“ENCOURAGING PUZZLE PIECES” is the topic this month. Rebecca McLafferty and Susan Marlene are team teaching on writing encouragement in the midst of a pandemic. When our lives are altered what can we do to lift others from their doldrums? We will all have time to share our pieces of the puzzle.
PROMPT: Something encouraging during the pandemic – you choose the title and focus for your genre. Where would you send your piece of encouragement? (Words you can use if you want them: doldrums, frustrations, pluck, valor, strife, victorious)
Have you ever worked on a 1000-piece puzzle that seemed impossible? One that didn’t hold boldly varied colors and angles but only a misty blending of similar swirling tones and non-defined shapes? Sometimes that is how life feels. We can’t seem to make sense of the trials and limitations that bind us to our homes or circumstances.
That’s why it is so beneficial to be a writer.
Writing offers sweet release. Let’s consider this more thoroughly. Have you discovered that focusing on others when sharing the lessons you’ve learned through a painful trauma somehow takes a portion of the sting away? To have a purpose—a goal—to make stronger or wiser those who may experience the same stressful situations can be quite soothing—for them and for you.
I start with prayer! There is such a big bad world out there, with many needy people who are looking for entertainment, guidance, hope, comfort, and encouragement. So, I suggest that we begin by picking who we wish to reach.
Pre-school, grade-schoolers, Jr. High, High school, or adults? The elderly? Now narrow this down to educated with some college, or high school proficiency? Uneducated- who needs more straightforward wording and more photos or artwork? How about those with hobbies such as fishing, travel, cooking, sewing, biking, camping, etc. the list goes on.
Once you choose the who, then decide what you wish to communicate? Will you teach something worthwhile or entertain them? Even with fiction, there is problem-solving demonstrated that the reader examines to see if they can apply the hero’s techniques so that they can win in their lives. The drive to survive is powerful, and we search for ways to become stronger or wiser when difficulties descend upon us. That is what our minds do— they are always searching for survival and to be empowered and successful.
Now you need to know where. Yes, where can you write this fantastic stuff that will benefit the world or even a small tribe of readers? I suggest that you look to writing for your political party, historical societies, newspapers or examine the Christian Writers Market Guide for short stories, periodicals, or self-publishers or traditional publishers.
Outline your ideas. Take your pen in hand and write down your first thought. Draw a line out from that central idea and add another and then the next and the next. I’m sure a plan will develop right before your eyes. We often wait until we have it all in our brains before we start. But I say just start and see what your minds come up with!
During this pandemic, I chose to write a book/author review on a Bible study that I want people to know about. YOUR BEAUTIFUL PURPOSE by Susie Larson reaches down into our hearts because she is vulnerable and transparent, and her own healing relationship with the Lord shines through. Her giving of her self and how she connected with the Lord through tremendous trials gave the people in our Bible study group hope. Hope in the middle of trials and discouragement. That we would walk in courage and His Truth during our separate trials and pain. I didn’t sell this. I offered it freely on my website, but I probably could have. There is no shame in that. Selling our work will reach different readers.
Particular “apples of gold in settings of silver” ways of sharing are:
Humorous cards to encourage the downtrodden.
Poetry for someone—whatever the situation—happy, sad, or in-between.
Letters or notes of appreciation for who others have been to you!
All of these examples present encouragement that you may offer. Assisting others to put their puzzle pieces together for those in need of comedy, direction, courage, or truth among other worthy topics!
What writing have you been working on? If you’ve not started on a project nipping at your mind, what venue are interested in? Can we offer suggestions for you to aim your though like an arrow so that you can hit your bullseye?
Let’s share what we are working on or what we wish to—if you want to! I can look through the Christian Writers Market Guide to see if we can find your target location! I highly suggest getting one of these books for yourself for they are very helpful!
Words are not just words. They are thoughts and inspiration that have been behind every relationship and every deed--good or bad throughout time. If you have that burning desire to communicate and explore, come peruse my pages, teachings, and short stories. Allow inspiration to anchor your dreams on the written pages of memoirs, devotions, poems, or stories, both short or long! Luxuriate in the creativity you were born to share!
Sarah Grosskopf is a beta reader, writer, and copywriter extraordinaire! I highly recommend Sarah and have known her for years. She has taught and encouraged Pens of Praise members with her humor, instinct, and highly praised skill sets. So you may consider this an invitation to discover details about Sarah Grosskopf. Here is a link to her website!