Monday, January 5, 2015

Create a Great 2015

with special guest Rachel Olsen, coauthor of My One Word.

In 2012, in lieu of resolutions which I always break, I spent the year with the one word CREATE. I will nurture my creative impulses –maybe I’ll even take up poetry or painting, I thought.
I sensed God too wanted me to focus on my creative work. Apparently He did as that year I signed a contract to co-write the My One Word book with my pastor.

I’ve had two one words since then but since Seekerville is filled with my favorite types of people (writers and readers), I decided to share with you three things I learned from my one word CREATE.

I’d been writing for roughly 15 years at that point – academic articles, newspaper articles, devotional writing, and non-fiction books. I love words, and the creative process of writing.

I also love the notion of being a writer and “the writer’s life.” It’s all so enchanting in an Ernest Hemmingway kind of way (minus all his drunken stupors, of course).

And yet, any creative endeavor is hard at times. There are days, weeks, sometimes months, when it can come slowly and laboriously.

Add to that the pressure of a contracted deadline, and what was once a fun, creative act turns stressful.

Everyone assumes it would be amazing to get paid for their art. And it is. Until you get paid for art you haven’t yet produced. Now you must produce art on demand. This is often the case with a non-fiction contract or a multi-book contract. There is a definite shift that happens with that.

You learn that to be a professional, you cannot wait upon inspiration. You cannot while away hours in a coffee shop with your laptop waiting for your muse to show up and hand you a warm latte. 

I learned you have to pray, then sit down and create whether you feel all Earnest about it or not.

Embracing this may make your life seem less “enchanting,” but it will make it more productive.

I also learned the act of creation isn’t done when you type “The End.” Now you have to let editors tweak it and let readers critique it.

I’ve found that part of the art of creating well is handling critique well. I have to take it in and examine it for what it is worth. Learn from it if need be (and need doesn’t always be). But then I have to lay it aside and press on with the call to create. I cannot let someone’s opinion—even if it has merit—sideline me from my life, and my calling.

For the longest time there was but one low-star review on My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word (now there are two). I responded right there on Amazon to my critic, in love.  I corrected any false perceptions they had about the work, apologized for any ways the work disappointed her (I truly want everyone to enjoy it), and then wished her well. She responded. I responded. She responded again.

At the end of our exchange she thanked me and wished me blessings on this book.

I love the fact that her review and my response is there on Amazon, because it is evidence of my personal character growth as an artist. I didn’t stew on that critique, letting it paralyze me. Nor did I get angry with her. And the outcome was entirely positive.

My friend and fellow-writer Emily Freeman says:

  “How we respond when confronted with the critics has the potential to be the most beautiful art we’ll ever make – we have the capacity to reflect the relational glory of God no matter who we’re with, what we’re doing, or what’s gone wrong.”  (from A Million Little Ways)
 If we’re honest, our inner editor can be way harsher than our loudest critic.  We judge our work, comparing it to others, and too often decide we don’t have what it takes. 

For me that’s no longer acceptable because if I refuse to create—because I am afraid, or feel inferior, or for any reason really—I’m refusing to live the life God has called me to live. Not to mention I’m refusing to use the talents He has given me to invest, and there’s a little parable about that …

 I always choose a verse to go along with my one word for the year. The year my word was CREATE I chose Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” This verse often shifted my priorities from my act of creating and its product, to what God seeks to create in me.

I came to understand that part of a steadfast spirit is refusing to give up when it feels hard, and refusing to give in to doubt about what I am called to do, or how well I can do it.

The third thing I learned that year is to celebrate the art I make. In Genesis we see that God took the time to stand back from His finished work and declare it good. So can I.  

God Creates the Word

It is said that some of the great European painters were barred from the museums where their masterpieces hung – because they would come with paint and try to tweak their paintings.

I believe we must get to a place where we stop seeking to improve it, and celebrate the work we’ve made. By the time I finished writing my earlier book It’s No Secret, I had become a better writer in the year-long writing process.  When I looked at earlier-written sections of the manuscript, I felt I could write them better if I could rewrite them. 

I also knew I’d be a better writer by the time that book hit the shelves many months later. We always want to show the world our best work – what we are fully capable of.

So I chose to regard that book as tangible evidence of my growth as a writer. That is how I was able to celebrate it and release it to my editor, and then into the world, even though I felt it could be improved upon. And you know what? I am proud of the writing in that book. It is good.

Jennifer Lopez once released an album called This is Me ... Then. (I don’t own the album; I just like its title.) That makes perfect sense to me. She knew that later she will make different and perhaps better art, but this creation was a reflection of where she was at that point in her life.

That is one of the wonderful things about art of any type – it is in some way a reflection of us, our growth, and our journey through life. Just as we are a reflection of God and His on-going redemptive work.

Perhaps this notion can help you be more at peace with each piece of art you create too.

In summary:

  • Create like it’s is your job - it’s a calling - and not like it’s some elusive, unknowable process you have little control over. That’s the first thing. 
  • Your job as creator continues on after you create your art—you must usher it into the world and love on those who partake in it. Not everyone will adore it and that’s okay.

  •   Find a way to appreciate each piece of art you make, including those you crumple up and toss in the round bin littered with gum wrappers on the floor by your desk. It’s all part of the process. Besides, your Creator delights over each one of His children—even the non-best-sellers, and the non-published. (smiles)

So blessings on your art this year, fellow creators. If you are a dancer, do your dance. If you are a painter, paint your visions. If you are a cook, combine your flavors. If you are a photographer, capture the world as you uniquely see it.

And if you are a writer, string your pearls on the page. And take the time to call it good.

Warmly - Rachel Olsen

I’d love to hear in the comments below what you’ve learned that helps you stay sane about the writing life. I’m always appreciative of wisdom earned.

Let me encourage you to choose one word to be your focus in 2015. I’ve not yet chosen my word for this year. I usually allow myself several weeks to pick. Plus, I’ve been hard at work on a coaching program to help others live out their words. So I’m open to inspiration – if you’ve selected a word for this year, post it in the comments below.

 More about Rachel Olsen:
Born in Virginia, I now I live with my husband and two children on the North Carolina coast. Wilmington could not be a better place for me, with the beach that I love, the university I enjoy, and the church I’m devoted to.

I absolutely love words, wit, making connections and creating forward momentum. So my choices of vocation will not surprise you: I teach, I speak, I write and I coach.

I also like decaf lattes, epic stories, and peach pie (hold the Cool Whip). I think laughter is the best medicine. I believe each of us have talents to stir, creativity to unleash and potential to reach on the way to becoming who God made us to be.

You can find out even more about Rachel on her web page

Connect with her on Facebook and @RachelOlsen on Twitter.


The concept of My One Word is simple. Lose the long list of resolutions—all your sweeping promises to change—and do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything. Choose just one word that represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year. This single act will force clarity and concentrate your efforts. As you focus on your word over an extended period of time, you position yourself for God to form your character at a deep, sustainable level. Growth and change will result.

Today Seekerville is giving away four copies of My One Word, (print or ebook) to commenters. You don't have to post your MY ONE WORD, simply post. An additional winner will be drawn from those who shared the post and emailed their info to Seekerville. 

BONUS! Rachel generously added two more giveaways!
A copy of the MY ONE WORD DVD Study
A MY ONE WORD Coaching Program Level One Membership

Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.

A huge thank you to Rachel for adding us to her very busy schedule. Keep your eye on K-LOVE where Rachel is being interviewed.


