Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction, August 18, 2014--Writing to Individuals

A Step in the Write Direction
August 18, 2014

Update: Our minister of music shared with us this morning about a man he visited in the hospital Monday who had cancer on his tongue and they had to remove three-fourths of it. The man wrote on a pad to him, “Now I have to learn how to talk all over again. I have to learn how to eat, and I can’t sing anymore.” He asked our minister to sing for him, and our minister said he wondered if he could only sing one more song, what it would be. He also shared how he had complained several days this week when their house was flooded. He then told the Lord he was sorry, and that he wanted to use his tongue just to praise Him. Someone wrote, “We sing ‘Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing,’ but we don’t use the one we have.” I’m praying that this week I will use my tongue to say positive and encouraging things only!...Asking for prayer for our daughter Patty who has a high white blood count and will be having a bone marrow test soon.

Thought for Today: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him” (1 Timothy 1:12 nlt).

Second Thought for Today: “You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward” (Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom).

Top of Form
Song for Today:
When thro’ the valley He calls me to go,
Jesus is all I need.
He will be with me to cheer me I know.
Jesus is all I need.
            “Jesus Is All I Need,” James Rowe, 1865-1933

Laugh for Today: Some think it would help juvenile delinquents by getting them interested in bowling.  But all that would do is get them off the streets and into the alleys.

Writer’s Tips: Writer’s Devotional (from unpublished book):

Writing to Individuals
The hand of the Lord was strong upon me….I came to
them…and I sat where they sat (Ezekiel 3:14-15 kjv).

Kay Arthur, Bible teacher and author, writes, “I am convinced that until we really see the world as people, we will never really have a true burden to pray.” We can read that last sentence as, “I am convinced that until we see our readers as individuals, we will never have a true burden to write.”

Ezekiel was commissioned by God to go to the children of Israel, a nation that had rebelled against God. But before he could be a spokesman for God, he had to sit where the people sat.

When we write, we shouldn’t look at our audience as a group of people; we should look at them as individuals much like us. Christ gave His greatest message—John 3:16—to one individual: Nicodemus.

Magazine editors often provide the results of a survey of their average reader, i.e., a woman, 30 years old, 2 years of college, 2 children, etc. I think of someone who fits that description and try to write with that person in mind. What is she going through? What is she interested in? What problems does she face? What are her dreams?

My high school International Relations teacher assigned the class to write a report on Russia. A few students read their papers, which consisted mostly of statistics—the country’s size in area, population, and so on. I took a typical Russian girl and described her day—beginning with the type of house she woke up in, how it was furnished, her breakfast, the clothing she wore, the school she attended, and evening chores. It was my goal to make her come alive to the class.

That should be our aim as writers. Years ago I could write an article on teen suicides—giving facts on how many are committed each year, signs to watch out for, and other statistics. But after a close relative took his life, I can now write from the pain and questions a family faces after such a tragedy.

Your readers want more than numbers. They want to know you sat where they are sitting, you feel what they are feeling, and you’ve survived. You don’t necessarily have to give them an answer, but you can point them to the One who is the answer!

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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