Category Archives: weather

Plowing Together: Using Summer Activities as Writing Inspiration – Please Comment

Summer is filled with activities that we don’t do during other times of the year: trips to the beach, vacations, outdoor activities, new and exciting adventures. How do you keep thinking as a writer while you’re engaging in summer fun? How do you glean writing ideas from your summer activities?

Please comment. You might inspire someone else.

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Plowing Together: When the Snowstorm Comes – PLEASE COMMENT

I live in the Chicagoland area. At about 8 p.m. on Saturday night, it started to snow, and it didn’t stop until sometime in the middle of Sunday night. On Monday, I was snowed in – literally. I couldn’t get out of either my front or back door and my car was buried. I finally made it out at about 4 p.m. My neighbor had to help me open my back gate. And, the snow was so heavy on my car that I felt anxious about it. Years ago, a family friend died shoveling snow and a relative died while cleaning off her car from a heavy snow.

It got me thinking. I see a lot of writing ideas in my experience:

  • children’s articles on snow and winter
  • a children’s story about a snow day
  • a how-to article about dealing with “killer” snow with tips and insights
  • a how-to article about building relationships with neighbors
  • a personal experience piece about dealing with anxiety
  • a devotion about dealing with anxiety

That’s a lot from one experience.

What about you? What was your most memorable snowstorm experience? What writing ideas can you come up with? Please comment. Your insights may inspire others.

A SAD State of Affairs

lamp and snowLast week, a friend of mine said she was fighting a funky feeling that had overwhelmed her in recent days. You know the feeling she’s talking about. It’s the January funk. That tired, foggy feeling that comes after Christmas.

All you want to do is sit home, watch TV and eat pizza. You don’t have the energy to do anything or go anywhere. To make it worse, you can’t think your way out of a paper bag.

It’s possible that my friend is struggling with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It occurs because of the lack of sunlight in the winter months. Its treatments include light boxes and antidepressants.

Do you struggle with SAD? How has it impacted your life? What have you learned from it? How can you use it in your writing?

Nonfiction

Share your own story of dealing with SAD. Your personal experience article can go many directions. What treatment worked best for you? What did you learn from God through your experience with SAD? What role did other people play as you struggled with SAD? How did it affect your relationship with others? How did it affect your marriage? How did it affect the way you parent?

Consider offering help to your readers. Write a how-to article that helps your readers recognize the symptoms of SAD and directs them to finding the best treatment that works for them.

Do a personality profile of someone who’s struggled with SAD or with someone who’s involved in research and treatment of SAD.

Write a devotion. Focus on Bible verses that encourage your readers to lean of God.

Write a poem that addresses the pain of SAD.

Fiction

Create a character who struggles with SAD. Whether it’s a major or a minor character, show the struggle with SAD in a realistic way.

Consider making SAD the theme of a story. Build your story around your main character’s struggle.

SAD is real. You can offer your readers real help through your writing.

© Deborah Christensen

Hope in the Flood

hibiscusI know several people who live in Colorado. Many of them are good friends. Earlier this year, they faced devastating fires. Now, historic floods threaten their homes and their lives.

When you hear about such natural disasters, you can find ways to offer hope and comfort. Help people see the larger picture. Use your writing to encourage others to reach out to people in need.

The News Story

This is a news story. Contact your local newspaper to see if they want a story on the disaster. Do your research. Get quotes. If you’re close enough to the disaster, get photos.

Write about the disaster. Look at rescue/recovery efforts. Write about what churches and ministries are doing to help people in need. If people lost their lives, tell their story. Give the statistics a face. Help your readers see beyond the numbers.

Do it quickly before the story is gone. And remember, you need the who, what, where, when and how.

Write Hope

Where is God when everything is swept away in a flood? How can you turn despair into hope? How do you overcome fear? How do you deal with discouragement? How does God help you through grief?

You can write hope to people who face disaster. Help them see God’s love. Offer them comfort from His Word. Don’t give pat answers. Instead, show them that God’s care is real.

Tell your story or someone else’s story. Offer insights that you’ve learned along the way. Interview someone who’s faced trials and tell their story. Write poetry. Write a devotion. Help your readers see that God is bigger than the flood.

Teach Through the Disaster

Look for things you can teach. How does a flood begin? How powerful is the water? What is the history of floods?

This is an opportunity to write nature and history articles. Write for children, but think of adults, too. Many adult publications feature nature and history pieces.