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Tina Radcliffe said...

Sneaking in a hello and welcome to Rachel.



Can't wait until morning to bring out the home made granola bars and fruit!

We are so excited to have you here with us today.

We sort of think we own MY ONE WORD around here because we embrace it so completely!!

Hugs from Seekerville!

Marianne Barkman said...

What, TINA? We don't own MY ONE WORD? Now you tell us? I don't have mine for the year...where's those lists from other years? I know you've got them!

Jan Drexler said...

Welcome, Rachel!

Like you, I wait for my word. It came to me today while I was teaching the five-year-olds in my Sunday School class.

I was explaining a word in our memory verse - abide. While I tried to explain the concept and feeling of that rich word to wiggly children, I realized that I had found this year's word.

My Bible verse to go with it is "Neglect not the gift that is in thee..." (1 Timothy 4:14). And the only way I can make sure I don't neglect the gift is to abide - in Christ, in His Word, in His presence.

So there's my word for the year.

Now the other part of your question. How do I stay sane in the writing life?

I abide. :)

Terri said...

Hi Rachel, I'm not the best at choosing one word. I do know this year I need to focus, so that may end up being my word. I love the verse Jan chose to go with her word.

Now about staying sane. Is that a requirement?

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Wow! That was an incredibly motivating post! I haven't settled on one word yet, but I'm thinking about it :)

Jenny Blake said...

2013's list is here

but cant find last years list. I know my word was hope and I am using it again this year as its what I am holding on to while I have my health issues. Hope that I will find the right medication combo to deal with the pain, Hope that it will be cured etc.

Vince said...

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Hi Rachel:

In one word can be found all of creation. The single line that creates a circle also leaves an infinity in the area beyond it. I think this hints at the power of your “My One Word”.

My word this year is “Systems”. All this year, when I encounter problems that keep reoccurring, (and thus represent a systemic problem), I intend to create a system that will end that problem from then on. I will take the time to do this as each problem happens. I’ve already done this twice this year and it has already paid dividends once.

Example: if you often spend time looking for your keys each morning, then the system is a nail in the wall as you enter your home where you always place your keys when you enter the home. Always. That way finding the keys in the morning will no longer be a reoccurring problem.

I love your ONE WORD idea. This is my third year doing it. I told my wife tonight about it and she took me to the kitchen and showed my her ‘one word’ from last year which had been posted on the wall all year long. It was FOCUS. She already knew about ONE WORD from her church. Funny, we never told each other about what we were doing. Perhaps we need to work on 'Communication’. : )

Please put me in for a copy of your book.

BTW: I love the Franklin Graham quote about your book. That’s just the way I feel about it myself.


Ruth Logan Herne said...


Ruth Logan Herne said...

First, before I read comments, let me say how much I enjoyed this! I loved the common sense approach you took to creativity, avoiding the artsy pie-in-the-sky attitude some creative types adopt. You are a delightful breath of one-word fresh air!

Second, thank you for being here! Love it!!!

Third, I've been doing this for about four years now. One year I picked "gladden" because I wanted to make my goal to be less snarky and gladden more hearts. To think about ways to make people happy and follow through.

One year it was "forge" for two reasons: to forge ahead and to be shaped or forged by the reality of the publishing business. Those were two excellent choices for me.

This year it's "discernment", one of those thought-provoking things to help me stop, breathe, and think about decisions and moments. Rather than simply react to pause... and then shoot people.

Okay, I might be kidding about that, but Rachel: You never know!!! :)

Awesome post!

Cindy W. said...

Good morning Rachel. Thank you for your post. I have been praying for my one word this year and still haven't received my confirmation on it. But I do enjoy the one word concept and would love to win a copy of your book. Thank you for your generosity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Tina Radcliffe said...


King James Bible 1 Chronicles 4:10

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'm also jazzed about the Emily Freeman book. We may need to do a giveaway of her book this weekend.

I checked it out on Amazon and it's calling my name.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Rachel, there's lots going on with MY ONE WORD now, can you share about that? DVDs, workshops.

Have you considered a devotional?

Danetta Kellar said...

Thank you Rachel for encouraging me in my journey as a writer. I have just begun to take my private passion for writing and bring it before others. Your words hit the mark for me today.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning and welcome to Seekerville, Rachel!

The Seekers have been choosing "one word" to kick off the new year for a number of years and I know some who have been doing it for almost a decade, so I'm eager to read your book and learn how to go "deeper" with this concept!

MY One Word for 2015 came to me in late October...DIFFERENCE.

It's a word that for me encompasses a variety of hopes for the coming year. To make a difference in my family, in my neighborhood & community, at the day job, at church and in the hearts of my readers. A difference in my faith (increased) and a difference in my level of fear (reduced). A positive difference in how quickly I can write and how well I write. A difference in how I keep up on the home front and how well I can carve out increased time for one-one-one time with God.

So the word DIFFERENCE holds a plethora of facets! :)

Thank you, too, for your thoughts on being creative--that it's a deliberate act, not passive wishful thinking.

Thanks again for joining us today! I look forward to hearing more about how you and your writing partner are expanding My One Word into studies/DVDs, etc!

Glynna Kaye said...

MARIANNE -- If you go to you can find a LONG list of possible words to choose from. (Sorry I don't have time to figure out how to do a link here -- I'm trying to get my word count in for the day before 6 a.m. Mountain Time.)

In the bar near the top click on "pick your word" and then scroll down to a list of inspirational words. Click on the list graphic to see even more words to choose from!

Glynna Kaye said...

ABIDE. I like that one, JAN! Like my chosen word, it can be as narrow or as broad as you want/need it to be.

Glynna Kaye said...

JENNY -- I've used the same word more than a single year, too. Sometimes at the end of one year I know God wants me to go even deeper into it in the following year.

Mary Hicks said...

Hmm, I liked your words, Rachell. Thanks for sharing them.
My word for the year ahead is ENLARGE

My goal is to enlarge my prayer time and bible study. I've seen that when I do, everything else good in my life is enlarged.
To name a few of those things: Contentment, productivity, opportunity, blessings of abundance and peace of mind.

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Everyone!

For some reason I'm not getting the option to reply to each individual comment here. (If anyone can help me figure how to do that I'd appreciate it.)

Tina & Marianne - I love you feel you own MY ONE WORD - that's terrific. Y'all are bonafied experts on it by now!

Jan - Abide is a rich, challenging word. That one will be powerful.

Teri - Focus is required but staying sane is not. :)

Eva - Thanks for the encouraging feedback.

Jenny - Thanks for that list. I've paused and prayed for you today.

Vince - I am so impressed with your SYSTEMS idea/approach/word. Would you please set up a solution system for all my recurring problems this year too? :)

Ruth - Yay, some lattes. You've had some good words in years past. Your current one reminds me of the year my teenage daughter chose the one word PAUSE. There were a couple times she looked like she wanted to kill me or her dad, and I'd gently say, "Paaauuuuuse." :)

Cindy - No rush. At my church we give ourselves the whole month of January to choose our words.

Rachel Olsen said...

Tina - I think you'll love Emily's book. I suspect many of the Seekers would. She has such a writer's heart. Check her out at her blog Chatting at the Sky and let her know I sent you.

Danetta - So glad you are starting to take that light and shine it for others to see, and to see by.

