Category Archives: Writing

Words Must Earn Their Place To Impact

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Today I read accounts of people coming into their own, dreams taking root and gaining strength. Among mothers particularly, I notice a harshness towards themselves. A constant reprimand for letting things slide, often for years.

For writers, this holds true as we lament over half filled journals, or worse, blank pages.

The last year has allowed me great strides towards becoming the writer God designed me to be. I’ve spent time reviewing words written in years past.  Something needs to be said here. It wasn’t good writing.

The intent was there, the ideas were promising, but the timing was off. We waste time thinking  dreams were lost, ruined, forgotten.

What a tragic misuse of our life!  I wasn’t slacking off and likely, neither were you. We were living. 

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Without the experience, what good are the words? Ideas without substance? Thoughts without errors to learn from? How clearly it is becoming to me, and I hope to you, that our life’s timing isn’t off, it is perfect!

We are busy experiencing. Loving, raising up, letting go. It all is material. Here is the difference of aging…the “material” we didn’t know we were storing up is nearing harvest time. It has been seasoned by perspective. That is not time wasted, but an inimitable gift.

This is the time for me. Maybe for you? If not now, be patient. Embrace the details of your life, whether that includes demanding little toddlers, aging parents, a stressful career, financial difficulties.

Commit to fully living your life, because  the perspective you’ll be able to cast coupled with experience? Then, only then perhaps, are the dreams ripe.

Words become powerful for a writer. Why? Because their time has come. They have earned their place.

Overcoming Mental Inertia

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It isn’t a lack of ideas that keeps me from creativity. Are you with me?  Scraps on my desk, stuck in books, piles of ideas. When I sit down to write, or create art, there are amazing moments where creativity blazes wildly and I can hardly maintain the necessary speed to keep up with my brain. I crave these experiences.

And then there is today. Days where you don’t feel your best, or are distracted. Where you see the piles and they feel like pressure instead of joy. Guilt instead of freedom. The piles look exactly like what they are, paper. Not magic waiting to happen.

Mental inertia rules my roost. Defined well as “disinclination to move or act”.

How to overcome this? Pick one thing.

Here are a few tips to jumpstart the writing mind:

Start with the recent– Dwelling too broadly can swamp us in murky indecision. Start with today, yesterday. Put those dusty 5 w’s to work. What did you see that stuck with you? Why? Give me a Where? Who is involved?

Pull out a photo–  The reason I take so many pictures is to remind me of the details of life. Browse through a stack of photos and stop at the one. You’ll know it. Now is the time to dwell and ponder, what feelings does the scene evoke? Write it down.

Pick one random note–  Get out a note pad and jot anything that comes to mind. I find that just rewriting my note by hand, again, often sparks back the original idea. If the time has passed, toss it. More ideas will come, they really will.

Read words out of context-  This one can be a lot of fun. I tear old book pages out for other projects. Sometimes I will read through them, looking for interesting phrases. Use those phrases to kick off your own take.

To paraphrase a popular TV holiday song, “Just put one word in front of the otherrrrrrr, and soon you’ll be writing…” Um, maybe that didn’t work out as planned. But here I am, putting one word down at a time. Creating forward motion, thereby breaking the hold of that inertia.

Creativity is not always natural. There are highs and lows. On the lows, even if it feels like verbal babble, write it down. Rework it later. It doesn’t need to be shared until it is polished, but you’ll have a start. One word turns into a finished piece.

So as a true partner in this venture, I offer you my verbal babble. Words normally left before my blinking cursor to come back to. Today, here they are to encourage you. Can you start with your one thing today?

