Monday, April 9, 2012

Blogging A To Z Challenge 
"Hints on How to get Started Writing" 

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to write. When I was in 2nd grade I started a “novel” and I vividly remember the satisfying feeling of writing page after page on wide-lined spiral-bound notebooks with a pencil. I’m sure my mom has those “novels” packed away in a box somewhere!

During my adult years I’ve written three books.

  • A nurse friend and I (I’m a nurse too) wrote How to Find Your Perfect Job in Nursing after we each had a string of nursing jobs that definitely were NOT “perfect.”
  • I wrote Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home, when my kids were toddlers. I loved being a mom (I still do!) and wanted to share some of the insights I’d had, particularly about being a Christian mom and encouraging moms that THEY (not “experts”) knew best how to raise their kids and manage their family.
  • The idea for What Should I Say? The Right (and Wrong!) Words and Deeds for Life’s Sticky, Tricky, Most Uncomfortable Situations had been rattling around in my head for a long time before I finally decided to write it, after a friend’s marriage ended in a very unexpected divorce, and another friend’s husband died in a tragic farm accident. Both of them shared with me how some people said things that hurt so much…and some people said just the right words.
I’ve done a lot of speaking in conjunction with my books, and at almost every event a few people tell me that they’ve always dreamed of writing a book or writing for publication in magazines.  I think everyone has a story—a story of their life, advice for others, or something they’d like to share.

Whether you’d like to write an article for your favorite magazine, start a blog, or publish a book, here are a few hints to getting started:

  • Pray. Pray that God will guide your words and that they’ll convey the message He wants your readers (or future readers) to hear.
  • Write what you know. Whether it’s coffee, kids, illness, exercise, mountain climbing, collecting postcards, find your passion and write about it.
  • Write every day; a blog entry, devotion, or part of a chapter for a book you dream of writing. Whether you write for 10 minutes or much longer, when you write every day you’ll get into the habit of getting your words on paper. Some days the words may come easy, and some days they may take time, but the more you write the better you’ll get at putting the words together in a style that fits what you want to say.
  • Write with excellence! If it’s an e-mail reply, note of encouragement or thanks, or even a text message, pay attention to grammar, spelling, and clarity. 
  • Read. Read a variety of books, magazines, and blogs. As you read, make a note of  what you enjoy about how the books are set up, even copy sentences that are well written, make you laugh, or get their message across. Write down ideas you get for your own articles and/or books. When you read you’ll learn about the subject of the article, book or blog, and you’ll subconsciously learn how to write tighter and more effectively. As well as reading about things you already know you’re interested in, read about things that are totally new to you. You’ll stretch your brain, learn something, and maybe find a new interest!
  • Take advantage of opportunities to write. Offer to write about a new organization for your company or church newsletter. Take the plunge and start a blog! (Before you start, however, make sure you have a good idea of what it will be about and plan out at least a month of entries. It’s more work than you think!) Consider submitting your writing to your town newspaper, a blog you enjoy, or even magazine (writer’s guidelines can be found online).
  • Be encouraged! You ARE a writer, whether you are speaking to thousands or just a few. You’ll eventually use everything you write, in a book, blog, devotion, etc. If writing is what God has in mind for you, no words are wasted. They will all be used someday, in some way.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,
 not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. 
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
            Colossians 3:23-24

I’m also doing the A to Z Blogging Challenge at my other blog, Nebraska Family Times. Today I’m writing “From the Heart.” 


  1. Hi there! Love this post! I, too, have enjoyed writing since I was a little girl. Your hints were great. I find that I'm such a procrastinator when it comes to writing my memoirs. I love to blog, but sometimes it's my way of avoiding what I know I should be doing! ;
    Your book idea on knowing the right thing to say sounds like a fantastic idea!

  2. I wrote a biography in 6th grade as an assignment. Vividly,I remember the teacher telling me I had skills as a writer. Never did anymore with it until I began blogging. Not that my blogging is much, but I do enjoy it

  3. notes4neta--thank you!I'm glad you enjoyed the hints. I, too, would rather write than do a lot of things. :-)

    Cindy--I had a teacher in about 8th grade who encouraged me, and I still remember his words too. So glad you're blogging--you do a good job!


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