Glynna - I like to choose one words that have many meanings and facets for me Yours will encompass plenty this year. May this year make a huge DIFFERENCE in your heart and life!

Mary Hicks - ENLARGE immediately brought to mind Jabez's prayer in 1 Chronicles chapter 4. And your comment reminded me of a comment Billy Graham made when asked if he had his life to do over again, what he would do differently? His reply, "I'd pray more."

Rachel Olsen said...

Tina asked me to share a little about what's going on with MY ONE WORD.

The book was published in German this year and a Chinese translation is in the works. Mike and I are excited about that.

There is a My One Word DVD Zondervan recorded with Mike. It goes along with the small group questions in the back of the book. But you could use it on your own as well. *In fact, I'd be happy to give away a copy of that to one of the Seekers - so draw a name for that.

I've just launched a year-long, online My One Word coaching program to help people stay with their one words and live into them. If anyone is interested in that, here are the details:

And, Tina, let's give away a level one membership to that as well.

YOU get a car, and YOU get a car, and YOU get a car! I'm suddenly feeling like Oprah today. :)

Audra Harders said...

Welcome, Rachel! This morning is filled with genius all because you shared your perspective with us.

One word has not reveal itself to me yet. It will, but I can't rush it. So, I'll wait.

I love the process of creating, sort of. I love it when it flows smoothly...the rough patches not so much, LOL! But I've also learned to sit back and listen when the creativity won't flow. I KNOW I've taken a wrong turn somewhere and I need to pray for guidance before I type another word.

Thank you for your insightful post. I loved it. I'll be thinking about it. I'll re-read it.

I'm printing it off and keeping it : )

Cara Lynn James said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Rachel! Thanks for the very inspiring post.

My word for the new year is strength. I need strength from the Lord to face all the physical and emotional challenges I might face during the coming months. I also need strength to continue writing and make some progress.

Jennifer Smith said...

This is such a beautiful post, Rachel! Love these words of encouragement and your thoughts about the act of creation.

This year my one word is relationship. Over the past few years, I've focused a lot on writing. As fun and fulfilling as these two or three years have been, I feel myself getting swept away in doing, doing, doing...This year I want to make my relationships with God, my husband, my toddler, and others a priority...Trying not to lose sight of what's important!

Thanks for this post and a chance to win your book. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

RACHEL -- we don't have the Seekerville settings set so that you comment under each individual comment as it gets WAY too confusing when we often have 100 or more comments during a given day.

What we do is just create individual "leave your comment" responses for each comment (such as I did earlier and am doing now), calling out the name of the person who we're responding to in an individual response so they can easily spot it when they return to Seekerville later.

Thank you for your generous additional giveaways!

Glynna Kaye said...

RACHEL - Also, you DON'T have to click on the "I'm not a robot" to type in the funky 'password' -- you just click on "publish your comment" (and enter your own user name and password).

Cindy Regnier said...

Thank you Rachel. Apparently my word is 'fearless'. Pretty scary, huh? Trusting I will learn more about his great attribute I don't possess in much abundance.

Jackie said...

Hi Rachel,

A friend gave me MY ONE WORD, and I'm enjoying it. It's opened my mind to more options than I imagined when I first heard the challenge of choosing one word to focus on for the year.

It's so good to meet you here on Seekerville.

(Don't add my name to the pot so somebody else can win a copy of the book.)

Cynthia Herron said...

Good Morning, Rachel!

Loved your thoughts!

I don't make resolutions, but I do set goals. Resolutions are well-intentioned, but follow-through rarely happens. Goals, on the other hand, I tend to accomplish with a (realistic) set of steps how to reach them.

I like your "one word" idea and your book sounds fabulous!

(Oh....May I have seconds on the donuts, please?) :)

Paula Mowery said...

Thanks for your post on My One Word. I feel my word for this year is Revival. I think God wants me to revive in many areas, including spiritually as well as dreams and relationships. Would love to win one of your books to study this concept more. Your Sis in Christ, Paula

Jeanne T said...

Rachel, I loved this post! I love hearing the background and perspective you shared about this whole idea of ONE WORD.

A friend introduced me to the concept of picking one word for the year. I've been doing it for about four years now, and I love it. I've been through Perspective, Passion, Enough and this year's word is BREATHE.

I begin praying about the next year's word in October or so. This year it came to me in December. I'm still praying for the key verse to focus on this year. My friend also encouraged me to do a visual to help me remember each day what my word is and what it's about. This year, it's a pretty bracelet I plan to wear a lot. It has the word, BREATHE on it.

God has given me some questions to contemplate as I begin to learn all He has for me to discover about this word. :)

Rose said...

Good Morning, Rachel.

Love your post and your 'one word' concept. I've been doing it for a number of years now.

This year my word is: diversify.

I know it's going against the publishing grain of build a platform, etc., but for the second time, I've had a book that I've written for close. So, I've decided this is the year to diversify my writing so if/when this happens to me again, I'm not left completely high and dry with my writing.

Vince said...

Hi Rachel:

You asked me, “Would you please set up a solution system for all my recurring problems this year too?”

This might help in that direction:

1. each recurring problem will always suggest its own systemic solution.

2. we often intend to create that solution ‘some day’ when we have more time. We think, “What I need is …” but then we never get around to doing it. This year just do it! Invest the time and money, if need be, to create each system as it is needed once and for all. This year instead of a sign on the wall that says “THINK” replace it with “THINK SYSTEMS”.

3. the key here is to force yourself to stop and implement each system the next time the problem occurs -- and do this for this for the entire year - 2015.

4. creative people have a distinct advantage in coming up with insightful systems to eliminate recurring problems. Ask yourself this question: “What are 5 ways I could prevent this problem from ever coming up again?” (It is amazing in business how many times you can just stop doing the process that was causing the problems in the first place!)

I hope this helps.

Keep up the great work on your ONE WORD mission. It reminds me of NaNo (Write a novel in a month) when that first got started. It was such a powerful idea that it just was not going to stop growing!

I can see a ONE WORD National Registry with “Chicken Soup for the Soul” type success stories that have resulted from people’s past efforts! And all this can come with donations to a worthy cause – ala NaNo. That is, of course, if you are not already doing this. : )


P.S. Using Scrivener is one of my systems.

Meghan Carver said...

I love the idea of one word, but I have so many swirling around in my mind that it's hard to imagine choosing just one. Thank you for your post, Rachel. I understand the idea so much better now...and I would definitely need to post it somewhere to keep it fresh in my mind. Hmm...I might understand it even better if I read the book, right? :-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Rachel, I changed the settings for you so that you can reply to each person as you like.... and I'm glad you said something! This will make your day easier and we'll have so much fun with it!

Helen Gray said...

Fresh coffee is here!

I'm in the same spot as Rose, so I've been debating between two words. I think finding an appropriate scripture will help me choose between Restructure and Explore.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Rachel. Congratulations on the impact My One Word has had. Your post is chock full of wisdom and encouragement. You nailed struggles I've gone through with creating my books. Thank you!

I smiled at the need for museums to ban the painters who'd come with their paints, wanting to improve upon their work. Boy, can I relate! Published books can't be tweaked, but your encouragement to celebrate the work instead of nitpick it has blessed me!


Sherri Shackelford said...

I haven't gotten my 'one word' for this year yet. The one thing I've learned on the journey is that your talent doesn't desert you. Sometimes it feels that way - but it's not true.

Angela D. Meyer said...

