Monday, October 22, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction--October 22, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction
October 22, 2012
While singing an old hymn at church recently, one line jumped out at me from the song “Constantly Abiding”—“All the world seemed to sing of a Savior and King when peace sweetly came to my heart. Troubles all fled away…” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when we became a Christian, our troubles all fled away? Unfortunately, as we know, this isn’t always the case, and we shouldn’t assure people of this when we’re witnessing to them. But, thank God, the line preceding it is true: “Peace sweetly came to my heart.” In the midst of illness, grief, financial worries, worries about our children, we can still have peace “in the midst of the storm.” (P.S. to this: I heard a great song this week by Jason Crabb titled “Sometimes I Cry” that really shows the humanness of being a Christian.”)
This has been a good week. My husband’s Coumadin level went up to 2.2 which is now normal, and we’re thankful for all the prayers. On Tuesday morning I spoke to a group of about 130 seniors on the topic “The Freedom of Letting Go.” One man told me it helped him let go of a state he didn’t want to leave, and another woman shared how it helped her let go of a child who was living a different lifestyle.
Thought for the Day:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. (Mark Twain)
Laugh for the Day:
Five year old Betty was taken to church for the first time. After the service, the preacher stopped her and asked her how she liked it. "I liked the music okay," said Betty," but the commercial was too long."
Writing Hints:
A writer working on her first book asked some interesting questions in a recent e-mail. Thinking some of you may have these same questions, I’ve included them in this blog.
How do you decide on a Table of Contents?
It helps to outline your book ahead of time, decide how many chapters you will have, and what the titles will be. If you've looked at my Web site, you’ve seen the chapter titles of my "Freedom of Letting Go" book. (If not, they are below.)
I had been collecting material for this book for years and pretty much had the topics in mind for the chapters (based on my own experience and the experiences of friends who shared with me). So the Table of Contents was pretty easy.
How do you choose a title?
For some reason the title usually comes to me first. Perhaps your book is related to a particular Scripture verse and you can use that, or a quotation that you put on a half title page, or the words of a song. Mainly, ask yourself, if you saw this title on a store bookshelf or in a catalog, would you want to pick it up?
The Freedom of Letting Go was easy, and I took the title of my writing book A Step in the Write Direction from the name of my daylong workshops I teach. Following are some titles from articles I sold:
“Water, Water Everywhere, but Not a Drop to Drink”—an article on water beds
“The Great Cover-Up”—an article on upholstering your furniture
“Breaker, Breaker”—a story about a neighbor with an irritating CB radio that bled into
our TV and my tape recorder.
“Breakdown in Buckeye”—a personal experience story about our car’s breakdown in
Buckeye, Arizona, on the way to California, and how the Lord answered prayer.
How do you write an Introduction and long should it be?
In my Freedom book I first gave the reason for writing the book (it took me 11 years to let go of my mother after she died), then summarized the contents of the chapters. In the final book, the Introduction was 4 pages.
A note here: It also helps if you can get a well-known person to write a Foreword. For “Freedom” I was lucky enough to get Dennis Hensley, the author of about 70 books. For A Step in the Write Direction," Sally Stuart wrote a beautiful foreword.
How do you write a bio?
First, the length depends on the publisher’s requirements. I have about 10 of various lengths, depending if it’s for writing or speaking. If any of you would like to see these samples, email me at:
Have a great week, and may God’s peace be with you,
no matter what you’re going through. Remember,
sometimes God stills the storm; other times
He chooses to walk through the storm with you.
The Freedom of Letting Go
1 Letting Go of Grief
Do you have trouble saying good-bye to a loved one — a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend? You can let go and move on.
2. Letting Go of Failures — Your Own and Other People’s
Sometimes it’s easier to let go of other people’s failures than it is your own. You can do both.
3. Letting Go of Your Successes
Do you keep reminding yourself and others of your successes? Are these successes in man’s eyes or God’s? Your talents are only on loan from God.
4. Letting Go of Possessions
Do you have an addiction to credit cards? Learn how to simplify your life and break the habit of craving material things to bring you happiness.
5. Letting Go of the Hurts in Your Life
Do hurtful words and actions keep spinning in your head? Do you relive the pain over and over? Put these hurts in the “forgiven” file.
6. Letting Go of Your Children
Are you experiencing the empty nest syndrome? Have your children strayed from your teachings? Let go, and leave them in God’s hands.
7. Letting Go of Health Issues
Is your main topic of conversation an “organ recital”? Do you worry about your family’s health? Let Scripture be your guide instead of
8. Letting Go of Your Youth
Do clerks offer you the senior discount ten years early? Does getting old depress you? Learn how to look in the mirror and laugh!
9. Letting Go of Guilt
Even though you know God has forgiven you, do past sins come back to haunt you? You can leave them all at the cross.
10. Letting Go of Control
Do you always have to be in charge? Does it bother you when someone else is? Accept the fact that God is in control — and He does a much better job.
11. Letting Go of Worry
If worry was an Olympic event, would you take home the gold medal? Turn them over to God and relax.
12. Letting Go of Doubt
Have your family and friends nicknamed you “Thomas”? Accept God’s promises and know that His foundation stands sure (2 Timothy 2:19 kjv).
13. Letting Go of Fear
Are you fearful of tomorrow? There are 365 “fear nots” in God’s Word — one for each day of the year. Select one and make it your own.
The Land Beyond Letting Go
Now that you’ve let go of the things holding you back, discover what can take their place so you can “press on toward the goal” (Philippians 3:14 niv).
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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