Overcoming Writer’s Block

Overcoming Writer’s Block

Has this ever happened to you?You’re all excited about writing an article, report, or book. You open up a fresh document on your computer. You type in your file name, maybe a title, maybe even a few sentences.

But then it feels like your brain shuts down. Suddenly you find yourself just staring at a nearly blank screen. The words don’t come.

Uh oh, you have writer’s block.

If you do any writing at all, you’ll probably experience writer’s block from time to time.

Here’s how to overcome it…

Of course, prayer is always the first order of business. Relax and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and remind you of what He wants to say.

Then here are some additional practical tips.

Get Inspired

Sometimes you get stuck simply because you’re tired of looking at the same four walls, the same computer screen, etc. It helps if you can do something to kick start your creativity and give your brain a change of scenery. For example:

  • Put on music that inspires you.
  • Get out of your usual office and go someplace completely different, like a park or a coffee shop.
  • Spend 15-30 minutes doing something different, such as exercising (which will make you feel better).

Copy a Good Piece of Text

This is a way to force your brain to get in the “groove” of writing well. Simply take a passage from one of your favorite authors and start copying it by hand. You can also copy poetry, good sales letters, or anything else that’s well-written.

Naturally, you’re not using this content for anything. You’re just jump starting your own creative process by really thinking about someone else’s well-written piece.

Write Anything That Comes to Mind

Another way to get over writer’s block is to just start writing anything that pops into your head. If you have to write about this week’s grocery list, fine.

If you have to start off writing, “I don’t know what to write” two dozen times across the top of the page, fine. But the point is, just get your fingers moving across the keyboard. After about 20 minutes, your mental “log jam” should be broken up and your creativity released.

Create a Piece About Something Else Entirely

Sometimes it helps to write about something else that isn’t even remotely related to the thing that you need to write about.

So if you need to write an article about Christian Living, you can start by writing an article about how to tie your shoes. Or if you need to create a knowing who you are in Christ, then write a story about how you met your significant other.

Again, this is just a way to loosen up your creativity and get those fingers moving across the keyboard. Once you turn to the piece you do need to write, it will likely go much more smoothly.

Start in the Middle

Have you ever noticed that the introduction is often the hardest part to write? That’s because you use it to give a sneak peek at what the rest of the article, report or ebook is about. But if you haven’t yet written the rest of the content piece, then it’s easy to get stuck on the introduction.

The solution is simple: Start in the middle.

Just skip the intro and go straight to the next paragraph or the first chapter. Then you can do the introduction last, which makes it much easier since now you know exactly what all topics you covered in the rest of the piece.

In sum…

Every writer gets the dreaded writer’s block from time to time. However, don’t let it slow you down.

Next time your brain is moving like molasses, just use the tips above to jump start the creative process!

Great Writing: Story Telling

Great Writing: Story Telling

You know the old proverb that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That is so true. People are visual, and because of that a picture – especially a picture explained in detail – will get points across better than lots and lots of talk.

That’s why Jesus used parables to deliver the truth. He was a master at the tool of story-telling.

So let’s take a look at how we can incorporate that tool into our writing.

Here’s why it works:

Stories make people pay attention. Indeed, people pay huge sums of money to read stories (novels) and watch them (movies).

Stories make people remember. If you want to teach something to someone, tell a story. That’s why the world’s most famous teaching tool, the Bible, is packed full of stories.

Stories tap into emotion. You can’t convince your readers to hear your advice until they feel something emotionally. So what better way to put them in the right emotional state than by telling them a story!

You can see the benefits. But maybe you’re wondering how this works for you.

Indeed, one of the best places to tell a story is on your blog. And that’s because it gives you the opportunity to really connect with your readers.

Here’s how to create a story-telling blog post…

Hook Your Readers Immediately

Forget about an article that starts by telling the readers what they’re going to learn. Instead, jump right into your story. And engage the reader’s senses whenever possible.