I like the one word concept - it simplifies the whole resolution thing. I've done it for a couple of years and like the focus it gives. This year, my word is Reset. There is a lot in my life that I need to do that with. No verse yet, we'll see where God directs on that one. Thanks for the post Rachel!

Janet Dean said...

My One Word for this year is mindfulness. Actively attentive to God's presence. Actively ware of how I'm using my time. Actively aware of the needs of others. Actively aware that a tendency to judge my work hampers my joy and productivity.

Now to look for the Bible verse that reinforces mindfulness.


Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Rachel. My One Word for 2015 is BELIEVE. Last year my word was hope and I felt God prompting me to go one step further this year and Believe the good things he has in store for me and my writing.

One thing that helps me to stay sane in my writing life is to take time for breaks. For me, it's in the evening when my husband gets home. I write during the day and then am open to hanging out with family, or just relaxing once my writing day is completed when hubby walls in the door.

Jodie Wolfe

Pam Hillman said...

I love the One Word concept. Resolutions...not so much.

Must think on my one word for 2015.

I remember one year My One Word was just ...... DO.

I need to just DO again, I think.

But, Rachel, I really like CREATE. :)

Rose said...

That should say book line that I've written for close.

Pam Hillman said...

Jenny, thank you for supplying Seekerville's 2013 My One Word list! Yay!!! :)

Jeanne T said...

I love your word for the year, Janet. :)

Jeanne T said...

What a great word, Jan, and a fun story. :)

Jeanne T said...

Jenny, you're amazing. Thanks for sharing this list. :)

Jeanne T said...

Ruthy, you've had some deep words. :) I pray for discernment. Maybe that will be my word one year.

Jeanne T said...

I'm glad you shared about this, Glynna. I never even thought to check to see if there was a website. :) I'll have to check it out. ;)

Jeanne T said...

I love your word, and your focus, Jennifer! :)

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, Terri! I'm not sure I know ANY sane writers!

Myra Johnson said...

I like your word, Vince! But I do suggest you and your wife talk more! ;-D

BTW, still wondering what happened with those characters in your NaNoWriMo story!

Myra Johnson said...

I'm with you, Cindy, still pondering what my One Word will be. So many things I need to work on in my life that it's hard to narrow it down!

Myra Johnson said...

I had to look, too! Looks like a great book!

I really hate when people tell me they're "not creative." We're all children of a creative God, created in His image, so how can we NOT be creative, in whatever ways we've been gifted?

Missy Tippens said...

I think I just lost a whole long comment I was writing. Clicked something wrong and left the page. But if it posts twice somehow, I apologize.

Rachel, welcome! We're so glad you joined us. This post hit me at just the right time. So inspiring.

I'm still formulating my One Word. I was leaning toward one thing last night, but then you said this: "I came to understand that part of a steadfast spirit is refusing to give up when it feels hard, and refusing to give in to doubt about what I am called to do, or how well I can do it."

Now I'm wondering if my word should be Steadfast Spirit (which is 2 words, I guess!). :) I'll keep praying and pondering and maybe let y'all know later today how that word is fitting.

Susan Anne Mason said...

What a great post! Your so right about getting paid in advance for something you haven't yet created. I'm very fortunate that book 2 following Irish Meadows has come along nicely, and I'm already starting to worry about Book 3! But I have faith that the ideas will come when needed.

My word for 2015 is ABUNDANCE. To do all things abundantly and live in abundance. What a great concept!

Have a great day everyone!


Jana Vanderslice said...

I love the visual bracelet idea!! I'm going to have to figure out something like that!

Myra Johnson said...

Car??? Where???

Thanks for the link to your coaching program, Rachel! I just signed up for Level 1! And thank you so much for being our guest in Seekerville today. Your post is so encouraging and inspiring--and I REALLY need to think and pray more to discover MY ONE WORD for 2015!

Myra Johnson said...

Praying with you for the strength you need, Cara! Sending hugs!

Myra Johnson said...

Jodie, your daily routine sounds a lot like mine--write during the day and hubby time in the evenings (it's just the two of us). Nurturing those family relationships is so important!

Becky said...

My one word is "stayed" (Isa 26:3). I love the quote from A Million Little Ways. I found that book to be very motivational in "jumping in the deep end" and go for that journey that is writing for real.

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Vince! Communication is one we need more around our house too. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Danetta! Rachel's post really hit the mark for me, too.

Missy Tippens said...

I love it, Glynna!

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Rachel!! You are sounding like Oprah. But we love how generous you're being! :)

Jana Vanderslice said...

1st- So many situations in my life look IMPOSSIBLE, it will be fun to see what God will do with them this year...Not that He will fix them all (although that would be Great!!) but that He will use them for big things!
2nd- God did so many IMPOSSIBLE things last year, I can't wait to see what He will do this year! If I am Looking for God to do the Impossible, I will be able to see Him & His Power!

"God can do Anything, you know—far more than you could ever Imagine or Guess or Request in your Wildest Dreams!"
Eph 3:20 (the Message)

Rachel- We did this yesterday in our SMBS (Sun Morning Bible Study). We have a list of everyone & their words. It makes a great prayer list for the year. THANK YOU! I'll connect our group with your website.

Missy Tippens said...

Jennifer, a couple of years ago my word was Present--as in to be present with my family. So I totally understand this!

Missy Tippens said...

Cindy, that is scary. But exciting too! We'll enjoy watching you become fearless

Missy Tippens said...

Paula, I love that word.

Missy Tippens said...

Love the bracelet idea! One year my word was Enough. And I have a great necklace with "I am enough" on it. I love visual reminders.

Sandy Smith said...

This is a great concept, Rachel. I really enjoyed reading what you had to say about "create." I think my word of the year needs to be either "persistence" or "discipline." Either one would apply to any particular New Year's resolution I might have. But they would also apply to the writing I need to be doing.

Mary Connealy said...

Right now I'm honestly thinking my ONE WORD for 2014 is something like (It's two words or wait, a dash makes it one compound word) BROAD-SHOULDERS.
Life has been VERY complicated for me since September and it's wearing on me and I know I need to just bear up. Move forward. SOLDIER ON. (which is also two words)
Maybe PATIENCE. But that doesn't quite cover is.
STOLID, but that sounds uber boring.
In short, for the next little while I am just going to have to keep doing what has to be done whether I have the time and strength to do it or not.
This....for the year of NO LIMITS. I'm working on that attitude.

Leslie McKee said...

I've never heard of this concept before today, Rachel, but it's quite interesting. I checked out the website that someone mentioned. I found about a dozen words that look interesting, so I obviously need to give this some more thought. I do write resolutions every year, and often stick to many of them. However, there's no reason I can't do both, right? Thanks for the opportunity to win the book, as it sounds like a great read.

Though it'd be a bit behind, looking over the list of words one jumped out at me that could have been my word for 2014: "move" ... as I took a HUGE leap of faith in December. Of course, I wouldn't have known that at the beginning of last year :)

CatMom said...

Good morning Seekerville and Welcome Rachel! :)
We have sunshine in my part of Georgia today, and I am thrilled (don't know how my Pacific Northwest friends handle all the rainy days, LOL).

Great thoughts in your post - - thank you for sharing with us.
And I'm happy to read that you like PEACH PIE!! ;) I often bring peach pies and cobblers to my Seeker friends (made with Georgia peaches, of course!). So in honor of your visit today I've baked several, so please help yourself.

