Stuck at home during the coronavirus? With shelter-in-place orders announced in multiple states across our nation (and in the world), many of us are confined to our homes and yards except for the “essential” trip to the grocery store. I realize it may be hard to concentrate, but maybe this is the moment you’ve been waiting for to finally get out a pen and paper or your computer and write.
What has God put in your heart? What ideas have been knocking around in your head for weeks, months, even years? I find most people avoid writing simply because they don’t know how to take that great idea and convert it into a blog or book or screenplay. Here are four keys to writing development that will help make that writing project — finally — a reality.
1. What do you want to say?
This goes beyond “what do you want to write about.” Maybe you want to write about your interesting childhood. That’s fine… but what do you want to say about that childhood? That it prepared you to live through the Coronavirus without fear? That it taught you to thank God in every situation? What do you want to say?
2. Who do you want to say it to?
Just like you speak to your four year-old daughter differently than your teenage son, your audience greatly determines writing style and even choice of words. Solidify who you are writing to before you start and then write for that target audience.
3. What medium are you writing in?
What’s your end goal for this piece? Will it be an online blog? A print book? A screenplay for a movie? Learn the ins and outs of that medium and apply it to your writing.
For example, a blog will typically have a more relaxed feel to it than a book. Word choice, length, structure — they all vary depending on the type of writing project.
4. What is your goal or call to action?
Sometimes this is as simple as how you want people to feel when they come to the end of your novel or the screen fades to black after a movie. Happy? Uplifted? Thoughtful?
Other projects may literally have a call to action built in. For example, if you’re helping people cope while sheltered at home, you might offer a phone number or a text-to number where the reader can literally “take action” to receive prayer and support.
We don’t yet know what life will look like once we’re past the Coronavirus crisis, but we can determine how we’re going to live through it. That great idea God has planted in your soul may be exactly what people need to hear in this time of fear and uncertainty. Develop the concept and get busy and write.
“A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.” (Proverbs 18:4, NLT)