January 11, 2019

Writing Incentives - Carol Harrison

I looked at the topic for January and thought about what my incentives are to keep my writing on track for this new year. I thought of my goals, my reflections and the challenges I might face and knew I wanted to put things in place to allow growth to happen. I know I need accountability partners, deadlines and most importantly I need Scripture to offset the negative thoughts that threaten to sidetrack the writing. 

I do not usually choose a word to be my focus for the new year. Yet as I reflected on the sermon from the last Sunday at church in 2018 during a morning devotional time, one word continued to come to my mind - faithful. It reappeared at various times during the next few days and I know it is something I long for - to be found faithful. I need to be faithful in my Christian life, taking time getting to know God better and listening for His voice which will help me overcome the negative, internal chattering that too often grows so loud it drowns out what I need to focus on. I need to be faithful in using the gifts and abilities that God has given me and that includes working on the stories which need to be put to paper and shared. 

Reflecting on what had happened in the past year, as is my custom at the end of each year, I looked at memories, completed projects and things still waiting to be worked on or completed. Then I changed from looking back to looking ahead to a new year, new calendars, new possibilities and new memory making moments. A blank slate waited for me.

I thought about my motivation to keep writing, to  keep telling the stories and speaking. Why should I keep on going when fear holds me back from completing some of the projects or the internal, negative monkey voice changes from background chatter to shouting negatives? The word faithful comes to mind. I long to be obedient to God's plan and go where he sends me, trusting that he will supply all I need like He promises in Scripture. 

Psalms 78: 1-6 (NIV) have been verses that have been part of my incentive to continue to tell and write stories.

"O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old - what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us, We will not hide them from their children, we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. 
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them even the children yet to be born and they in turn would tell their children."

My intentions for 2019 include completing several bigger writing projects, continue to write short pieces and submit some of them to various publications, blog posts or simply send to family. I want to capture the stores flitting about in my mind, set them to print and share them with others. 

To accomplish this list of writing goals I need to quit procrastinating the editing, the writing and the process of sharing them with others. I find to do lists helpful and deadlines as well. Therefore I plan to have some self-imposed deadlines added to the to do list in order to focus my work habits in a better fashion – make the goals smarter in the time management area. 

I had a brainstorming session with another author, Kim Steadman, who also likes lists and deadlines. She gave me some helpful tips to prioritize my works in progress in light of any and all obligations I have such as writing a weekly blog article, my Puzzle Pieces of Life programs for Hope Stream Radio and this monthly blog post for Inscribe. Writing down the obligations, the works in progress and ideas still waiting to be written gives me a great way to visualize what I need to have done by a specific time and what I can realistically add in to my schedule.

Yes I need to not only schedule writing and editing time but then take those appointments seriously and actually write and edit works in progress. Deadlines do help me focus and therefore I can add in some self imposed ones to help keep me on track or give me a kick in the seat of the pants to keep working on telling the stories, preserving the family memories and helping others along the way.

The incentive to move forward with my writing intentions for this coming year is to be faithful in telling the stories to the next generations. Life can change in a moment and giving myself permission to be flexible is important as well. Listening to the advice of other writers, reading about their journey, incentives and helpful hints adds to the positive moments in my writing life. I am not alone on this journey. Connecting with other writers also helps build in some accountability as does having a prayer team covering the writing and asking the question, "How is your writing coming?"

When the negative voices grow loud and fear threatens to stop all headway on works in progress I need to trust God. The verse that I have for this year is Isaiah 41:10  (NIV)

"So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

 I believe it is important to be faithful and use my gifts and abilities to enrich the lives of others, encourage those who find themselves in one of life’s tough spots as well as help people find their voice and work towards their fullest potential through mentoring. 

As a speaker, published author and storyteller, Carol Harrison is passionate about mentoring people of all ages and abilities to help them find their voice and reach their fullest potential. She shares from her heart, telling stories from real life experiences and God’s Word to encourage people and help them find a glimmer of hope no matter what the circumstances. She believes we need to continuously grow in our walk with God and lives out her storytelling passion by speaking at women’s events and retreats, Bible Camps as well as school assemblies and church events. Carol is a wife, mother of four adult children and grandmother to twelve. She makes her home is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


  1. Thank you Carol for that lovely word Faithful ... I agree it is also important to be flexible. Your verse in Isaiah 41, has been a powerful one for me over the years-although I usually quote verse 13-I think the promise of God holding us by his R hand was so important he repeated it. What better way to counter those negative voices, than with God's voice.

  2. Thank you for your encouraging posts each month, Carol. I know that folks who read - even if they don't always respond - appreciate your wisdom. I'm glad that you keep moving forward with your writing!

  3. The word "faithful" is so important. God is faithful and he honours faithfulness. "A faithful (person) will abound with blessings." (Proverbs 28:20) You are building in some measurable outcomes--goals, deadlines, a partner for accountability, the good verse in Isaiah 41: 10, your desire to serve God and help others. May you feel God's presence as your strength and guide. Thanks for sharing your plans and ideas, Carol.


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