My One Word for 2015 is JOY. The Lord gave me this word several weeks ago, and I will embrace it each day of this year (and hopefullyl in future years!). I want to live joyfully each day - - even on days that aren't "the best"---when physical pain is trying to take over, or things just aren't going that well---I want to remember WHO is in control, and live joyfully for HIM.
Many years ago my precious Mama told me that the way to experience true joy is to live this way: J---put JESUS first
O--put OTHERS next
Y--put yourself last

So that is how I'm striving to live EVERY day.
Thank you again for visiting, and now back to my writing! :)

Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

Julie Hilton Steele said...

TRUST. I had a long discussion with ManO about last year's word TRANSFORMATION. I didn't really see a lot until I started unpacking the year with him. I also had to explain that I didn't pick my ONE WORD. It always picks me. And I make sure of it by really looking at scripture and praying about the words that are coming to mind. What a great start to the year on Seekerville.

Myra Johnson said...

I love your One Word, Patti Jo! And you ALWAYS bring me joy!

Myra Johnson said...

Persevere, maybe? I get it, Mary. Seems like there's always something getting in the way of the things we need or want to do.

Missy Tippens said...

Jana, I love that!

Mary Connealy said...

Better work, ENDURANCE. Or maybe STRONG. How about that? Much more upbeat. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Becky, I'll be sure to check that book out.

Mary Connealy said...

Julie I love that. You don't pick your ONE WORD it picks you. Very wise.

Rachel Olsen said...

Glad to have you join, Myra!

Missy Tippens said...

Leslie, I'm heading to the website as well to see if something fits perfectly.

Mary Connealy said...

Persevere is nice, Myra. I like it.

Missy Tippens said...

Yeah, maybe persevere is what Mary's looking for, Myra. Mary, you always amaze me. Just keep being you!

Mary Connealy said...

That's nice, Sherri. You're really right about that. Great comment!

Missy Tippens said...

Julie, I've had a couple of years where the word picked me. One year, it blew me away when it came in a song on the radio. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Rachel, thanks for being with us today and for sharing your reflections on CREATE!

I goggled your name and found the following:

RACHEL: People with this name tend to be highly imaginative, intuitive, and spiritual. They seek after spiritual truth and often find it. They tend to be visionary and may inspire others.

How fitting.

I started focusing on a special word some fifteen years ago. In 2005, it was COURAGE. My son was heading to Iraq, and I was getting close to publication. (Son returned home unharmed, thanks be to God, and I received THE CALL in August of that year.)

This year, my scripture came first: He must increase while I decrease. John 3:30

TRUST is my one word...2015 will be a busy year for my entire family so I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus and TRUSTing in his abundant mercy and love.

I TRUST he will bless you as well!

Missy Tippens said...

Yep. Endurance does work well. Or strength.

Mary Connealy said...

I have a Bible verse flitting around in my head and I can't quite bring it forward. I'll almost have it and then 1 John 4:4 comes in,
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
A wonderful verse but not the one flitting around. :)
I'll remember it and come back.

Debby Giusti said...

Julie, I just left a comment with my one word: TRUST! Then I saw your comment and your word: TRUST!

You're right. God has to reveal the's not my choice, but his.

I'll be praying for you and yours throughout the year as we both place our TRUST in HIM!

Missy Tippens said...

Debby, how fun to read the meaning of Rachel's name! I wish I had something that cool. My name means bee. As in a honey bee.

BUT! I just googled it and did see this addendum: feminine form of the Gaelic male name Maoilíosa, which means "servant of Jesus".

I like that much better. :)

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Audra, yes I know just what you mean about the pleasure that comes with those times when you are in the zone, or in that state psychologists call FLOW.

Or those moments when an idea, solution or plot twist comes to you like, "Eureka!" Sadly I've yet to be able to write an entire book while in the state, so there are days I just have to pray and plod on, trusting in God and my calling. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Love it, Patti Jo!

Rachel Olsen said...

Praying that as you look to the Lord in 2015 you rise up with wings of eagles and write and not grow weary.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Glynna, you rock! I didn't think of that, either!

Rachel Olsen said...

I'm with Missy - that's exciting!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aww... Tina said you were really nice, but I didn't believe her, I just thought she was blowing your niceness like totally out of proportion to make sure we played nicely in the sandbox, but... YOU ARE SUPER DUPER NICE!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cara! Wings of eagles!!! :) I like how Rachel thinks!

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Jackie, thanks. So glad reading the book has been helpful to you. I think that will enrich your year with your one word!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

My simple life liked Vince's wife's idea, too... to just post the word in a visible, memory-jogging spot. On the fridge, anyone???? I love the bracelet idea, but I'd never keep it on, a totally Ruthy-thing.

Myra Johnson said...

Cool, Missy! I agree--"servant of Jesus" is much more fitting!

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Cynthia. Save me a glazed sour cream cruller. :)

Myra Johnson said...

Now, Ruthy, come on. You know we can always trust whatever Tina says.


Rachel Olsen said...

REVIVAL - sooooo powerful! Wow, great choice, Paula.

Debby Giusti said...

Mary, 1 John 3:22-4:6 is one of the day's scripture readings that I was praying this morning. A God-incidence for sure that He placed it on your heart. Love how He works! :)

Debby Giusti said...

Deborah means "bee," too! Funny, huh! :)

I like "servant of Jesus" better.

Debby Giusti said...

JOY fits you, Patti Jo! Perfect. Love what your Mama said too.

Janet Dean said...

Thanks, Jeanne T! I love how the word comes, often after reading something that makes me just know that's it.

Debby Giusti said...

I've spent time with Jabez. Very rich. Worthy of a year's reflection.

Rachel Olsen said...

I often have custom jewelry made or find a plaque or throw pillow with my word on it when I can. Visual reminders are so important!! The fridge is a great spot. You can also make it your computer screensaver or password.

Rachel Olsen said...

Sorry to hear that line closed, Rose. Hum, so you don't want all your eggs in just one basket. I can see you getting a little basket for your desk and filling it with chocolate eggs. Each time you write, or even submit, elsewhere this year, grab an egg out of that basket and enjoy eating it!

DebH said...

my word the past two years has been DISCIPLINE... um, I'm not sure I've made progress. I wanted to do better with discipline in regards to my writing and while I did finish a manuscript (under a bit of self-created duress), I'm not sure I progressed. So now, the word that comes to mind is WRITE.

No Bible verses or background behind it, but I guess I need to keep it simple and just WRITE. (like Mary and Ruthy do - perhaps not as many words/day as them but getting words on page). I've placed a mini-notebook with brand-spanking new pen in my purse to facilitate.

I loved reading about the history of the ONE WORD. Very inspiring. I personally love the word CREATE because that's what I do every day all day.

Jan Drexler said...

I bought a bracelet for last year's word. It kept my word in front of me all year long. I need to order one for this year.

Jan Drexler said...

Joy was my word last year, Patti Jo! It came to me when I wasn't feeling very joyful, strengthened me through the difficult time of my mom's passing, and helped me appreciate and find joy in everything God sends my way.

A life-changing word :)

Rachel Olsen said...

I teach a course on creativity and innovation at our local university. One way a leading scholar (Dr. Tina Seelig of Stanford) defines creativity is "applying imagination to find ways to meet a challenge or solve a problem." Sounds like what you're saying here.

