January 04, 2019

Figuring It Out by Susan Barclay

This month's prompt asks contributors:  What incentives are you preparing to keep you on track with what you hope to achieve [with your writing]? How are God’s nudgings, including thoughts from His Word, part of your incentives? 

When I consider incentives, I tend to think of rewards, but I imagine the real questions here are: What do you hope to achieve with your writing? How are you going to stay on track? And what is God saying to you?

To be honest, I'm so tired after the holidays that I feel all "goaled out". My goals for Christmas and New Year's were to keep the peace, keep the balls in the air, and try to keep the focus on Christ. The effort has left me emotionally spent.

Still, I survived, we all did, and I look forward to 2019 with expectation that God is going to do great things in me and my family, that He is going to answer prayer, probably in surprising ways. That seems to be how He works!

Usually at this time of year I'd be formulating plans like "submit one piece each month, write 500 words per day," etc. While I haven't done that (yet), I do hope to put more work "out there," and to be more intentional in looking for markets. I still aim to finish the novel I started umpteen years ago, I want to get back to blogging on my website at least once a week, and I'll maintain my once-a-month commitment here. I have to admit that I'm pretty excited that I ended 2018 and began 2019 with writing prompts that were fun and produced material I expect to publish (somewhere!). 

How I'm going to stay on track is another question. For sure I'll continue to engage with my writers' groups and communicate regularly with my accountability partner. Maybe it will also be helpful to create a document where I can input my writing activity so I can see how I'm doing. I could include number of words written, time spent writing/researching/mulling, pieces submitted, etc. What methods do you use for tracking progress?

As for what God is saying to me, He is telling me to pray and spend time in His Word so that I know Him better and continue to grow in faith and trust. As the time of Jesus' return draws nearer, these are the most important activities in which I can participate and, frankly, writing pales in comparison. Although the better I know Him, the more I will have to write about and the more He can use it for His glory. Since I am currently exhausted, I think He is also telling me to rest. Can anyone relate?

A writer who's impacted me over the last few months, and whose work I can't seem to stop sharing on Facebook, is Susie Larson. She writes the most beautiful daily blessings, and I encourage you to look them up.

May God bless each of us this year as only He can.
Susan Barclay maintains a website at www.susan-barclay.blogspot.com. She is also the writing groups coordinator for Inscribe.


  1. "As the time of Jesus' return draws nearer, these are the most important activities in which I can participate and, frankly, writing pales in comparison." This is such a deep truth, Susan. I know i have the tendency to let measurable goals become my focus, but this isn't really what it's all about. It's about knowing Jesus.

  2. Can anyone relate to being tired you ask? Yes, I relate to feeling "goaled out" and I join you in the desire to focus on growing in faith and trust. These are harder to track progress for though. Thanks for this post!

    1. You're welcome, Jocelyn! Thank you for relating and joining! Very true that growing in faith and trust are harder to track progress for.

  3. I love what you are saying here, Susan, and your paragraph right after the very stickers-up computer really speaks to me. (That is quite the image, I must say.) I also love Susie Larson's blessing, so thanks for that too. May God bless you, as you stay close to him, and bless your writing too.

  4. I find spending time with God and reading His Word inspires me, produces questions and research ideas, and just overall makes me want to write even more. Definitely a beneficial way to stay on task.


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