January 01, 2016

What Is Your New Writing Challenge for 2016? by Sandi Somers

Happy New Year to everyone!

Prompt: As you look ahead to your writing/publishing goals for the year, what is a new challenge or risk you want to take in your faith and career? How do you hope to hone your craft, expand your sphere of influence, s.t.r.e.t.c.h.?

New Challenges

The year is fresh, like a newly paved road before us. As I write this blog, my Christmas and New Year’s season is still filled with family and friends. I haven’t thought through all my writing goals for 2016 yet—I plan to take a few days in early January for a writing retreat—to pray and ask God for insight and wisdom.

However, at this point I know I want to tackle these major challenges.

·        A new action plan is the first challenge. My writing has developed a lot over the last year, and I need a new plan.  I’ll look over what I accomplished in 2015, what didn’t get finished (and why). From there I’ll continue with developing an action plan.

·        Write Nonfiction in November is another challenge I’ll pursue. I tried it for the first time this last year and it challenged me to focus on just the one project.

·        Using social media more. In the last few years I’ve focused mostly on developing my writing skills. I’ll look at my long range goals for publishing, and what I can do now. Elaine Ingalls Hogg’s article, “A Timeline for a Successful Book Launch” in our 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers is a valuable resource.

How Gideon’s story can challenge us

This morning I was preparing a Bible study on the life of Gideon (Judges 6-8). I was surprised at how well his story dovetailed with taking on new challenges, and so I share some of my notes with you.

God took Gideon from being a fearful man to one filled with the Holy Spirit. In the beginning, he didn’t know God very well, and fighting against the Midianites seemed impossible. But by the time he faced his enemies, God had given him encouragement, miracles to develop his faith, and strategies to win.

 “(God) calls us to step beyond our capabilities and attempt the impossible, trusting in His all-surpassing strength. If He has called us, He will enable us.” ~ Lloyd John Ogilvie 

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. ~ Albert Einstein

“There are two great words—claim God’s fullness…Dare to act in faith, stepping out in the assurance that you have just what you have claimed. ~ FB Meyer

 Our adequacy “is gained solely as the Spirit fills us and uses our resources for His plan and will.” ~ Bryan Norford

 Scripture provides us with confidence and encouragement. Read and ponder God’s promises as we step into new challenges this year.

 1 Thessalonians 5:24: “The One who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

Judges 6:14: “Go in the strength you have…Am I not sending you?”

Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”

2 Corinthians 3:5: “Our qualification comes from God.”

2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wastelands.”

Questions For reflection:
·        Meditate over the question Jesus asked: “What do you want Me to do for you?”

·        In what ways do you want God to empower you? Often these are the points at which the Holy Spirit is pressing you to go beyond your capabilities.

·        What would you attempt if you were sure the Holy Spirit would fill you and enable you?

·        What new steps of faith will you take? What will you risk?

·        Be alert to any unique strategies and life lessons God will give you as you proceed.



  1. Hmmm... It never occurred to me that a niggling desire that seems outrageous might be the Spirit prompting me with a new direction. (And I am so much a Gideon. His response is almost always my response -- Who? Me? You're kidding!) Off to do some pondering on this, Sandi. Thank you for the insight.

  2. Thanks for your response, Bobbi. I think there's a little of Gideon in all of us. God bless you as you respond to the Spirit's prompting in a new direction!

  3. I love the quotes (especially when I saw Bryan's name!) and the questions will definitely give me things to ponder. Thank you again for all you do for Inscribe and for this blog in particular.

  4. Thanks for your comments, Tracy. I had just too many quotes to delete any, and the questions also give me a time to apply Biblical stories.

  5. Thank you Sandi-your post is filled with encouragements to keep posted near a writing desk! I connected with the quote-If he has called us, he will enable us. Blessings as you tackle your writing goals.

  6. Thank you, Jocelyn. That quote has been such an encouragement to me, too. God bless you as you tackle your writing this year.

  7. Wow! So many things to take with me from your post. But this is the one resonating with me today ... "Go in the strength you have. Am I not sending you?" I don't have to wait to learn more, know more, be more. Thank you for the encouragement.

  8. Thank you, Joylene. This is often the case--God knows we are human, and as we go in the strength we have at this point, He will empower us.

  9. Pondering God's promises for the New Year is so vital. Your Scripture references and quotes are excellent. Thanks for getting us all on the right track.

  10. Thanks, Connie, for your encouragement. As we look to the future, we don't go in our own strength, but we look to God who has a purpose and a hope for us.

  11. Well said, Sandi. I love the plethora of quotes you have sent our way. Such encouragement. I am sharing 2 Corinthians 3:5. It is perfect for me and also to share with another writer friend who needs to hear those exact words this very day. Thank you.

  12. Well said, Sandi. I love the plethora of quotes you have sent our way. Such encouragement. I am sharing 2 Corinthians 3:5. It is perfect for me and also to share with another writer friend who needs to hear those exact words this very day. Thank you.

  13. So glad these words were an encouragement, Glynis. I pray God will encourage you and your friend through this verse.

  14. Awesome, Sandi. Thanks for getting us on the "write track", and for giving us a headstart on that track. Thanks for your leadership each month and blessings in your endeavours to follow God's lead as well.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.