Also, I have my students list out 100 possible (even if crazy, expensive or elaborate) solutions to an identified problem. That's how you get the innovative ideas - like hand your keys to a personal robot you build to function like a butler. :)

Hey, with the popularity of Downton Abbey, that robot might sell! We could program him with Carson's voice. "Your keys, my lady."

Thanks for this, Vince - and for envisioning how My One Word can grow.

Vince said...

Hi Myra:

TMI -- You Might Want to Bypass this Post

My characters, from your online writing course, came out better than in any other book I’ve ever written -- that book, “Characters Who Actually Came Alive”, was 100% pantsered!!! I never had any idea what was going to happen next. Nothing is better than pantsering – when it works!

I’ll tell you the ending since it will only make sense to you (and possibly class members) and it may take forever to edit that WIP into publishable shape. This pantsered story has the best ending I’ve ever written.

Last Chapter

Both the villain, Sidney, and the hero, Victor, become real people in the last chapter. Once real, Sidney travels to his author’s home, (she killed him off in her novel) in order to get revenge. (Real poetic justice). He captures her and ties her to a railroad track where they park the trains in that small remote farm town. Sidney does this because he wants her to have a cliché 19th century damsel-in-distress death. Sidney loves the irony of having people laugh when they learn about how she died. (Well, he is a villain!)

The hero shows up too late to stop the train, however, the train stops just short of the author anyway since it is just a railroad siding and it always stops there! It’s still very exciting as it dawns on the reader that the hero is not going to make his rescue in time to save the damsel!

The hero, Victor, convinces Sidney, who has a gun, to let his author go because a real life death would not be justice to exchange for a fictional death. The way to get even would be to put his author in a published story of his own, (now that he is real and can do that) and then kill her off fictionally, too.

Sidney is such a good conman, and has such great life experience, that he makes a lot of money in TV script writing and marries his author’s daughter who he gets parts in his very popular western comedy TV series!

The hero, Victor, in the meantime, falls in love with his real life author and has her write a squeal to the novel in which he was the hero. In the sequel he vanishes for a while but then comes back to his fictional HEA wife. In the process the detectives searching for Victor fall in love and have their own HEA.

Victor’s real life author winds up marrying him because he has always been the hero of her dreams. In one way or another, Victor has been the hero in every one of her romances! So all ends well. The fictional world has returned safely with all HEAs still in place.

And Sidney’s author, now his mother-in-law, sees herself killed off in Sidney’s best selling book and yet she can’t say anything because everyone will think she is crazy if tells the world that Sidney is actually one of her fictional characters who she wrote so well he became alive!

I call tell you that no mind would ever have plotted this story in advance! Writing this was more fun than I’ve ever had writing or reading anything else.

Now know why writers pantser!

Rhonda Starnes said...

Hi Rachel, I'm on my lunch break, but I wanted to pop in and let you know that I appreciate your post. I've never chosen one word before, so I've had multiple words flittering around in my head. However, as I was driving home a few minutes ago my one word came to me.

My one word word for 2015 is RENEW .

My Bible verse is Psa 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Myra Johnson said...


Oh, oh, Vince!!!! What a saga! Glad they all got their HEAs in any case. Let me know when someone contacts you for the movie rights!

Must send Dora over to read this!

Mark Abel said...

Hi Rachel, I fell in love your post today. What an inspiration and encouragement, the perfect start for the new year, Thank You!

I'm not a professional writer yet, still in the romantic stage of writing without deadlines and/or income pressure. My profession is Architecture and I love my work but have discovered a passion to write. I started three years ago but have dreamed about writing for for a long time. Maybe there is something to be said for writing part time just for the love of writing. Guess that would mean I shouldn't quit my day job!

One of my goals for 2015 is to complete the 1st draft of my 'epic' story and type the words: The End. After thinking about your post today, the meaning of those two words for me might translate to the following 'one word': Birth !

Thanks again for a great post today and I mean that.

Pam Hillman said...

Procrastination is my middle name, and since I write westerns, my one word for 2015 should probably be:


Jill Weatherholt said...

Thank you for sharing the story behind One Word, Rachel. I was introduced to the concept several years ago and it's always exciting to see how well it works throughout the year. In 2011 my word was Faith. I lost my job that year and Faith carried me through an extremely difficult time.
This year, my one word is FOCUS.
Proverbs 4:25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.

Rachel Olsen said...

Yep, you'd definitely understand it better if you read the book! :)

Rachel Olsen said...

A hundred thank-yous for that, Ruth!

Dora Hiers said...

Wow! Vince, you did it!! I'm so happy for you, not only that you ROCKED NaNo, but that you pantsered 100%! Great job! Can't wait to see it in print. :)

Rachel Olsen said...

Looking for scriptures for each might help you decide, Helen - and/or looking up their definitions and synonyms. You can also spend a week with each "trying them on for size."

Thanks for the java.

Rachel Olsen said...

Thanks, Janet. Isn't it interesting that we - the public - see those paintings as "masterpieces" and enjoy them, yet the artist has a hard time ever feeling it good enough.

I understand that is part of the creative impulse, but I want to be an artist that finds satisfaction with each piece I make.

Rachel Olsen said...

"Your talent doesn't desert you." I love that.

Sometimes it feels like it's gone underground - but it will resurface. #hope #keepwriting

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Angela. Christ is the reset button for the world. :)

Maybe that notion will help you find a verse.

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Jodie! Good to connect with you again. I'm betting BELIEVE will really activate your faith this year.

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Pam. I can see how DO would be a productive one word. Feel free to borrow CREATE!

Rachel Olsen said...

Thanks for the welcome, Missy. STEADFAST would be a terrific word. I can see it applying to you and your attitude and also reminding you of God's enduring love and faithfulness.

Rachel Olsen said...

Happy New Year, Sue - and congrats on book #2 coming along nicely! May you have an abundance of ideas and words this year.

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

What a wonderful, encouraging post! Last year, my word was HOPE, using Romans 15:13 ("Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost") as a springboard. Many of things I hoped for came to pass, as well as just keeping up a positive attitude about many things! I'm not sure what I will choose for this year, as I have a few resolutions that I'm not sure have a common thread. We'll see. Have a wonderful day!

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Becky. You and I can bond over our mutual love for A Million Little Ways, and all the little ways it helps you overcome your fears and just create.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow!! An Oprah day in Seekerville!!!!!! Thanks, Rachel!!!

Carol Garvin said...

Ack!! My comment was eaten and I don't have time to write it all again. Thanks for this excellent post, Rachel. My One Word hasn't come to me yet, but I'm going to do a post about One Word on my own blog as a reminder to keep paying attention.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thank you Ruthy for fixing the reply options. Thanks Missy for adding the Oprah prizes, thanks Helen for filling the coffee pot and thanks to Panera's for bringing in LUNCH!!!!!

Rachel Olsen said...

Jana, I'm so glad your small group is doing it together! That accountability will be helpful if you'll periodically ask each other how it's going with your one word. We use each others' words to pray for each other as well.

In case you don't know, there are small group questions in the back of the book and an accompanying DVD for use with those. It's a 4 week study - you can find the DVD on Amazon.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Emily has a blog!! I'll be contacting her to visit us. Tell her we didn't bite. Much!

Jamie Adams said...

Welcome Rachel, this my second year to choose one word. I really like the idea. This year my word is Grow. It came to me last. I really need to get out of this comfortable rut I'm in and grow as a Christian, wife, mother, writer ...

Rachel Olsen said...

