Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs
Both sides of my family migrated to Detroit in the first half of the 20th Century. Both of my parents were born there. It is the place where our history, our culture, our collective memory, the proof of our existence to the physical world emanates from. Some have left, many have died. Others have remained to witness the horror, the transformation of a great community.
There are newcomers, such as Liana, who’s home is here because of Write A House. Here is her blog about her experience in Detroit.
I now do most of my writing from an upstairs room that overlooks most of my street. The room is stark, with freshly painted white walls (Thanks Write A House crew), a wooden desk and an aluminum folding chair. I’ve kept it bare to minimize distraction and maximize output. I am easily distracted. I lose focus. I am not one of those writers who can write comfortably anywhere, at any time. To get a place of pure, magical focus and creativity, I have to expend so much energy. But even a minimally decorated, quiet room has not stopped my mind from wandering elsewhere.
‘looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…’ Hebrews 12:2
Here are some tips that you can choose to apply to your writing. Decide for yourself.
Write so that your product will provide consumers with joy. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Write what is in your heart. Don’t write what you think people will like or to please other people. Follow your heart when you write and be true to who you are and what you want to say. Luke 6:45 A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.
Believe in your vision for what you want to write. The Apostle John was directed in writing the book of Revelation to “Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this.” Revelation 1:19
Learn the art of writing. Practice the discipline of writing. Proverbs 23:12 Apply yourself to discipline and listen to words of knowledge.
To communicate a message understand what you are saying. Be sincere, have a clear conscience, and seek to find the purist form in your words. Avoid abstract, vague, confusing language. The Apostle Paul uses this advice when sharing with Timothy how he should stay true to the message they are supposed to be teaching. 1 Timothy 1:5-7 Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6 Some have deviated from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on.
Think of your writing as a sacrificial gift to others, and expect to be paid what it is worth. Acts 20:35 includes part of the Apostle Paul’s direction to the church elders in Ephesus. In it he states “In every way I’ve shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”. Likewise when Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia he advised them similarly “For each person will have to carry his own load. 6 The one who is taught the message must share all his good things with the teacher. 7 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap,” Galatians 6:5-7a.
Apply careful investigation to what you write. The Gospel attributed to Luke begins with this explanation: “Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. 3 It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.” Luke 1:1-4
Have a clear and specific purpose for everything you write. Joshua 18:4 Provide for yourselves three men from each tribe that I may send them, and that they may arise and walk through the land and write a description of it according to their inheritance; then they shall return to me.
Write when you find yourself most challenged. Write when it seems like it’s the last thing you should do. When in doubt, write. No matter what excuse you have not to write, write anyway. Here in John 8:6 is an example of what Jesus did: “They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.”
Write for a higher standard. 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 “It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. 4 For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord.”
#1 Let me start with a question. Is the trendy “list topic” a passing fad that has already become vomit inducing tedium? I, for one, will say so. The use and abuse of this technique …
#1 Let me start with a question. Is the trendy “list topic” a passing fad that has already become vomit inducing tedium? I, for one, will say so. The use and abuse of this technique is as manipulative as it is banal. Who is our target audience for this drivel anyway? Anybody breathing, I’d argue. We can all agree that writing has its challenges. Attracting readership is at the top of that list. But lets all aim for better than yesterday’s marketing tricks.
#2 That’s so offensive! Trying not to offend anyone is a guarantee that you will offend just about everyone eventually, and they will get around to telling you about it. The problem with this goal is that your self-censorship leads to avoidance of risk, a search for middle-ground , and the inevitable ‘safe’ subjects which may have more value as cures for insomnia than interesting reading. And it doesn’t work. Reason one is that you cannot possibly know how others think, and that means you can’t predict how what you’ve written will be interpreted. I can be offended that you expected me to spend my precious time reading a piece that has no value to me whatsoever. How dare you?! Its perfectly acceptable if you set out not trying to offend, but just know not everyone else does. Its even better if you set out trying to be different, strive to share your unique perspective, and seek to find your own voice. Write for an audience of, one?
#3 Give Up. You give up? I give up. We all give up. Let’s make a list of all the times we have given up in our lives! Then invite all your friends to the pity party. It’ll be such a grand time. NOT. To misquote Nike, Just don’t do it.
#4 Here is an idea I just thought of, so I’m sticking it in here too. Remember, we’re all in this together, aren’t we? As fellow scribes, encourage one another. Make it a habit. Call it one non-stop campaign of mutual encouragement. We all need it. We all deserve it. But it ain’t gonna happen unless we make it happen. We can do it whenever we point out some aspect of what someone wrote that helped us, inspired us, informed us, or entertained us. Whenever you think about commenting, go ahead and do it. One short, simple comment that won’t take you more than a few seconds to make, could be the difference that leads to a breakthrough for someone. See #3 above.
#5 In the spirit of our theme for today, there is no #5 Happy Blogging
I like this one
After my initial experience with this new (to me) iPhone/iPad App, I thought I would share what I’ve learned.
First of all if you are unfamiliar with the Bloglovin’ service I would describe it as website that helps you find and follow great blogs. With the Apps, I am an Apple lover so please forgive my bias, I found it to be very convenient and fun way to get caught up inside the blogosphere. My caveat to this is a certain reticence to use Apps over my preference for Safari or Google Chrome on the web. I just feel that too many Apps are lacking to such a degree that it isn’t worth the bother. Know what I mean?
Anyway, here’s what I found: There are four master pages titled My Feed, Popular, Search and Me
A+, this really doesn’t seem like an App, it has a web-like feel to it.
A+, even better – there is a web option that allows you to view the blogs on the web!
B+, there is a handy menu button which drops down to reveal all your favorite blogs in My Feed.
B+, I like the handy share tab there too.
B+, the popular posts offer a terrific way of finding good blogs when you are pressed for time.
B+, great images.
C+, searching for blogs is clean, without advertisements and extraneous distractions from what you really want, to read blog articles.
C+, as an added plus the ‘Me’ page allows you to create your own blog.
NOT SO PLUSSES
C-, there is a feedback link to get input from users, though the response to users seems to be less than ideal
C-, some of ‘features’ are a little tricky to use and the instructions are not as ‘simple’ as I’d like.
As an avid supporter of WordPress for all the reasons you might imagine, I would say Bloglovin’ Apps are in the category of the “next best thing” and rate them as “recommended”.