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It can be confusing…

Facebook sells it’s content to Google, who then sells it to marketing companies, and then your content is copywritten forever and you wonder…

Should I not use social media for my writing?

It’s hard to say, but one thing is for certain, many publishing companies and agents are expecting serious writers to already have these things in place. And worse, egads! To actually have…large volumes of FRIENDS!

How do you manage social media without having it take over your life?

What is a good quality social media life anyway? Can one really exit?

And if one does, is there life after the death of the respectable reservedness that writers need to keep creativity juices safely flowing?

How do I say what I am doing as a writer, without writing what I am planning to include in my book, article, or next up-and-coming best seller?

These answers and more will be answered in our next Life Group meeting, this Saturday, March 3rd at Christ Fellowship’s Garden Campus.

Helping you to write more effectively,

Angelfire

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A writer is born…

“I need money,” my teen begged from the doorway of my office.

“And..I-I-I-I need some writing done. You wanna do it?” I jokingly begged back with a laugh. I knew my son hated writing, and besides, this was a good way to make him think hard about asking me for some flow again while typing away.

The air from his sign made my hair move in the exhale of wind. He looked me in the eye and said, “Okay. Fine. I’ll write.”

My body froze from shock but I sat up and walked away from the computer. “Have at it ‘ghostwriter’.” I motioned my hand to the chair and stepped back to watch.

He took the seat.

“What do I write?” His eyes focused on the glaring computer screen. His shoulders lifted close and snug towards his chest.

“Ah…just start typing; whatever lands, can be edited.”

“Okay. But I warn you, I hate writing.”

“I hear ya.”

Clickety-click. (Pause) Clickety-click-click-click. (Sigh)
Clickety-click-click-clickety-click-click-click. Tap-tap-tap.

Thirty minutes of playing popcorn fingers racing across a keyboard filled the room. Two eyebrows met in the middle of a forehead, while dark eyes squinted, and lips licked by a pink tongue.

“Done. But you’re correcting my spelling. And don’t send this off to anyone without checking it.”

I walk behind his back and look down at the screen. Then, I lean in for a scroll and eye scan on the page. The years I’ve spent as an English professor and writing coach has made me an excellent scanner. Although, I have to admit, I didn’t not expect the surprise I received.

“Kiddo. I think you’re a writer.”

“Oh, no.” He lamented head down and eyes closed.

“Yep. A writer is born.”

Have you just come to a point where you know you have to write, but just don’t know where to start?

Or, have you been told that you should write?

If you were encouraged just a little bit, would you take the risk and jot down what came to mind?

Perhaps the simpliest step a new budding writer can take is just to start…

And then, next thing you know…amidst typos, spelling errors, and all manner of wordiness…

The content won’t be half bad. In fact, it might be pretty decent accusing you of a new birth as a WRITER.

Creation mimics the Creator when writing takes place.   

God uses words to…

Create. God spoke creation into existence.  God’s word transforms.

Protect.  The word of God is quick and sharp. It divides between joint and the marrow.

Instruct.  He writes His law on our hearts. His word is a light to the feet.

Comfort. He uses words to heal. The Holy Spirit speaks on our behalf when we can’t find words.

Record history.  In the beginning was the word. The word was with God.  The word was God.

Live. His Son is the message.

Breathe. The Bible is the Living Word of God.

The Writer uses words to…

Create. Write characters into existence; Transform meaning into song.

Protect.  Create story lines with purpose for righteous living.

Instruct.  Teach others about life. Create inspiration for living.

Comfort.  Express sympathies and condolences; provide messages of hope.

Record history.  With birth charts and eulogies, biographies, and autobiographies.

Live. Fellowship with other writers; grow and learn from workshops and groups.

Breathe. Connect with the world in words to exist in harmony and be seen.

