Monday, September 15, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--September 15, 2014--Writing in Your Own Voice

A Step in the Write Direction

September 15, 2014

Update: As usual, it’s been a mixed emotion week. On the good side,  I received my shipment of The Little Book of Big Laughs¸ 105 pages of clean jokes. This pocket-purse-sized book will make a great gift for your fun-loving friends, or even for your pastor for sermon illustrations ($5, plus s&h)….I also received word that my book Rhyme-Time Bible Stories for Little Ones will be released in January 2016. Sounds like a long way away. (Hope I’m still kicking by then J.)…On the not-so-good side, my 61-year-old nephew in Michigan had a massive stroke last week and has been on life supports. The family will meet today to decide whether to disconnect him. Pray for my sister, his wife and children, and the 7 brothers and sisters. Thanks!

Thought for the Day: “Writing a book is like washing an elephant. There’s no good place to begin or end, and it’s hard to keep track of what you’ve already covered” (Merit Variety Puzzle and Games, October  2014, p. 58).

Song for the Day:
His word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well.
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
            “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” Helen Howarth Lemmel

Laugh for the Day: A group of people was shipwrecked on a desert island.  After many months, a passing ship saw their plight and sent a smaller boat ashore.  One of the sailors threw a bundle of newspapers on the beach and shouted, "After you've read the news, the captain wants to know if you still want to be rescued."

Comment on last week’s blog:
Your words on getting caught up in the structure reminded me of a time I got away from  relaxed storytelling and writing in a more lofty way. I had been reading a lot of C. S. Lewis at the time and being the mimic I unintentionally am, I changed my way of writing without realizing it for a while. I am, at heart, a story teller and when I get away from the easy flow, I don't think it does my writing any favors. Because any other style isn't me. It isn't authentic.
                                                — Pat Rowland

This goes along with this week’s writer’s devotion:

Writer’s Tips: (from unpublished writer’s devotion book)

Use Your Own Armor
Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of  armor on him and a bronze
helmet on his head. David fastened  on his sword over the tunic and tried walking
around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off  (1 Samuel 17:29-40).

A friend who had been healed of a disease he had suffered from for many years asked a ghostwriter to write his story. The finished product showed excellent writing skills but because the author did not know the subject personally, much of my friend’s personality didn’t shine through. Those who had heard him share his testimony would naturally look for the same passion in the pages of a book.

My friend then asked another writer to rework the book. The new author tried to keep as much of the original author’s material as she could. But neither she nor my friend was happy with the result. She then completely rewrote it, using the style of writing she was most comfortable with. “That’s exactly what you wanted, isn’t it?” my  friend’s wife asked him after they both had read the manuscript.” “It sure is!” he responded enthusiastically.

Many times I have read someone’s writing that I admired, and tried to copy their style. My finished product always seemed to come out stilted, however, and it didn’t sound like me—or the message God gave me to write. It took a while, but I finally learned to “write like me.”

I read an article one time that sounded like it was written by a good friend, but the byline was another name. Later that year I received a Christmas card from this person with a copy of the same article. She had used her pen name! She had a “voice” I recognized, even though the name was different.

God has given you a talent, a style of writing that fits you! No one else can write His message in quite the same way. Nor can you copy someone’s else style and make it sound like you.

Just as David felt uncomfortable in King Saul’s armor and took it off, then went out to slay the giant with a slingshot, today use your own writing voice to give the world the message they so desperately need to hear.

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

Donna Clark Goodrich



  1. It sounds like you had a good writer's week. I will pray for your nephew and his family,

  2. Thank you for your comment, and also for your prayers. I really appreciate them!

  3. Thanks for this encouraging blog. Blessings, Cass Wessel

  4. Thanks, Cass. I'm enjoying writing them far more than I thought I would!