You may even consider writing about the Great Flood and the archaeological evidence for it. Many ancient civilizations tell a flood story. Put it all in perspective of God’s Word.

When you discover a story like this, let it inspire your writing. Think of the story from all angles. Offer hope today. Then, think of the things you can write when the flood waters subside.

© Deborah Christensen

From the Idea Garden – The Storms of Oklahoma

How can you use your gift as a writer to encourage and support the people of Oklahoma?

  • Can you do a profile of the Salvation Army’s efforts in the area? What about the Red Cross?
  • What can you share about God’s care in the midst of devastation?
  • What can you write about facing loss and grief?
  • What can you write about serving each other and encouraging one another?
  • What can you write about preparing for storms and surviving storms that may help people the next time a storm hits?

A Garden of Writing Ideas

yellow irisFor many of us, spring is finally here. As we venture out of our houses, one of the first places we go is to our garden. What was dead brown earth a few weeks ago is now overrun with dandelions. How did that happen?

What matters most is what we do next. Pull the weeds. Buy new flowers. Get our garden in shape.

Have you ever thought about writing about your garden?

The Spiritual Side of the Garden

Gardening can give you uninterrupted time with God. Your garden can become a holy place. What has God taught you as you garden? How did He speak to you? What issues did He help you work through?

What lessons did you learn about God as you watched your flowers bloom? What did you learn about God’s care?

The Practical Side of Gardening

Whether you’re a new or a seasoned gardener, you’re always learning something about plants, sunlight, soil, plant food, garden design, and what works and what doesn’t. Have you ever considered writing about it? Gardening articles appear in more than just gardening publications.

What do new gardeners need to know before they begin? What does a gardener need to do if they decide to change the design on their garden? What do gardeners need to do during a drought? During times of excessive rain? How does weather affect the garden? What plants work best where?

Think of all the things you know about gardening. Someone else needs to know them, too. And, you can help by writing about it.

Take a walk around your garden. Pick a few ideas and begin writing today.

© Deborah Christensen

Random Trails: Winter-Inspired Writing Prompts | Writing Forward

Here is some winter inspiration for your writing:

Winter-Inspired Writing Prompts :Writing Forward.

Weathering the Writing or Writing the Weather

winter treesIn my corner of the world, ice encased everything, thunder crashed, rain poured and fog covered us like a blanket – all in the last two days. So what’s next? I don’t know but it should be interesting.

Have you ever considered writing about the weather? Does that sound boring?

Think back to all the times weather affected your life: your flight was cancelled because of a tornado, your kids’ school closed because of a blizzard, you played in the rain or you did business with God on a walk in the bright sunshine. Weather often impacts the choices we make. So, why not write about it?

Personal Experience Pieces

Share your stories. When your flight got cancelled, did you get an opportunity to share the Gospel with someone in the airport? Did you build a special relationship with your kids as you played games during the blizzard?

During those times, how did God change your plans? Your relationships? The way you relate to Him?

Everyone has a weather story. Share yours and give your reader a new perspective on how God can work through the weather.

How-To Articles

I know someone who died of a heart attack while shoveling snow. It’s changed the way I shovel.

People need tips on how to handle weather situations. How do you prepare for a hurricane? How do you weather-proof your house? How do you drive in the snow? How can too much sun impact your health?

If you’ve had to answer these questions for yourself, chances are that someone else needs those answers, too. You can provide them.

What Else Can I Write?

Use weather in your fiction:

  • Your main character gets into an accident in the rain.
  • A significant character dies in an avalanche.
  • A character survives a tornado.

You can create conflict with the “man vs. nature” scenario and move your story along.

Weather can inspire your poetry. It gives it mood. It can also inspire a devotion or meditation. What have you learned from God in a weather situation? Trust? Thankfulness? Overcoming fear? Share it with your reader.

Weather and Kids

When I was a child, the scariest thing I ever saw in a movie was the tornado in The Wizard of Oz. It took me years to overcome that fear and a little bit of it still lingers today.

Explain weather to kids. You can offer a perspective to them so that they don’t fear it. Instead, give them tools to deal with it and help them know what to do in different weather situations.

Tell stories that help them trust God and know that He’s bigger than any weather they experience.

Weather sets the tone for our life. We make adjustments based on the weather. Use that. Write it. You will connect with your reader because weather touches everyone.

© Deborah Christensen

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