Post Courtesy of Contributing Writer: Beth Willis Miller, writer, speaker, creative thinking specialist from Lakeland, Florida. She can also be visited on her blogpage http://bethwillismiller.blogspot.com/

When I am experiencing writer’s block, what I call, “analysis paralysis,” I like to apply the power of creative imagination for inspiration. When I served as the Florida Department of Education State Consultant for Gifted Education, I was frequently asked to provide technical assistance to school districts regarding strategies to improve creative and critical thinking skills for students. I have identified some of those strategies to inspire us to pursue our passions by thinking creatively using our imagination. Imagination is a powerful entity. It can cause the hair on the back of our neck to stand up, our spirit to soar, or our face to blush. Imagination is the power that holds our beliefs together; we believe with our imagination. Imagination is the wellspring of faith and hope. Our biggest and best dreams for ourselves and others rise from the imagination.

Why not think about applying the power of your creative imagination to inspire you as you pursue your passions? Kick-off your creative imagination about your passion with several “In What Ways Might I” creative thinking questions related to your passion. Reword the question several different times, writing down whatever comes to your mind, such as:
 
  • In What Ways Might I pursue my passion for…
  • In What Ways Might I more effectively pursue my passion for…
  • In What Ways Might I find more time to pursue my passion for…
  • In What Ways Might Ifind encouragement to pursue my passion for…
  • In What Ways Might Ifind money to pursue my passion for…
  • In What Ways Might I find opportunities to pursue my passion for… 
Keep asking yourself this open-ended “In What Ways Might I” question related to your passion, allowing your creative imagination to flow from your mind onto the page. You will be amazed at how your continual re-wording of the question will increase your creative thinking skills of Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration—the four primary strategies for developing and improving creative thinking or imagination as you connect your creative imagination to pursuing your passions.
 
Fluency is the ability to think of many answers to a question, to list many possible solutions to a problem, or to generate a number of responses. Fluency is being able to think of lots of plans or ideas. You are fluent when you can:
·         Think of a long list of reasons for…
·         Make a very long list of…
·         List many uncommon uses for…
 
Flexibility is the ability to change your way of thinking about a problem or situation. It is the ability to think of alternative ideas and to adapt to different situations. You are flexible when you can:
·         Think of an alternative to…
·         Think of another way to…
·         Invent an interesting way to…
 
Originality is the ability to think of fresh or unusual designs, ideas, responses, or styles. People who are original are independent and creative in their thoughts and actions. They create things that are new, different, or unique. You are original when you can:
·         Suggest a unique name for…
·         Devise a tool that will help…
·         Design a…
 
Elaboration is the process of expanding an idea by adding detail. To elaborate, you must understand the original idea and see a way to clarify or improve it by adding specific details. You are elaborating when you add to, enlarge, enrich, or expand descriptions, designs, drawings, explanations, instructions, reports or stories. You are using elaboration when you can:
·         Add extra details to…
·         Tell more about…
·         Explain the instructions to…
 
Remember, your imagination is a powerful entity, your biggest and best dreams rise from your imagination. Begin today to ask the open-ended “In What Ways Might I” question related to your passion, and you will be amazed at how your creative thinking skills of Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration expand and enhance your imagination as you are energized to pursue your passions with enthusiasm. 
 
You can apply your creative imagination to any circumstance you face. As adults, when we have been hurt, our imagination is wounded. As a result, alienation and belief in bad news replace belief in good news.
 
  • We may have a feeling responsethat can become frozen into resentment.
  • We may have an anger responsethat can become frozen into negative reactions of rage or passivity.
  • We might have an interpretation response that can become frozen in negative attitudes, perceptions, biases, and beliefs.

As a result, our imagination becomes paralyzed. Attending to our wounded imagination is a path through forgiveness. Forgiveness expands our horizons and invites us to retrieve the positive and work through the negative. Is the glass of water half-full or half-empty? The answer depends entirely on how you see it. “How you see it” is called “perception.” There is the story about the blind men and the elephant. Each man named and described the animal according to his experience of touching only one part of the elephant’s body. The man who held the trunk “perceived” the elephant to be a large snake; the man who held the leg “perceived” the elephant to be a sturdy tree. In the same way, we “perceive” life—depending on what our experience is. Our experiences generate our expectations and our perceptions. We interpret life experiences, and we form expectations and perceptions, attitudes and assumptions.