Agreed - both those words would apply well. Perhaps look up their definitions and see if one word has a particular shade of meaning the other doesn't that appeals to you. Blessings!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Looove the bracelet idea!!! Who here makes jewlery? This is an idea for Rachel to tap into!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Rachel, What a great post to start the new year. Loved the concept and hearing of your experiences. I think I better go buy that book since I can't win it. smile

I did get a word for this year. LISTEN. I'm so good at doing, but it goes better if I listen first and that means listen to GOD, not my "let's go to it" brain. LOL

Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Tina, Panera's for lunch. YAY. Arrived just in time. smile

Tina Radcliffe said...

Love Hana's attitude. Watch God turn impossible to possible!!!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Endurance.Mary C.. Because, do-do hitting the fan is for sure not one word.

Rachel Olsen said...

Mary, what I like is that you have this word-picture in your mind - I think that will be powerful.

Maybe just the one word SHOULDER? As in bear up, but also as in Jesus shoulders our burdens for us, and the body of Christ is called to bear one another's burdens.

Or maybe the one word SOLDIER. There are lots of verses about us being soldiers in the Army of God, fighting the good fight, going the extra mile. Just some thoughts.

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Leslie. There have been years that I felt I prayerfully chose my word, and years I felt God just "gave me" my one word. And in those years the word didn't seem to make any sense to me until half way through the year, or even until the end of the year when something significant happened. (I tell one of those stories in the book.) It could be that God would've lead you to pick MOVE (or something similar) in 2014. :)

Deb Kastner said...

Hi Rachel! What an intriguing post. I've had a word for the year for a couple of years now but never thought about ways to keep it before me. I love the idea of engraving into jewelry or making stepping stones. My word for 2015 is CONSECRATED. That seriously affects every area of my life, from my prayer life to my marriage to my writing.

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Patti Jo - you have brought me JOY today with your sunny disposition and your Georgia peach pie!

Rachel Olsen said...

Thanks for that about my name, Debby!! That 's lovely and probably does suit me.

Although I can think of no better descriptor than "servant of Jesus!"

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Deb. The great thing about My One Word is our one words never really leave us. We move on to another word at the end of the year, but the previous one words continue to prod us, teach us and influence us. Congrats on finishing that manuscript!!

Debby Giusti said...

Rhonda, love your word and your scripture!

Rachel Olsen said...

Beautiful, Rhonda! And I too am partial to that verse. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Consecrated is a powerful word, Deb. Lovely.

Mary Connealy said...

This makes me think of the Mandisa song, "You're an overcomer."
Great, uplifting song that goes so well with this verse!

Mary Connealy said...

VINCE you did NOT name your villain Sidney. After all your determination that I should redeem my Sidney from Sharpshooter in Petticoats? Even though he was LONG DEAD?????????????

Jeanne T said...

For what it's worth, I like having an opportunity to respond specifically to commenters with the Reply button. Thanks for turning that on today! :)

Sherida Stewart said...

Thank you for your inspiring post, Rachel. Your My One Word concept has been a thoughtful experience for me for three years now. Your view of past writing as "tangible evidence of my growth as a writer" is just what I needed to hear today. Great advice throughout your post!

What helps me to stay sane along this journey is to believe in God's perfect timing along this writing path.

My One Word for 2015 is: LOVINGKINDNESS!
Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.
Psalm 107:43 NKJV

I will focus this year on both the lovingkindness of mercy we receive from our Lord and on the lovingkindness I want to give to others.... forgiveness, faith, hope, and love.

Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration!

Now to celebrate the words others have selected for 2015! Blessings to all!

Leslie McKee said...

I like that option, too :) I hope it can stick around!

Naomi Rawlings said...

Hmmmm. "Stop by Seekerville more often in 2015" probably doesn't count as one word, does it? But I'm here anyway.

Thanks for the inspiring post about creativity (and perserverance), Rachel. I've chosen 2 words for 2015--Strength and Hope. I picked two words because I know I'll need both of them to get through 2015.

Romans 15:13 goes with that (or at least with the hope part): Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Janet Dean said...

I wonder if a lot of creative people have a perfectionist tendency. I think about the Sistine Chapel and hope Michelangelo was pleased. LOL

One interesting point I learned on a trip to Italy. Michelangelo mixed paint well and his paintings are holding up. De Vinci did not and his beautiful painting of the Last Supper is fading away.

Janet Dean said...

Oops that should be Da Vinci

Jennifer Smith said...

Thank you, Jeanne! :)
Missy, I suppose it's probably a common issue for writers, isn't it? :)

Julie Lessman said...


As one of the original Seekers, I've read every single Seeker blog since the very beginning, and I want you to know that your blog today has pretty much blown me out of the water, impacting me more than any other in seven years of incredible posts.

There are always a number of lines in each blog that capture me more than any other, and I usually list them and comment on each. But because your blog today is literally one solid block of inspiration, I could basically just copy and paste it here to show you the pertinent parts that spoke to me! :) But for the sake of time, I will only list a few.

YOU SAID: "Add to that the pressure of a contracted deadline, and what was once a fun, creative act turns stressful."

Oh my goodness!! THIS was one of the main reasons I took an 8-month sabbatical last year, telling my editor I wouldn't be pitching a new book or series for a long while. I longed to get back to the joy of writing without deadlines or contracts, and I have to say it was wonderful.

YOU ALSO SAID: "Everyone assumes it would be amazing to get paid for their art. And it is. Until you get paid for art you haven’t yet produced. Now you must produce art on demand."

Yep, definitely takes some of the passion and joy out of writing for me and I suppose

YOU SAID: "If we’re honest, our inner editor can be way harsher than our loudest critic. We judge our work, comparing it to others, and too often decide we don’t have what it takes."

Oh my, yes!! My husband accuses me of this all the time, saying he has never seen anybody harder on me than myself, which I suspect is a common problem for writers.

FINALLY, YOU SAID: "For me that’s no longer acceptable because if I refuse to create—because I am afraid, or feel inferior, or for any reason really—I’m refusing to live the life God has called me to live."

Oh, AMEN, Rachel!! How did someone so young get to be so smart so quickly???


Julie Lessman said...

Okay, Rachel, I couldn't stop with one comment because there are WAY too many point-blank revelations in your blog that nailed me between the eyes, so here's a few more:

YOU SAID: "The third thing I learned that year is to celebrate the art I make. In Genesis we see that God took the time to stand back from His finished work and declare it good. So can I."

Talk about a truly anointed statement!! Thank you for pointing this out -- I have never considered that before!

YOU SAID: "It is said that some of the great European painters were barred from the museums where their masterpieces hung – because they would come with paint and try to tweak their paintings."

LOL!! Guilty as charged. Uh, not of creating "masterpieces," mind you, but tweaking to death. :)

FINALLY YOU SAID: "I believe we must get to a place where we stop seeking to improve it, and celebrate the work we’ve made.

This blog today has helped me do that, so thank you SO much -- you are a very wise young woman!


Keli Gwyn said...

Rachel, I echo this thought: "I’ve found that part of the art of creating well is handling critique well." I'm learning to be grateful for editorial feedback. I'm often too close to my stories to see the flaws and weaknesses. I welcome the opportunity to address those issues and make my stories the best they can be. Because of this I've grown to appreciate the collaborative aspect of writing and am grateful for my wonderful writing partners and my savvy editor. Editors rock!