My Manifesto, Inspired By Jeff Goins

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Thanks Jeff, your work encourages me on a deep level. Here is my take:

I see you. You might feel invisible sometimes, but I see you. In fact, I am looking for you. My words are for you.
Days are busy and there are countless diversions, but my heart won’t let me forget that my purpose is in communicating. God is steadily shaping and molding me to share life with you.
I consider myself a truth teller. A seeker. A believer that we are all creative and can express ourselves most deeply through this gift. An encourager. An advocate for the underdog.
I cannot go through a day without observation. I notice things, odd things. Deep things.  Those observations swish around in my brain, connecting with other ideas and pictures, until the thoughts take shape.
The tips of my words sharpen, ready to cast off and reach their mark.
The mark is your heart. I am growing, changing and challenging myself to live abundantly each day. Life is an art form. You are invited to come along with me. I will share with you, life. One word at a time.

Guest Post- Talia DeAndrea “Just Cry”…A Teen Girl Whose Writing Inspires Me

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Let me tell you about this girl, she is the real deal. I have known her since she was a young child and though she is just 14 her writing inspires me! In fact, her dedication has kept ME writing, and I hope you’ll take a moment to check out her blog. Support this budding artist. She has published a beautifully done devotional book for kids already, and truly means what she says here. Please share her blog with kids and teens in your life. They will be blessed. I have to admit, I love her entire family. They are creative, wonderful people. Her precious sister Haley is a singer/songwriter and at 16 just recorded her first album. I would definitely recommend that too, it is heartfelt and beautiful. I am delighted to present to you, Talia DeAndrea Read the rest of this entry

Tips For Writers

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Looking to create more meaningful writing? Impactful? Watch the endings.

Casual posts, like the previous 31 days series,  are suitable for “dialogue” between the reader and writer. When we want to pack more punch, here are a few tips:

  • Choose a relevant topic, make the focus sharp
  • Give concrete examples to back up your POV
  • Do you have an opinion? Based on your examples, explain it
  • Offer related scripture, tie it to your topic, BUT be careful about taking things out of context to illustrate points
  • Now, the most important part. What do you want readers to DO with the information? Leave a mental challenge. Something to reflect on and perhaps a call to action?

Help to transform us from consumeristic readers to active participants. Leave us with something that we can’t easily forget, and offer us a way to engage. Impact us, we are ready.

 

Writing On Scraps

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I am being tormented this week by my dismal lack of upkeep on writing related notes. A year. Two. Piles of scraps slowly accumulate.

The thought did come up to just toss every pile, without care. I was so close. But then, what if my best ideas were in this pile? The one. So if I am asked to write a paper describing what I did on my summer vacation (unlikely, but possible) the truth’ll be right here. Each and every scrap scrutinized for decipherable ideas.

Some people think in organized fashion. I, although organized, think like a pinball. Ding, ding. ding.  My idea bounces from one brain cell to another. Writing on little scraps wastes my time it would seem. There is less time for real writing I chide myself . Ding. Ding. Most notes curve this way and that. No logical columns. Circular notes. Partial words and phrases. Ding.

But when the ball settles squarely against the flipper, impact! And so it is with my ideas. Ding. Ding. Almost. Ding. Ahh! I have it, and I am ready. Is this a hassle? You betcha. Will I change? Unlikely. My drawer groans beneath the weight of various journals. Beautiful and functional. But… they lack the siren song of impulse, the surface of a random napkin or receipt. Part of creativity might just be process of scraps. Tossing the unusable. Savoring what is left.

Completed Katz Writing Course!

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Galatians 6:4 (The Message)

Make a careful exploration  of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that

It is finished. My 6 week writing course. Completed.

Plenty of people finish strong with projects. I am not always one of them. I do finish commitments to others, but the ones I make personally often get pushed to the side. My creative spirit is perfect for leading me forward, exploring new territory of unchartered ideas. This guiding force can be my challenge as well. Not this time. And, I happily cross off one of my 5 goals for the year. Check! I not only learned about the craft, I explored the writer. This course coincided with tremendous personal difficulty. And, this is big, I still pressed on. This is a powerful feeling. Not only do I write for my own pleasure, but my goal is to honor the author of my soul, Jesus Christ.  The writer of Galatians might have easily penned my  name into this verse. I’ve waded into the creek of self exploration and am spending my time enjoying the waters.