those two random words.

Then I got to thinking. My writing. Do I do it for the income or do I do it for the outcome? Not sure where I heard or read this saying, but really those few words hold a lot of wisdom. Yes, sure I would love to say I write and earn a great income from arranging and rearranging the 26 letters of the alphabet on a page. But sad to say t'ain't so! I do earn some income from writing and I love that because I get to contribute to the household finances. More important to me, however, is the outcome of my writing.

Nothing stirs my heart more than to hear that a child is taking one of my books to bed with him or that she couldn't put my book down because she just had to find out what happened next. Or if someone said they see Jesus in my words. Or I encouraged them to keep on keeping on in the faith.

When I wrote my column in the local newspaper, my greatest reward was not the $2 a column inch I received each week. Rather it was the words of a reader saying, "I loved your column this week. I sure can relate!" Or if someone told me they clipped one of my columns and it is now on their fridge! Sweet joy.

When the outcome of something I have written gives someone joy or comfort or peace or intrigue, or draws them to a closer walk with the Lord, then I am content.

God has given me a passion to write. I love it when he connects the dots from fresh ideas inspired by jottings in my ledger and then transfers them to words on the page.

Income is nice, but when the outcome glorifies God then I feel rich beyond measure!

Writers rejoice when they can reach their audience with the right words at the right time.

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!
— Proverbs 15:23



13 comments:

  1. Glynis, I love your non-electronic ledger! I'm finding far more inspiration as I disconnect and unplug. Are the orange highlighted the ones you've actually used? Very impressive and inspiring, and glad you keep using them!

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    1. HI Ramona. Yes. This particular page is an outline I was using for ideas for my women's devotion that I really need to get published - Help! I Need a New Fig Leaf. I kept jotting ideas down on this page in my ledger and when the chapter was completed, I highlighted - the old fashioned way! I love the technology nowadays for many reasons, but I also love the 'unplugged' part of my writing life. Thanks for your comments.

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  2. I was fully digital when I began writing in earnest, so all my ideas are on my computer. I sure do miss being able to flip pages, though, scan a whole sheet while my eyes pull out a word or phrase, hold my finger in one spot and flip back for a second look. Clicking open, scrolling, shrinking, expanding docs is functional, but it doesn't allow my eyes to process the way the written scribbler did. Sigh. Hang onto your notebook Glynis. It's a treasure chest, for sure!

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    1. Yes, Bobbi. I will. I cannot seem to let go of this. It has so many ideas in it. Sometimes I just glance through some pages just for fun!

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  3. Glynis, I loved reading your post, especially your thoughts about income/outcome.

    As Bobbi says, your ledger is a treasure.

    Brenda

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    1. It's a pretty good way to look at income verses outcome as a writer, isn't it? Sure we would all love that nice steady income, but a nice steady outcome, is better for the Kingdom!

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    1. Thanks for listening, Tracy!

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  5. I like how you use the word content. I too feel blessed when someone reads my writing and finds joy or peace or intrigue in my words. Just a reminder that God is at work. But I never thought about how it brings contentment to my heart--but it does. I like that. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. That's good that you say it's a 'reminder that God is at work.' That is another lesson yet - the humility as we give the glory to God rather than try to steal the contentment to keep as our own. Thanks, Connie.

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  6. I love love love this Glynis! Your reflection on the difference between income and outcome is wonderfully written! This post got me "percolating" also. Thanks Glynis!

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    1. Dear Percolating Melanie,
      Thanks for you kind response. I think it is important that we put it all into perspective and balance things, don't you? Write on, young lady.

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  7. How do I love this post, Glynis? Let me count the ways. I love the Income and Outcome idea and I so agree. I love working with a notebook, but a few years ago I tried to sort my ideas for various projects into different notebooks . Wrong. I need to go back to one thick notebook. Thanks.

    A big thick notebook is a good place for ideas to simmer, even if they're on the back burner for several years. How wonderful to see these ideas percolate on the page and come out as rich as a good cup of coffee for the soul who needs them.

    Encouragement from our readers begets more writing--not in a flattering-sort-of-way--but because we try to write so our words connect with readers. Of course, often we don't know the outcome of what we write, but God does. He knows what words can filter down to someone's needs and then he helps deliver them to the right people. Thanks, Glynis. Hope you are feeling better and getting ready for your speaking engagement this coming weekend.

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