Thursday, 7 July 2016
Writing: Who? What? How? by Mandy Baker Johnson
After a decade of writers' angst, I made the decision to just get on with it. To help me, I've typed out some statements and pinned them on the noticeboard by my desk.
Write for an Audience of One
I have a bad habit of posting a link to my latest blog offering on various social network feeds and within seconds revisiting each one to check if anyone has liked, commented or retweeted. Not good.
It can knock my confidence if there's little response. If I get ten likes, I need a bigger hat size.
I suspect it will take a while to break this habit, it's deeply ingrained. But I want to write for an audience of One. It's His opinion that really matters.
If Jesus was physically sat in front of my laptop reading my blog post and He turned and gave me a delighted grin at the end, my heart would sing and dance and I wouldn't give a toss what anyone else thought. Just because I can't see Him reading it doesn't mean He isn't.
Write from the Heart
I have a tendency to skip over issues and write what I think I'm meant to write as a Christian, rather than being real and pouring out what's really in my heart. That may sometimes be messy, but people recognise and relate to authenticity. It can be surprising what's there when you look under the surface.
I'm learning (slowly) to listen to the Holy Spirit. He's nudging me for a reason. When I sense a check in my spirit or my heart burns, I take a minute to see what He is saying. Sometimes it means hitting the delete button. Other times inspired words fly from my fingertips.
Paul talked about being a co-worker with God. We are called to be co-writers with Him.
I must be honest and admit that I am one of my own favourite writers. I'm cringing as I type that, but it is true and no use pretending otherwise.
But sometimes the words I put together are boring and my eyes skip over them to get to the good bits. So why do I keep the boring bits in?
If I'm bored, so will my readers be. I need to write what I want to read.
My aim is to partner with the Holy Spirit so that He can bring fruit from my writing to delight the Father's heart and glorify Jesus.
Mandy Baker Johnson is a self-employed medical secretary and freelance writer. She enjoys blogging and has recently co-authored a book Drawn from Words. She volunteers with a Christian charity working with women in the sex industry.
'Girl cupping face' photo by Stuart Miles used with permission via Free Digital Photos.