Friday, June 10, 2016

A Worthy Goal, A Precious Prize. By Marcia Lee Laycock

The Prize

Someone recently wrote about breaking free of writer’s block. She expressed how she was energized again and proclaimed – “The goal, to write. The Prize, to publish.” I felt like cheering. To write – yes! A worthy goal. To publish – yes! And it was here that I paused.

The question came to mind, What is the prize? Is it seeing your byline in a magazine or newspaper or on the cover of a book? Is it receiving a check for a piece of writing you have labored over? I’ve had the thrill of all of these, and yes, it is a thrill, but it is fleeting. The byline may not be noticed nor remembered. The check evaporates like mist. Surely there is more. Is the prize perhaps the process itself? Is the prize all that is learned along the way? Is the prize the life being lived as a writer who belongs to Christ?

Henri Nouwen wrote; "Writing is a process in which we discover what lives within us. The writing, itself, reveals what is alive! The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know."

What lives within us – that which is alive – is revealed to us as we write. As those spaces open up within us we discover Who will fill them. As we trust Him, not knowing the destination becomes irrelevant.

What greater prize can there be? When we focus on the Spirit of God as the giver and sustainer of the gift, it is as we write that we understand Who that Spirit is. It is as we build our stories, our articles, our poems, that we discover the depth of His wisdom and love.

That journey, that adventure is in itself a gift. I would own no other prize. 


Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has three devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies, including the Hot Apple Cider books. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.

Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded on Smashwords or on Amazon. It is also now available in Journal format on Amazon. 

Her most recent release is A Traveler’s Advisory, Stories of God’s Grace Along the Way.

Sign up to receive her devotional column, The Spur


  1. Marcia, what a lovely post. I was initially like that woman in your opening paragraph - my goal was to write to be published and didn't see the point if that goal wasn't achieved. However, I too have discovered (and increasingly so) what Nouwen wrote - we write to discover ourselves and God.

    I love that Nouwen quote - I've read a lot of his works but not sure if I've read that quote before. What book of his is it from?

    Thank you for a tremendous post.

    1. Hi Ian - not sure where the quote was from originally. I think I got it from a list of his quotes. M

  2. I agree. I often find that I have to start writing in order to figure out what I really think about a subject. The act of writing clarifies my thinking. Writing a story helps me to discover who I really am.

  3. Thank you for the great reminder, Marcia. And, yes,LeAnne, writing definitely sharpens thinking.

  4. thanks for your comments, LeAnne and Donna. :)