Blog Archives

Heading Into Summer

Memorial Day has come and gone. The summer season is in full swing. It’s a time for pool parties, barbecues, family vacations, summer camp, and all the other fun that summer brings. It also inspires a lot of writing ideas.

What’s different about summer? What does it inspire?

Parenting

How can you help parents prepare for their children’s summer break? How can you help working parents juggle their children’s summer schedules? How can you help families build stronger relationships during the summer?

What do parents need to know about summer camp? How can they choose the right one for their child? How can you help parents prepare their children for summer camp? What can parents do if their child become homesick?

How can parents make the most of a summer vacation? How do they choose the right vacation spot for their family? How do they budget for a vacation? How do they handle a child who doesn’t want to go on vacation? How can they take creative photos that capture the essence of their family vacation?

Summer Parties

How can your readers throw a fun summer party? How can you help them cook great food? What can you tell them about decorating for a summer party? How can they help their guests have fun? How do you build relationships through a summer party?

Summer Activities

What can you write about gardening? Hiking? Bicycling? Cooking on the grill? How can you help your readers protect themselves from ticks? Mosquitoes? How can they recognize poisonous plants?

What health issues arise from summer activities? How can they prevent injuries? What do they do after they incur an injury? What about allergies? How can they keep themselves healthy in the summer?

What can you write for kids? How can you help them embrace summer activities? What stories can you write for them? What devotions can you write? What kind of personal experience article can you write? Who can you interview?

Enjoy the summer. But, always look for writing ideas. Most publications work several months out. Have fun. Gather ideas. Then, write when the weather gets colder.

© Deborah Christensen

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Seeds of Truth: Proverbs 3:6

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:6, NLT

What does this verse mean to you? What does it say about God’s will? What does it say about following His guidance? How do you find God’s will? What role does His Word play? What role does prayer play? How do you know if it’s God’s will or your own will? How do you hear His voice? How do you live each day for Him?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about trusting God, God’s sovereignty, prayer, healing, illness, salvation of loved ones, marriage, parenting, pregnancy, singleness, family relationships, relationship struggles, work, finances, unemployment, current events, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, persecution, trials, etc.?
  • What other issues can you apply this verse to?

Seeds of Truth: John 14:13

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.”

John 14:13, NLT

What does this verse mean to you? What does it say about prayer? What about when God doesn’t answer a prayer the way you think He should? How do you respond to an answered prayer? How do you respond to an unanswered prayer? How can you bring glory to God through prayer? Through answered prayer? Through unanswered prayer?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about the prayer, healing, illness, salvation of loved ones, marriage, parenting, pregnancy, singleness, relationship struggles, work, finances, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, current events, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, persecution, trials, etc.?
  • What other issues can you apply this verse to?

Helping Aging Parents Navigate the Later Years

I am blessed to have my parents still with me. They are in their 80s and relatively healthy. But, they are slowing down. As their children, my sister and I help them with whatever they need. Other family members help, as well. A few weeks ago, their grandsons removed old railroad ties and pulled weeds from their back yard.

A couple of years ago, my mom was in the hospital. My dad walks with a cane and my mom occasionally needs a walker. Their physical limitations are growing but manageable. My mom still does laundry in their basement, refusing to allow us to help her with the stairs. They drive. And, they take care of my aunt, who lives in a nursing home. They want their independence.

How do you know when it’s time to step in? How do you help parents know when it’s time to stop driving, to move to an assisted-care facility or to get them in-home care? What are the healthcare options for aging parents? What do you do when you see signs of dementia? How do you help them without treating them like children?

We will encounter aging issues with our parents. How can we, as writers, help our readers know where to look for answers?

Share your own story. What worked for you? What didn’t work? What do you wish you had done differently?

Write a how-to piece. This will mean research. Talk to experts in the field and share their insights. Offer practical tips that your readers can use. Help them find the right government agencies, choose the right nursing home, find the best living situation that works best for their family.

Write a devotion. Use verses that talk about honoring parents and defending the defenseless. Help your readers understand that God commands us to care for our parents, forgive them for their mistakes and serve them until He calls them home.

Use fiction or poetry to share your insights. This is an indirect way to guide your readers as they deal with these issues.

Consider doing a tie-in to Mother’s Day. How has the meaning of Mother’s Day changed, now that your parents are aging? What are special ways to honor your aging mom?

As people live longer, more of us need direction to help our parents navigate the later years. Our parents took care of us. Now, it’s our turn. And, as writers, we can walk beside our readers because they’re navigating new territory, too.

© Deborah Christensen

 

Seeds of Truth: Psalm 60:12

With Gods help we will do mighty things…

Psalm 60:12, NLT

What help do you need from God? How do you learn to rely on God to take care of your needs? How do you put your faith in God to take care of you? What miracles have your seen in your life? How has God helped you to do mighty things? How do you trust Him to do mighty things through you? How does He help you when you feel insignificant? How do you learn to live in His power?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, aging parents, death of a loved one, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

 

Gleaning Writing Ideas from Election Issues

stars_and_stripesTomorrow, we head to the polls and vote. The policies that each candidate supports couldn’t be more different from each other. I’m not here to influence your vote. I want to help you look at some of the issues and find writing inspiration there.

