“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:15-16NLT
If you are satisfied with your writing style the way it is, that’s ok! But if you want to keep growing as a writer you must set goals. I want to be a better blogger, so I need to be a better writer. I have 7 writing goals that I believe will make anyone a better writer/ blogger.
1. Keep a lazer focus.
Ask yourself, “In one sentence, what is my message?”. For example, your message might be: “Effectual prayer”, or “Do not fear”, “We need God’s grace”, “Love one another”, “Don’t complain, Be thankful”, etc. There are millions of good ideas to write about. Once you identify your message, make sure you stay focused on that message. Don’t get side-tracked. Everything you write should contribute to your message. Don’t ramble.
2. Make your blog inspire and apply to real life.
Readers want to be inspired and they want to read something that they can apply to their life. Some ideas that might add a little inspiration are a personal story, an anecdote from someone else’s life, or a quotation by a famous person. We are inspired by other people’s achievements and the trials they have overcome.
Develop a relationship with other bloggers by commenting on their posts. Try to relate to those bloggers. What do you think they might want to read about? I posted pictures of my favorite bloggers over my desk. When I read their blog or they comment on mine, I refer to their picture. I feel like I know these people!
3. Move the reader to tears or laughter, and to a new point of understanding.
My goal is to move the reader to tears, laugh out loud, or smile. I want to move the reader to a deeper understanding. I don’t want them to think “blah blah blah…I know that.”
4. Learn the elements of style. (Write well.)
This is BIG! It also takes time. There is a lot to learn about writing that you didn’t learn in school. I have a writer’s notebook that includes things like power words, active voice, catchy titles, synonyms, overused sayings, quotations, etc.
I recommend these books: The Elements of Style Book and Workbook by William Strunk and E.B. White,Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias, On Writing Well by William Zinsser, and On Writing by Stephen King. You’ll learn more than you can imagine!
“Some days the words just refuse to flow and you have to drag them kicking and screaming out of your imagination and onto the computer screen.”
Compare that to this: Sometimes I don’t know what to write about.
Stephen’s writing is just plain fun to read. It makes you want to read more. And that is what makes an exceptional writer! I’m hoping that if I read his blogs enough, some of that will rub off on me!
6. Control your word count.
I try to keep my word count under 600 words MAX. 500 is even better. When I think it’s finished, I go back through and make sentences more precise. I usually find several sentences that can say the same thing in half the words. Rewriting is critical to writing well.
7. Read and study your Bible.
Last of all, but most important, if you want to bring a spiritual message, read and study your Bible daily. That way you can recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit. He might cause you to think of a certain Scripture. Obviously, you’ll have to be familiar with God’s Word to recognize His voice.
Once the Holy Spirit brought this Scripture to my mind:
“In humility value others above yourselves…” Philippians 2:3
It came out of the clear blue, but it was the answer to my dilema, and it was Biblical. I eventually wrote a blog about this entitled So You’re Angry.
In Closing …
These are my goals. Do I do them all well? Not yet! But I’m working on it. I know where I’m headed. I know where I want my writing to go. Set your writing goals and your writing can only get better and better!
“Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men …” Colossians 3:23 AMP
Do the holidays trigger thoughts of what should have been instead of what is? Are you feeling lonely? The strange thing about depression is that it seems to take your mind captive. You may think you can’t stop the downward spiral.
The next thing you know, you’re driving to the grocery to buy food for the holidays and tears begin to well up in your eyes. You hate it. You don’t want to be sad!
I know all about it because I experienced this yesterday.
I prayed. I asked the Lord to help me.
Just a few minutes later, my daughter called. (You should know, she loves to cook. I mean really cook, like they do on TV Cooking Shows. I, on the other hand, look for the easiest and quickest recipe possible.)
Chris: “Mom, would you get me a butternut squash while you’re at the store?”
Me: “Do you mean like a real vegetable butternut squash?” (I’m thinking does that come in a package?)
Chris: (starts laughing hilariously) “Yes! A real vegetable butternut squash!!”
We both cracked up and had a good belly laugh! It felt so good to laugh!
Guess what? My mood completely changed right then.
I learned a valuable, yet simple lesson yesterday about holiday blues.
Always go to the Lord in prayer.
Find a way to laugh!
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Mathew 6:8
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22
A book could be written on this subject, and I know that, but this is what happened to me. Sometimes a person needs a word of encouragement, not the whole book.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving . . . Psalm 25:1-2
Merry Christmas Everyone!
(And laugh a little today!
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?
Do you sometimes feel like you don’t fit in? You may need to remind yourself that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, this world is not your home. Your home is in heaven and you are an ambassador for Christ in a foreign land.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV
“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” 1 Peter 2:11-12 The Message
An ambassador is a “diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative”.¹
We must remind ourselves that this is our role. We are ambassadors sent by God. I think it helps us to live a life a worthy of our calling when we think of ourselves as an ambassador.
“But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him]” 2 Corinthians 5:18 AMP
An ambassador is sent to a foreign land to reflect the official message of his country. God has sent us into the world with the message of reconciliation.
“… we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel [that tells the good news of salvation through faith in Christ…” 1 Thessalonians 2:4 AMP
However, actions speak louder than words. Talking about Jesus is important, but how we live speaks louder than our words. Caring about others is vital.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ…” Ephesians 5:2 NLT