Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Outlets for Writing--Carol Ghattas

Not all writing has to be a huge book. I have found several outlets for writing, and I think it is useful to begin in smaller bits before taking on the larger project of writing a book. All writing is helpful to develop our skills and gifts.

1. Journaling. This is a personal exercise which enables you to put your thoughts and experiences on paper (or computer) in order to later reflect on what God's been doing in and through you. It's a release for some, healing process for others, and in general an encouragement. Journals can also be a good resource when a person feels led at a later date to write for publication.

2. Newsletters. These are very important as they convey to your supporters what is happening in your world and how they can pray for you. The better you write these letters, the more they will be encouraged and motivated to partner with you. Work on making them personal and share stories about real people with real needs.

3. Articles. These can be for your team, company or larger worker body. They can be used in magazines or company journals. I've written poetry for some and straight articles for others. Many publications are looking for true-life stories. Search the net, and you'll find them, or ask your organizational leaders for how you can contribute. The challenge for the article writing is to be concise--my greatest challenge! I have a hard time cutting my material down. It takes practice and is sometimes painful, but will make your article read easier and be more effective if you do.

4. Papers. These are similar to articles, but are more about a certain issue and can be longer in form. I've written papers for the local church body overseas. For instance, they asked me to review a book. I also wrote a paper about mixed-marriages that was used to confront an issue facing the local church. It was circulated among both workers and nationals. Not everybody reads a paper, but there are some who want to see something in writing, and this is where we can be of help.

5. Books. For me this began with a title. My husband asked me to write a tract—I ended up with a 300 page book! I told you I had a problem with being concise! :) However, it was with the title that I saw an opportunity to tell a story. I looked at the market and realized there was really no material written in fiction form that showed how a Muslim comes to faith and is able to remain in his/her environment, so my book became a church planting manual in story form.

I am going to go into detail in the next blog about writing books or novels. Until then, look around you in your area of service and see what stories need to be told!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Writing What You're Living: Sharing Your Story--Carol Ghattas

In reading through the Bible, I was struck by something in the story of Moses. It hit me first in Exodus 17, after Joshua defeated the Amalekites while Moses was holding up his hands on the hill. God told Moses to write down what had happened on a scroll and make sure that Joshua heard it. From the earliest of time, God wanted His acts to be remembered. After giving the law to the people through Moses, Moses took it upon himself to write down all God had said. He needed to remember it!

If you are new on the field, everything feels so vivid and fresh. When something wonderful happens or the Lord gives you serendipity, you think: I'll never forget this! Wow, that was wonderful what God did. It is true, some events in our lives are hard to forget, but I have learned as the years go on and the Lord does so much to bless our lives and reveal Himself to us and others, I just cannot remember it all. I have to write it down.

So today I want to encourage you to take the time to write down the acts of God in your own lives and in the lives of the women in your area.

So why should you write? Over the years, I have found several reasons that have led me to write:

1. To remember the greatness of God and His works in my life.
2. To give others a glimpse at His goodness as well.
3. To remind myself of what He's been doing, when the years cause the memory to fade or when Satan tries to discourage.
4. To help others understand the world I live in and the people I've come to love.
5. To encourage prayer support for those I serve.
6. To help the Church see better how to reach Muslims.
7. To reach the people I serve for Christ.
8. To meet a felt need in the local or worldwide Body.

In the next blog, I will share with you some of the possible outlets for writing. We don't all have to write books! God can use many avenues of writing to encourage us and motivate others.

Editor's Note: If you have any questions for Carol, please leave a comment with you specific inquiry. She is here for you and ready to help you on your writing journey.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Author to Start Next Week!

Stay tuned...although the transition from one host to another has not been seamless, I am excited to announce that our new host and published author will begin next week. She will be sharing her expertise and enthusiasm for writing over a 4 week period.

In the meantime, writers, I want you to contemplate the following exercise. And then, I want you to courageously share it with us...

Take a piece of paper and write these phrases down the left-hand side:

*Smells like

*Tastes like

*Sounds like

*Feels like

*Looks like

Now, take a spiritual concept such as humility or holiness and put that word in front of each of thses phrases. Then complete the phrase. What does humility smell like, taste like, sound like, feel like and look like?
~taken from Sacred Compass, J. Brent Bill.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So You Wanna Write?

I have an opportunity for you! Women of the Harvest onlineMagazine is putting a call out for articles that focus on this phrase: “Friendships that have made a difference on the field.” These friendships can be among teammates, a friend back home, a national woman, or...

What needs to be conveyed is how life-giving that relationship was at a critical time in your life or how important it is as you persevere in your cross-cultural life. Each onlineMagazine issue in 2010 will feature at least one story, but who knows where this "call for articles" could take us!

Length: 500-800 words--but I'm not that picky. Submit: editor@womenoftheharvest.com

I look forward to hearing from you! ~Cindy Blomquist, Editor


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