Let's hear it for nested replies! Love this addition, Seekers.

Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Mark. My co-author on this book Mike Ashcraft was an architect before becoming a pastor. Many successful writers have said they made some of their best work while in the stage you are in - working a day job and writing for the fun and passion of it.

Thanks so much for your comment. And I love epic stories so go finish that thing and usher it into the world so I can leave you an appreciative review of it on Amazon. :)

Rachel Olsen said...

PS. I have multiple day jobs! I teach at a university. I do some work with a company called The Forte Institute. I coach people in my personal coaching business. And I travel the country and speak at churches. Day jobs are a good thing. :)

Rachel Olsen said...

LOVE IT, Pam. Let me see you cowboy-up this year!

Rachel Olsen said...

FOCUS is one of my favs. Working on an e-book on Focus this year. Change is possible, focus is required!

Rachel Olsen said...

Thanks for telling me about how HOPE functioned for you last year. Hope does not disappoint!

Rachel Olsen said...

I hate it when that happens to me, Carol - and it's always when I've written a long one. Happy New Year!

Lyndee H said...

I am lost. Where is the list of last year's words?

Rachel Olsen said...

Growth - how fresh and inspiring. You should go place a new houseplant on your desk to remind you. :)

Jenny Blake said...

I know there was a list for last year but couldn't find a link. its probably out in cyberspace somewhere.

Rachel Olsen said...

I have a contact who makes jewelry, including My One Word jewelry. I'll post her link here for anyone who is interested:

If anyone joins level one of the My One Word program (it's only $7) they get 25% off a custom photo of their one word written in the sand on a beach. At level two ($64) they get 25% off the photo and 25% off a piece of My One Word jewelry from the shop linked above. Two fun ways to keep your word in front of you.

Jenny Blake said...

we haven't found last years list yet. I put up the link for 2013. I know Ruthy did a list and it said in the new year post of NYE 2013 it would be up on Jan 5 2014 but I cant find it.

Rachel Olsen said...

Sandra, the Kindle edition is only $2.99 today if that helps. :)

And there a whole chapter in the book (#6) that deals with listening to God. :)

Rachel Olsen said...

Definitely a powerful word, indeed.

Jamie Adams said...

That is a great idea! Thanks, Rachel :)

Dawn Leonard said...

It's possible that the same thing happen to Missy just happened to me. I wrote my post, clicked on the comment as, picked one, clicked on publish or whatever it said and poof my post was gone. So I apologize if this ends up being a duplicate but I didn't see my original post when I checked.

Thanks Rachel for sharing about My One Word and for your encouragement. Thanks everyone for sharing your words and reasons and/or verses.

My one word for 2015 is BELIEVE. It's the same word as Jodie (digging for pearls)'s and the second year I've used it. Last year at an after-Christmas sale, I found a group of decorations of words (Hope, Joy, Peace, Believe, etc) and decided that Believe was a good one for me. I usually put wreaths/decorations on my front door for holidays. I put Believe up last January and haven't taken it down since. I see it every time I look at the house.

To me, BELIEVE means believe in God, believe in myself, believe that things will get better, and believe that God has a plan and I am part of it. My verse is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Sometimes trying to live "His Will, His Way" is hard for me but remembering that everything that happens, happens for a reason even if I don't understand why.

Really like the nested replies Seekers! Thanks Ruthy for fixing that. It's so much easier to understand comments and to see if someone replied to your comment. I loved NYE but some replies to comments were hard to understand because they were so far from the comment.

Donna said...

Rachel, thank you for this encouraging and uplifting post!

You said, "pray, then sit down and create whether you feel all Earnest about it or not."
I love that!! Less enchanting, more productive.

My one Word is APPLY. To put into effect.
Apply God’s word to my life daily.
Apply everything I've learned in the last few years about writing to my work.

I'm enjoying everyone's word!

Rachel Olsen said...

If it helps, Lyndee, you can scan pages and pages of people's one words (and why they chose them) at the My One Word website here:

Rachel Olsen said...

"To put into effect" - I like that! A lot!

Rachel Olsen said...

Leaving that wreath on your door year-round was ingenious!

Rachel Olsen said...

Julie, YOU were a big encouragement to ME today with your comment. Thanks so much for that. {{Hugs}} back at ya!

Rachel Olsen said...

Yes, editors rock!

Dana R. Lynn said...

Thank you so much, Rachel! I have never thought of choosing a word before, but I love the idea. I was trying to decide on a word, and I kept getting frustrated. Because I really wanted to LISTEN to God's inspiration. DUH!!! So my word for 2015 is LISTEN.

Sherida Stewart said...

Perfect word for writing and life concentration in 2015, CP Donna! I knew you would pick a perfect word. :)

bonton said...

What an amazing post - such wonderful tips, Rachel!! Judging from the comments here, everyone else thinks so also.

It's such a coincidence (or maybe not, since I believe everything happens for a reason if following God's plan) - an Overcoming With God blog post I wrote was posted just a few days ago (Dec. 28th). The subject was resolutions and in the post, I referred to your book "My One Word"- which had just been brought to my attention. It sounded like a wonderfully inspiring book when I read the book blurb and even more so after reading this post.

Thank you so much - I would love to read "My One Word" and will certainly be purchasing it if I'm not blessed enough to win a copy!! Hopefully, some of the people that read my post will, also!!

Shared post!!

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks Rachel, that's nice. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, huh?
I'll hang onto that.

Mary Connealy said...

LOL so true.

Donna said...

Sherida, I knew your's would be life changing, like you said in your blog a few days ago! LOVINGKINDNESS makes me think of God's mercy.

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Rachel, I've only followed Seekerville for a year. but this is one of my favorite posts, you are full of Godly wisdom and have a wonderful ministry. Thank you for sharing it with us.

I've had a "one word" for a number of years and didn't even reallize there was a book about it, even better!

I spent the last THREE years on the word BALANCE-body, mind and spirit. Balancing life is now firmly ingrained in my mind as a life goal.

Lately, without even realizing it, I have found myself using my prayer life as a time to grumble and complain. I am a blessed person and thankful for so much, but God pointed out I was mostly grateful for the "good stuff". So God dropped the word GRATITUDE in my heart, not just for the things that are good, but all of it, even the things I don't like. Like it says in the Song of Songs, "it's the little foxes that spoil the vine" and the "little foxes" were starting to affect my attitude . God uses it all to make us who He wants us to be.

An attitude of GRATITUDE, is my 2015 goal.

I love seeing everyone's words, God is doing wonderful things in our lives!

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Hi Jodie, Great to see you here. Wishing you breaths of fresh belief and insight for you and your writing. Thanks for what you do and who you are.

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Hi Rachel,
Thank you for your great post here. I love your treatment of the word "create" and it is helpful to remember we are artist as well as writers. It helps me so much to bring beauty, in written and other forms, into my life and helps to feed my work with freshness, innovation, and new hope. I've always loved interacting with artists, back in school taking painting, ceramics, drawing, etc. classes and when I covered the art beat for our college paper at Baylor University. We still go to museums and try new artistic things with our family, helping our kids to appreciate beauty. The artist is one who can help communicate the delicate wooing of the Lord on our hearts. Thank you for that reminder as we start a new year.

Our pastor picks a new word every year, and it's on the bulletin all year long. A good reminder and helps to unify his speaking too.

Bless you in your work.

Sherida Stewart said...

Donna, LOVE that! :) Thanks to you!

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