Invest in Yourself

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

This week I bought a new-to-me car. During this process, I learned something about myself and I think that maybe this can help you in your writing journey, too!

I had been driving around in an old car. It served us well for a very long time and was finally to the point where it was due for all sorts of repairs that would not be worth it. Its electrical system also had a bit of an issue. If you turned on the emergency blinkers, all of the lights in the whole car went out. It was truly time to get a newer, more reliable vehicle. I knew this, but I considered putting it off over and over again. Well, this car still runs, so I should keep it. Why spend the money if I can still get from one place to another? I had to realize that my safety and the safety of my children was much more important than not spending a bit of money. It was time to put out a little money to better our lives.

How does this relate to your writing career? Well, I think sometimes writers forget that it is a good thing to occasionally spend a little money to better themselves. You are a good writer and you might even have a college degree in writing already, but learning doesn’t stop with the acquisition of that degree. Sometimes it’s hard to convince ourselves to spend money, but we can learn so much from taking an online class from a professional, or from going to a writers’ conference that is relevant to us.

We also often put off investing in ourselves in other ways. We don’t take the time to take care of our health or to go to sleep at a reasonable hour so we have the energy and mental health to do our very best work and have the best attitude. Sometimes we need to make the investment of that time to take care of ourselves better than we have been. If we do this, every aspect of life is likely to be improved. Go to sleep an hour earlier or maybe take a walk each day. Small changes might make a huge difference for you.

I also frequently put off investing in my spiritual growth. I get so wrapped up in all I have to accomplish in a day that I lose my time to spend reading the Bible and don’t really talk with God more than before I fall to sleep. Taking this time to dig deep and connect with God is huge and such an important investment. We can fill ourselves up so we have something wonderful to share through our writing.

So I encourage you all to find ways to invest in yourselves. Maybe you need to invest some money or maybe at this point it is just an investment of time that could help you be a better you. But pray about it and find a way to continue to grow and to become an even better writer.

How else do you invest in yourself?

Do you feel like you could invest a little more in one area or another? 

 

33 Responses

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  1. Love this, Rachel! It is very timely for what I am going through right now, so thank you!

  2. Investing in my spiritual self, yes! When I’m too busy for God, I’m listening to the wrong voices. Reminds me of this quote from Martin Luther, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

  3. Never give up, and know that love is legacy.

  4. Good for you on that newer car, Rachel. This morning my youngest daughter came up behind me and wrapped her arm around me. I was just about to scramble eggs, had a thousand things to do, as it had been a busy weekend with that daughter’s high-school graduation, but I chose to invest in her and myself. I turned off the burner, led her to the chair, and pulled her into my lap. “I’m going to hurt you,” she says. “You’ll never get too big for my lap.” And we talked and talked. My oldest daughter came down and piled on my lap, too. Then we talked and talked. Laughed. 🙂

  5. Rachel, this is a profound post from a wise woman. Thanks.

    I manage to attend the Mount Hermon conference every year even though it usually costs more than the profit I make from my writing. It’s definitely worth the investment.

  6. What a great post!

    Lately, I realized that I needed to be willing to spend money, not on more conferences, but on life experiences that I missed out on while either living in survival mode or recovering from those traumatic years. I actually sensed God giving me permission to have some fun–that not every get-away needed to include taking or teaching workshops. He helped me recognize that I felt stuck because I was, and that if I wanted to stop feeling like I was writing about the same stuff all the time I needed to get out of my rut. So I started with taking a writing retreat with a friend knowing it would also be a personal retreat. It was the best thing I could have done for my writing and my spirit! We plan to make it a yearly tradition.

    • Rachel Kent says:

      Thanks!

      And I am so glad you are listening to God’s nudges to invest in your health by taking some time to enjoy yourself!

  7. What a great post! Thank you. I have just started my writing/editing business, but I have made a priority to include a “rest hour” where I take a break from writing and either go for a walk, read, or watch something educational.

  8. Richard L Gerberding says:

    The investment may be in areas other than the direct writing aspect as well. Late last year I enrolled in a marketing/entrepreneur training class (one with recorded sessions to allow occasional disruptions) in order to get in the frame of mind of marketing the writing/speaking when the time comes.

    With my son graduating high school I knew the last few months would be packed, and it was a bit more expensive than could be done easily, but I’ve already set aside some ideas to build on now and in the future.

    I hope I never get to the point I don’t see the need to grow into new areas, develop areas I’m already at, and of course, seeking more of God’s wisdom.

    This doesn’t count as plagerism, since I’m not taking credit, but I’ve recommitted myself to writing (yes,actually writing by hand) books of the Bible, a chapter several times a week. It’s amazing how much more is noticed when you have to focus on each word or phrase, rather than just reading to read!

    • Rachel Kent says:

      Good point! Thanks for sharing. And your practice of meditating on the Bible while writing it out is so neat! Reminds me of the scribes of old who copied it all by hand for distribution.

