For many years during my writing career, I suffered from guilt whenever I took time off from writing. I needed to be at my typewriter (laptop) pecking away at the keys. What was I accomplishing in a literary sense if I wasn’t? On the other hand, what was I accomplishing by staring at my typewriter paper or my laptop screen all day, struggling after ideas and stories ? Nothing, nothing at all.
I’ve since learned that little breaks are great for writers, that they’re not a waste of time. It’s how we recharge and get fresh ideas. Many a day I’ve walked away from my desk, my mental activity exhausted. Whenever I reach this point I know it’s time to do something different. Go for a drive, go for a walk, or take an entire day or weekend off. Get up from your work every ninety minutes or so instead of writing long hours on end. Nothing wrong with doing that, and I recommend it.
So, don’t feel guilty about the times you don’t write. Look at it this way: even when we’re resting, we’re working. Why? Because proper rest contributes to greater productivity. Your writer’s brain will be forever grateful.
For a horse who suffered from fits, where he jerked his head and fell down but then got up again and seemed fine, the following remedy was offered in 1855:
“Give the animal two ounces of the tincture of asafoetida every morning for ten days. Tie the gum on his bit and wear it for six or eight days. He will never have a fit after the first dose.”
For a horse who suffered a chronic cough, it was recommended that the animal’s owner take:
“…powdered squills one ounce, ginger two ounces, cream of tartar one ounce, mix well, and give a spoonful every morning and evening in wet bran. This is good after hard riding or driving. It cures all coughs and colds, and will prevent the lungs from swelling.”
The Horse. G.W. M’Coy’s catalogue of practical receipts, for curing the different diseases of the horse. Enered according to the Library of Congress, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five by George W. McCoy…Indianapolis. Printed by Cameron & McNeely (1855). https://www.loc.gov/item/rbpe.019005ba/
One of the best ways to begin a professional writing
career in the Christian industry is through personal experience articles. This
is how I started. Such articles require little if any research and teach
lessons the writer learned from his/her experience.
are four rules for writing them.
1. The experience must be true. We may not remember our experience’s every detail, but we must try to be as accurate as possible. If others accompanied us during our experience, we can always ask them questions to refresh our memories. If we teach a negative lesson through our experience (what not to do), we must be the one who learned it. We writers must be secure enough to be vulnerable, which means having a willingness to expose our shortcomings and mistakes to the world.
2. The article must have a strong opening. If we don’t hook our readers in the first sentence, or at least the first paragraph, readers will probably set aside our work and go on to other things.
3. The article must use fiction techniques. When we write a personal experience article we’re also telling a story. Like any other story, it must include action, conflict, dialogue, description… all the basic elements fiction requires. If we can’t recall exactly what a person said during our experience, at least write the essence of it. That’s all we can do.
4. The article must teach a lesson without being preachy. What is preachiness? It’s moralizing on and on, as though lecturing(or preaching) to our readers. Instead of doing this, let the story itself teach the lesson. At the end of the article, use a short takeaway message and/or Bible verse to reinforce our main point. “Short” is the key word here.
Well, these are some thoughts on writing the personal
experience article. Give it a try!