Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Psalms Ideas

Robin Jones Gunn, author of over 30 books, uses verses from the book of Psalms in many of her books. A couple of favourites are:

"And they who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe if Thy signs;
Thou dost make the dawn and sunset shout for joy."

- Psalm 65:8 (NASB), in her book titled SUNSETS.

"The voice of the Lord echoes from the clouds.
The God of glory thunders through the skies."

- Psalms 29:3, in her book titled ECHOES.

Both books are romances and had little to do with being preachy. Many other writers draw ideas and inspiration from this book and you can do it too. So, why don't you grab your bible, sit in a comfy place, and whisper a prayer. Then, open the book to Psalms and wander about.

One good way to be undaunted by the verse is to pick a verse or two that you like best and simply meditate on why you think the verse/s appear special to you. Then, pick only one or two essential words and do a freewrite using the word/s you chose.

You need not come up with a novel-length book the way Ms. Gunn did. Your special verse (or verses) from Psalms may be woven into a vignette, short story, or poem.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Writing in the New Year

Excuse me for being late in greeting you a happy new year - and for not writing much in this blog lately. Anyway, let me just share something I wrote one new year season... and have just recently updated.

"A goal is a dream with a deadline." - Leo B. Helzel

Every year, I come up with a fresh list of goals and dreams. I write these things down in my year-long organiser and review them on a regular basis. Every time a dream or goal is met, I put a check mark beside it and reward myself in a special way.

With this kind of approach, I have met over a hundred goals for the past 10 years (wherein I write about 12 to 15 goals a year). Through this, I acquired a sense of purpose in my day-to-day life. And, I was able to publish and sell several fiction, nonfiction, and poetry pieces for the past 15 years. But, the challenge continues...

One writer I have come across in an online writers group shared this insight -

"... despite having 2 other part-time jobs, a husband and 3 kids, a house with 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths and not having time to write every day, I've met 2 of my writing goals already this past year. I sold something to a big name magazine ("Guideposts") and sold a piece for over $100 (an article on teaching lefties in the classroom for "Christian Classroom")." - from Betty Winslow

And I say: Right (and Write) On!

Setting goals enable us to see if we're making any progress with our dreams, or if we're just in the 'wishful thinking mode'. So, as you review this year's accomplishments and setbacks, you may also want to try and set aside some time to set goals for this new year.

Here are some exercises that you may want to try out yourself:

1) List 5 things you wish to write about

2) From this list, pick one topic (e.g. "crayons"). Then write, "I want to write about (crayons) because..."

3) List 3 major writing goals (e.g. "Get a short story published this year in an online publication."). Just remember to set realistic but challenging goals.

4) Give yourself a deadline and a possible reward.

5) Complete this sentence: "One day, I hope I'd be a __________ writer. This will happen when..."

Now let me just wish you a wonderful 2006 - and may you meet many writing goals and dreams for this year and beyond.