Example: Perhaps you’d start a Marriage-Help article like this: “Suzy felt hopelessness wash over her. Every Monday morning seemed to be the same. There were these issues between them that they just couldn’t seem to discuss. Their attitudes toward money. Their attitudes toward the children. They seemed to disagree on so much!”

Transition From Story to Facts and Benefits 

Now you need to start tying your story into the points you wish to make.

So often people who face these hard times want to give up and think there is no hope for their marriage.

Yet you are armed with scriptures and wisdom from God about prayer and faith. You can use this story to share testimonies of people who have faced worse but who have trusted God and entered into a new era of excellence in their marriage.

Conclusion 

The truth is, story-telling is just one way to turn your blog posts into great teaching moments – without being pedantic. When people engage in the pictures portrayed in these stories, they are able to see the hope offered them.

What is Awakening?

What is Awakening?

What exactly  is awakening? Have you thought about that question? As Christians, we want it – and we are all looking for it to happen. Yet what does awakening mean? And what does it look like?

Most serious Christians bemoan the condition of our world as it is. We see ideas and actions removing boundaries we once thought were permanent, and we see an emphasis on many religions other than Christianity. How did we get here and how do we turn it around?

Most Bible scholars who are praying and listening for God’s direction see a Great Awakening coming to America and to the world. So what will it be like?

First of all, this awakening will involve many who are Christians waking up to the reality of who Jesus is and how important He really is in their lives. Their love, which might have grown cold, will return, along with their desire for His will to be done. Their faith will rise up as they turn their hearts back to God.

The second part of this awakening will be for many new believers to come on the scene. Many who have known about Jesus all of their lives, but who haven’t really known Him personally, will wake up to the fact that He is real and He wants to be their Savior also. And their lives will change dramatically, turning to the One True God for their answers.

Then society will begin to change. There are those who will never receive Jesus, of course, and those people will be determined to continue down the road of destruction. Yet there will be a change, because the righteous will have more of a sway on laws and customs in society. They won’t tolerate the greed, the corruption, and the evil which is so accepted today. God’s love and wisdom will have more of a presence.

So how does this happen? It happens one person – one soul – at a time.

Current expectations always involve huge crowds and massive actions, but that’s not the only way it happens. Even if a huge crowd is there hearing a powerful message, salvation or rededication comes one person at a time. Each individual heart has to make the choice to accept Jesus on its own. One person – and then another – and then another.

One thing we have to overcome is what I call a “spectator mentality.” We sit in the stands and watch our teams play their games. We sit in churches watching and listening while the preachers preach and the singers sing. We sit in front of our TV’s and watch celebrities perform. Oh, it’s even worse than that. Now we watch other people live their lives in the Reality TV craze.

We have become watchers and not doers.

Yet awakening will change that. As people turn to Jesus, they will have a zeal that will bubble over into every aspect of their lives. People at work, at school, and at home will see the changes – the love, the joy, the faith – and they will want to know more. Then also the newly revived ones will be eager to share their newfound zeal. They will be witnessing as they go – wherever they go.

That’s what real awakening will look like. In the 60’s and 70’s, there was an incredible revival of Holy Spirit and the Word. During that time, many non-denominational churches were founded and organizations like Full Gospel Businessmen and Women’s Aglow were started. There was revival all around.

Significantly, the many people who were impacted by that revival came to the Lord through the influence of friends and family. There were large meetings, of course, as there are always when God is front and center. But the majority of people came to Jesus because of the testimonies and lifestyle changes of their friends.

That’s why you and I are so important. As the coming awakening ramps up, our stories will be significant- and our willingness to share with others will be crucial. Some will make their decisions in large meetings, for sure, but they will need people along side of them to answer questions, to pray with them, and to encourage them in their walk.

So as we look forward to this next great revival, let’s get off the bench and get into the game. All of us are needed. That’s how it has happened in past awakenings, and that’s how it will happen this time.

All hands on deck. A thrust of God’s people fulfilling His call – praying, witnessing, and encouraging those around them. A thrust of God’s people fulfilling His vision for His world.