Abortion

What can you write on this issue? How can you encourage your readers to protect the unborn and choose life? What stories can you tell?

Do you know a couple whose doctor suggested they abort their Down’s Syndrome baby but they didn’t? Tell their story. Do you know a woman who chose life for her unborn baby, even though it brought difficulty? Share her story. What about a woman who gave her child up for adoption in order to give the child life? Or, someone who was adopted? What about someone who survived an abortion? These are all stories you can offer to your readers.

Write about what really occurs during an abortion. Help readers know that the unborn baby is more than a “clump of cells.”

As Christians, we’re called to respect life. As writers, we can help our readers respect it, too.

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion hangs in the balance for this election. What can you write about this issue? How can you encourage your readers to fight for their Christian values?

Do you know anyone who was forced to violate their faith in the name of “tolerance”? What price did they pay if they refused? Tell their story. What value did the Founding Fathers place on religious freedom? Teach your readers how important it is and what consequences we face if we lose it.

We can help our readers fight for what belongs to us constitutionally.

Respect for the Military

Both active-duty military and veterans face issues that will be impacted by this election. From care at the VA to military readiness, they need our support.

Do a researched investigative report. Tell a personal story. Interview a military family. Help your readers understand the issues they face.

 

What are the issues that you’re passionate about this election? Supreme Court? Taxes? Immigration? Healthcare? The economy? Education? Write about these issues. Use them in your fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Don’t forget about them after the election is over. Continue to write and encourage your readers to stand up for what they believe.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged,

for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10, NLT

What makes you afraid? How do you turn your fear over to the Lord? How does that help you to not be afraid? What makes you feel discouraged? How do you turn away from discouragement and focus on God? How does that help you to not be discouraged? How does God strengthen you? How does He help you when you feel weak? How does God hold you up? How do you learn to trust God? How can you live a victorious life, even when you feel weak?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article? What tips can you offer?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, politics, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

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Other Olympic Stories to Inspire You

Olympic_Rings_clip_art_mediumThe Olympics are in full swing. We watched Michael Phelps break an Olympic record that has stood for over 2,100 years. It was set during the ancient Greek Games by Leonidas of Rhodes when he won 13 individual events. Michael Phelps won 15 individual events.

We also watched Simone Biles and the American gymnastic team soar to victory. Now, the track and field elites are taking to the track.

But, more inspiring stories keep coming out. They can inspire our writing long after the Olympics end.

Adoption

Simone Biles was born to a drug-addicted mother. After spending time in foster care with her sister, her grandparents adopted the girls. They are now Mom and Dad. Her life could’ve turned out very differently from what it is now. But because loving people surrounded her with love and stability, she’s an Olympic champion.

Adoption saves lives and changes them. Tell adoption stories, both from the adoptee’s perspective and that of the adoptive parents.

Go deeper. Why does a pregnant woman choose life for her baby? How does she decide which adoption option works best (open adoption, closed adoption)? What can you write to help her choose life for her baby?

How does an infertile couple deal with their infertility? How can they choose adoption? What are the advantages of adoption over other alternatives, including IVF? What are the pros and cons of overseas adoptions?

How can couples minister to children through foster care? What should they consider when choosing to adopt a child they fostered?

We can find so many different perspectives in the issue of adoption. It provides endless writing ideas.

Dealing with Injuries

Every Olympic athlete has faced some kind of injury at one time or another. It can break their career or make them stronger.

Tell stories of people who have overcome an injury. How did they do it? What medical steps did they need to take? What emotional toll did it take on them?

Again, go deeper. Help your readers know what to look for when seeking medical help for an injury? Give them guidance for when they can take care of themselves or when they need medical attention. Each injury is different. So is each medical approach.

When should they look into alternative medicine? What are the pros and cons? What factors should they consider when looking into surgery? What are the latest medical treatments for injuries?

Some Olympic stories can inspire our writing beyond the Olympics. We can find writing ideas in all aspects of the Olympics.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: Genesis 18:14

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Genesis 18:14, NLT

What are you facing that’s too hard for you? How can you turn it over to God? What does trust look like? How do you know when God is working in your life? What helps you stop trying to fix it yourself? How do you patiently wait for God to work?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article? What tips can you offer?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, relationship struggles, school, work, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, forgiveness, unplanned pregnancy, new baby, health issues, national disasters, politics, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

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Seeds of Truth: Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3, NIV (1984)

How do you commit the things in your life to the Lord? How does that affect your decisions? How do you know if the Lord is leading you in a certain direction? What do you do if you don’t want to follow His leading? How do you repent from refusing to follow His leading? What does a committed life look like?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, relationships, school, career, work, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, health issues, anxiety, finances, prayer, etc.?

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