All of this activity is the work of the imagination. It is likewise the work of the imagination to reinterpret and reform repeated assumptions and expectations. Forgiveness demands that we take another look so that our imagination can reframe our narrow interpretations. Forgiveness includes the decision to refocus or enlarge the context…walk a mile in another’s shoes. When we enlarge the context, we refocus, or we see it through a wider lens. Imagination is the work of seeing through a wider lens.

If we stick to a negative interpretation of an old offense, we will experience resentment whenever we think about it, or about the offender. We will never be able to grieve and let go; we will seesaw between rage and resignation; we will never allow anger to surface and put us back on the journey of forgiveness. If we insist on telling and retelling our bad news stories of the past, we simply recycle the bad news and pass it on to the next generation. We pollute the emotional environment; we remain stuck in lifeless memories instead of looking for a more positive side of things long past. 
 
When you enlarge your perceptions, using your creative imagination, you at least allow for the possibility of healing. You give yourself the opportunity to turn from the negative aspects of your past, to get rid of the excess baggage, and to face the journey into the future with hope.
 
Now it’s your turn. This is your time, this is the day, right now. In what ways might you choose to use your creative imagination to spur you on to pursue your passions?(c) 2011 beth willis miller

Write with Focus

The focus of writing is not the craft itself, but the message that the writer wishes to pass along. Like a torch of knowledge,  or the sharing of experience, words communicate meaning, create mood, elevate spirits and generate momentum.

There are times I stare blankly at the white space. There’s nothing inside to connect me to the universe, or another human being. Has this ever happened to you?

I have read that writing is the nearest acknowledgement to the creative energy  God has placed within those compelled to write.

What to do when the words won’t come? I dig deeper into scripture and pray for rejuvenation of the writer in me. I read the words of the prophets, the apostles and remember that the purpose of my writing comes from God. He alone helps me in times of trouble.

I seek the Author and Finisher of my Faith for fulfillment of my purposes. He sees me seek Him and helps me find the message I’m intended to write today. Truth be told, my words, my story don’t really belong to me. My purpose is to serve and honor Him with my writer’s voice.

As a Christian first, and writer second, I sew together words with meaning all for His glory.

Writing is a numbers game.

  • Write a page a day.
  • Edit a page a day.
  • Read a page of something every day.
  • Get in a group of at least two other writers.

Every day, every moment, a number applies to writing. When a person says that they are stuck in the writing momentum, I say, write about it. Spend five minutes, or an hour, writing what it is that isn’t coming to you in a thought, an idea or an inspiration.

Do anything, but I beg of you do not let the numbers on the clock pass by without some other word-number balancing out the difference.

Next thing you know, your words, the writing, the ideas, the energy will all add up.

Angelfire

One of the biggest challenges I face in my writing life is organizing my creative spurts of inspiration.

These explosions of mismanaged creativity are natural occurences that are common to all writers. Spurts of inspirational thought of plot, character, and verbage come at any time. To try and not lose the opportunity, I write on scraps of paper, or send myself a quick text message. Sometimes I’ve written in book margins, or a post it note.

I have progressed to having a folder to place these precious scraps of future greatness. However, since my general personality is to be structured and organized, I require more order than most to begin writing. If I feel disorganized, my thoughts are jumbled and I just can’t concentrate until there’s some semblance of organization set in place.

Here’s the tools of the trade that seem to be working well for me.

1. File folders labeled either by subject (ie poetry, novel title, revision work etc.) I use the file folder system when I’ve written anything out that I’ve decided to print and go back again to look over. This is extremely helpful since I often times have more than one writing project to work on at a time.

Whatever has been revised by a friend, or writers group, I place into the revision folder. So, when I have time to strictly revise, I just pull that bad boy out and viola! Revision magic!

2. Post it notes, pens, and paper clips. I label all pending projects with a post it note and write what it is that I need to do. This way, if something has sat for a while, and I don’t remember what I had planned for it. I can easily have my memory refreshed.

3. One student folder with pockets. I use the pockets to place my random notes into for later entry date. One side of the folder is for pieces I’ve never used at all. The other side of the folder is for the scraps that I’ve used but think that I may want to recycle and use again for another date. I know you writers understand how hard it is to just let the scraps of writing go! 🙂

Hope this helps others struggling with the organization phenomena!

Angelfire