  9. OK, I’m adding this, kinda in the hope that not many people read it, but also hoping that maybe someone reads it who needs it. Because this really sucks.
    * Sometimes the best way to invest in yourself is to give yourself a pass on the things you simply can’t do.
    * All the writing I can do now is an offering of comments that I hope are encouraging on blogs like these, and maybe my own blog – though the latter’s now kind of pathetic.
    * I’m highly symptomatic now for pancreatic cancer and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which means that I spend the day throwing up, with my arms out to my sides (chest pain), abdominal and back pain like being shot (I have been), and doing my best to stay close to a dunny so I don’t crap my drawers (which is a daily thing). Lymph nodes in the groin make walking cast iron…well, rhymes with stitch. And then there’s fatigue. Crushing.
    * And we have a sanctuary for unwanted and abandoned dogs…and Barb has a full-time-plus job at which she absolutely excels.
    * So my time is divided between taking care of the Fur Crew, supporting the wife with written and emailed prayer, doing the Daily Hate (a workout to keep my upper-body strength intact to deal with the Pit-Ridgeback mixes, and I can still pass BUDS screening and with Josie and Reebok NEED to), and lying passed-out on the floor when it’s all too much. A Pit Bull is my pillow.
    * There’s nothing left for writing. There are WIPs I’d love to finish, ideas I’d love to develop, blog posts I’d love to write, but I seriously have nothing left.
    * So my investment, if you can call it that, is saying that I’ve hit my limit, and God’s got to take this Hail Mary that I can’t cock my arm to even throw, and use it.
    * Invest in yourself, guys, by realizing that the wall is there, and that when you hit it, bleed Love, and hope someone picks up the cup. Don’t beat yourself up. Life will do that way more than enough.
    * If this sounds self-serving and maudlin, well, tough. I’ll wear that shame.

    • Peggy Wilmeth Carr says:

      Dear Andrew,
      I have other friends going through similar things, and I hate it! I wish I could do something, tangible, to help them and you, and I have tried to help them, with the result that, as I have learned more about what really helps, some of them are not just alive, but smiling, more likely than not! God IS GOOD, even when the hell Satan planned for us seems to take our eyes off Him! Dr. Richard Becker went through non Hodgkins Lymphoma and came out on the other side, partly due to some things he knew, as a Chemist and a top flight doctor, to ameliorate the symptoms. He gives God credit for healing him and encourages people going through such awful moments as you describe. You can reach him at http://www.BioInnovations.net online, or by calling 8884422124. Now, if it’s all right, I’d like to pray for you: Dear Heavenly Father, You see the misery that the devil has been putting Andrew through. Lord, I pray for an oasis in this wilderness of ugly symptoms and I ask You to remove those symptoms, or at least, alleviate their effects and help Andrew not just to suffer through, but to be able to focus on the writing You are calling him to do. Increase his faith, his joy, and his abilities, please. Help him to be continually filled with Your Spirit and to be able to express gratitude to You for all he does receive from You; his wife, his support, his creative gifts, and, by faith, the ability to get well. Lord, I ask that his immune system will be able to carry him through and that the closeness of leaning on You, during this difficult time, would be so sweet, he would never want to trade the memories for anything! In Jesus’ Blessed and Holy Name, Amen!

      • Peggy, we thank you so much for the information about Dr. Becker, and most especially for the prayer. Andrew is not in shape to respond at any length, but please know of our gratitude.

    • You’re doing much more than anyone else in your condition would do. I admire your courage.

    • Andrew, it gets so very long when the symptoms and pain go on day after day, week after week, and now year after year. I have a dear friend Chris in a similar spot with pancreatic cancer. One thing I know is that we can never “win” not on our own anyway, and sometimes when we are in such states as you described, to simply say, Relax, let your body relax into the arms of the Shepherd who won for you. So much pain in the world, in your life, Chris’s and others. My heart, and prayers go put to you, Barb, and your furry friends.

    • Rachel Kent says:

      I am so sorry the pain is so bad, Andrew!

      And YES. Sometimes investing in yourself does mean you take it easy. And it can also mean learning to say no when you are asked to do things that you just can’t do.
      Thank you for your comments!

  10. Peggy Booher says:

    Rachel,
    I’m investing in myself by setting boundaries. For example, recently I turned down a retail job because I found out there was the possibility I might be working by myself sometimes. I don’t believe anyone should have to work by herself in a store; it’s not safe for the employee. In past years, I probably would have taken the job. I’m investing in myself by looking out for myself and my safety, similar to what you did with buying a newer car.
    I’m also investing in myself by taking online writing courses and an online course in leadership. The courses are inexpensive, and the content is usable right now.

    • Rachel Kent says:

      That was a wise decision, Peggy! These days being alone like that isn’t safe for a variety of reasons!

      And online classes are so great!

  11. Mary Kay Moody says:

    Yea for your new car. Thank you for doing what you can to keep you and your family safe. I’m investing the next week or so in a creating hiatus with social media vacation. Already imagining the fresh air and quietness. See y’all later.

  12. Thank you Rachel for this post. I had to laugh about your feelings for your old car. Sounds so much like the practical me. What pushed me over the edge was getting my older neighbor in and out of my little Saturn Ion. It’s low and I had a talk with Lord about needing something safer in winter, and more comfortable for my passengers, especially the older ones. He led my husband and I to a new to me Honda CRV. Love it! Especially that my passengers find it easier to get in and out.

    Yes, I have learned the importance of taking time to invest in myself; although, it took a long time because nurses have a habit of investing in others so much, little is left for themselves.

    One thing I LOVE to invest in is education. I am always learning in seminars, books, You Tube, community classes, from talking with others, and in my time with the Lord. I always want to have a teachable heart and mind.

    • Rachel Kent says:

      You and I are very similar! I had the hardest time convincing myself to get this car.

      (I even cried just a little while getting rid of my old car. Shhh, don’t tell! :D)

      Yes, nurses are trained to give even more than 100%. It’s a tough job! I am glad you have found a rhythm that works for you and allows you to invest back into yourself.