Monthly Archives: September 2015
Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path.
Psalm 37:34, NLT
How do you put your hope in the Lord? What does it mean to you to travel steadily along His path? How can you use this verse in your writing?
- Write a devotion based on this verse. What anecdote would you use?
- Let this verse inspire poetry or fiction. Try a thriller or mystery.
- Write a how-to and offer practical tips on living out this verse.
- Interview someone who lives out this verse and write a personality profile on them.
- Write a personal experience on this verse. Be sure to tell a story.
- Write an article or story that helps kids understand this verse.
- How can you relate this verse to marriage, parenting or singleness?
Yesterday, I talked about the sometimes obscure “holidays” you can use for inspiration. Today is National Coffee Day and VFW Day. Glean one writing idea from each one and share it here. We can inspire each other.
Here are my ideas:
- The health benefits of coffee.
- Adjusting to life back at home – interviews with veterans.
I’m going to stick these in my idea file. What about you?
Grandparents Day was September 13. National Punctuation Day was last week. Last night, we witnessed the Blood Moon lunar eclipse. Little holidays and events occur every day. Do some research and you’ll find anything from National Chocolate Day to an historical commemoration.
You can find writing inspiration in all of these celebrations, holidays and events. For example, write a personal experience piece about your relationship with your grandparents. Write a how-to article about building relationships with grandchildren. Write a novel with a grandmother as the protagonist. Write a poem about grandparenting. Interview a grandfather and write a personality profile of him. These are ideas you can glean just from Grandparents Day.
What ideas can you come up with from National Punctuation Day or the lunar eclipse? You could write something to help your readers understand proper punctuation. Or, you could write a science article for kids to help them understand the eclipse.
I found a great website that lists these “holidays”: http://www.brownielocks.com/month2.html.
If you’re stuck for an idea, research the “little” holidays and events. Something might just pop out at you and inspire you to write. As for me, I know I can find some inspiration in National Chocolate Day.
© Deborah Christensen
William Faulkner was born on this day in 1898. His books include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying and Absalom, Absalom. He didn’t earn enough with his novels to support his family. So, he also wrote short stories, which appeared in magazines, and screenplays. Two films, To Have and Have Not, which came out in 1944, and The Big Sleep, which was released in 1946, were critically acclaimed and starred Humphrey Bogart. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949. Until his death in 1963, he lectured at colleges.
If you’re like me, you can relate to this article. But, you can still find writing inspiration, even if you do tend to get distracted.
“…be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9, NLT
What makes it difficult for you to be strong and courageous? What makes you afraid or discouraged? What does strength look like to you? What does courage look like? How do you keep your life focused on God’s constant presence in your life? How do you remember that He’s always with you?
How can you use this verse as inspiration for your writing?
- Write a devotion based on this verse. What opening anecdote could you use?
- How could you use this verse when writing about marriage, parenting, illness, finances, divorce, job loss, fear, discouragement, trusting God, prayer?
- How can you explain this verse to children? In articles? In fiction?
- How can you use this verse in your poetry? Fiction?
- Do you know someone you can profile who lives out this verse?
- How can you use this verse in a mystery or thriller?
When I was in high school, I had a crush on a guy for three years. We became best friends. When he finally asked me on a date—my first—I spent the entire day getting ready. It literally took me hours to get ready for that date.
I never thought about it before. I could use that as an opening anecdote for an article on expectations. I could aim it toward high schoolers.
Do you have a funny story from school? Please share it here. How can you use that story in your writing?
It’s back-to-school time. It’s also a fertile field for finding writing ideas.
How-To Pieces for Parents and Kids
Some parents are facing a year of firsts: preschool, kindergarten, middle school, high school or college. What can you write to help them navigate these unchartered waters? Give them practical, step-by-step guidance on how to help their child choose classes, dress in current but modest ways, live out their faith in a school full of people who don’t believe, handle bullies. If you helped your child face one of these issues for the first time, you can share your wisdom.
What other things came up in school for your child? How did you handle them? Make a list. It might include keeping your child safe in school, helping them choose friends wisely, practical suggestions for helping kids study, dealing with difficult teachers or setting boundaries. What other issues did you and your child deal with? If you faced these things, other parents are facing them, too.
You can also write directly to kids. Your ideas can do double duty. Write an article for parents and then tailor it for kids. One idea—two different markets.
Fiction offers you a creative way to guide both parents and kids to solve those pesky back-to-school issues. Incorporate the issues into a novel for adults. You probably won’t want to make it the theme. Instead, make it a sub-plot as another conflict your character must overcome.
Things change when you write for kids. School consumes their life. They deal with bullies, difficult subjects and trouble making friends every day. Create a story and offer realistic solutions. Kids will recognize pat answers. So, give them something that rings true.
Other Writing Avenues
Interview an expert or do a personality profile on someone who can help parents guide their kids through school issues. Write devotions to help both parents and kids depend on God. Remember, aim each one at your specific audience. Share your personal experience and give it take-away value. It’s not just your story. Tell either the parent or the child that they’re not alone. You’ve been there, too.
The air is crisp, the school buses are running. Write to both parents and kids to help them do the back-to-school boogie.
© Deborah Christensen
On this day in 1709, Samuel Johnson was born. Among other things, he was a poet, an essayist and an editor. He compiled one of the first dictionaries of the English language. He provided an example from classical literature for every word. His influence had a lasting effect on the English language and literature.
This came out a while ago but it’s a great exercise. Let it unleash inspiration for you.