A REASON TO WRITE
Dave E. Hoyt
Part 3: The Great Art—the
Pen of the Ready Writer
Writing Style and Voice
I’m always fascinated by high-security clearance systems that require an eye or fingerprint scan before entry though a door. We know that eyes, fingerprints and DNA are what identify our individual uniqueness among the world population.
Our signature, handwriting and writing also can identified us. As we begin to develop our writing skills our style will unfold naturally. It will be as unique as our eyes, or fingerprint. ‘Writing style’ also means ‘authors voice’. It’s what we sound like in print and others recognize when they read something we’ve written. Singers and poets, dancers and radio announcers have their own voice. Carrie Underwood was launched as a singing artist through American Idol. Her first huge hit was “Jesus Take the Wheel.” She has abilities, range and a sound that identifies her. Her voice is unmistakable to the trained ear.
I’ve noticed I enjoy research and developing accurate, concise—and thoughtful coverage of a topic. This same style is reflected in the Public Broadcasting Service News Hour. When they bring a story, they take the time needed to more thoroughly inform their viewers and online readers. They might take 4-10 minutes per story on television compared to 20 seconds of coverage on another news channel. The value of more in-depth coverage is the viewer, or online reader will come away with a clearer understanding and more knowledge on the particular subject.
I like to employ this style of writing. It’s gradually becoming part of my writing DNA, which you may recognize in this article. While writing I often think about and visualize my potential readers. I’m writing to connect with them. I want my words to be understandable, to make sense—and to persuade when possible and needed. It’s important for me to give readers new ways of looking at a given subject. The goal is to inform, educate, inspire and sometimes move a reader to action. These are some of the soulful components in my writing voice.
Throughout—I need to be true to myself, write with heart, conviction and passion. I’ve noticed how I pay close attention to singers who sing with passion from the heart. The same is true in the type of writing I’m interested in. Subject matter will change, fresh ways of stringing words together will unfold—growth will happen through practice and readers will benefit.
What the World Could Use More Of—
Truthfulness, Clarity and Understandable Stuff
There’s desperate need in our world for truthfulness, clarity and understandable communication. Ever listen in on the senate hearings during the financial crisis in 2011? The slippery evasive answers from Wall Street’s bonus kings left Americans wondering if there was any integrity left in USA lending institutions and banks. Each of us could say a lot about this fiasco—especially those of us who lost homes, jobs and most of our life’s savings!
When I listen to most politicians, corporation giants, or Wall Street executives it reminds me of an old Native American saying, “White man speaks with forked tongue!” Bogus promises and inaccurate information has become the political norm across the globe. It’s everywhere! Thankfully, there are millions of honest people who are not duped by forked tongue-talkers—who like to hear themselves. If ever there was a time when we need honest writers who can’t be bought-off by any political party, or intimidated to go away and shut-up by an unethical corporation, it’s now.
I don’t want to be confused when I listen to someone speak or read something in print. Ever hear or read something and end up scratching your head asking, “What the heck did they just say?” Muddying the communication waters is intentional among slippery people who lie habitually, or for a living. “Tell it like it is”—may not be popular everywhere, but most people welcome no-nonsense honesty and clear-talking, or writing.
Some in our ultra-sensitive society choose to avoid saying anything of substance in order to remain ‘politically correct’. The absence of truth has become a worse evil. Speaking, or writing—using understandable words will never be outdated! We live in a time when those who lead, speak and write need to give a clear signal to those who are following, listening and reading. Authors need to ask their readership to ask social, moral and ethical questions about national and global decisions and choices.
Huge moral and ethical evils are becoming the norm—unfolding without restraint. How can this be? We are being made to believe we have no voice—no public advocate! Many people feel helpless, overtaken by yet more corruption and greed—minus anyone to reign it in!
The writer or citizen can say no! I’m going to speak up, write, protest, boycott, resist and be strong! I refuse to be voiceless—numbed into apathy!
Combating the Insatiable Appetite of the Rich and Powerful
If ever there was a need for corporate and social responsibility it’s now.On the heels of the financial crisis of 2007 many lending agencies and corporations are still looking for ways to make as much money as possible on the backs of workers who are not making enough $ to sustain themselves or their families. As the top 1% become wealthier by the second—the poor and average worker is being left behind. Job security is out the window!
This is evidenced by frequent lay-offs, termination of tenured employees, no pay raises, no benefits, limited sick days and continued outsourcing of jobs to the lowest bidder.
Many USA universities of higher learning have jumped on this short-sighted wagon. Colleges and universities have been guilty of disproportional inflation of their tuition rates, exceeding the astronomical medical cost increases in recent years. This has resulted in extreme student stress, massive student loans and the forecast of lengthy decade-long periods for many graduates to pay down and retire their debt.
Meanwhile the pay package for university presidents and provosts has doubled and sometimes tripled. In addition to these massive tuition increases and tenured professors pay- package increases – schools claim they are struggling. The truth is, they are in stiff competition for new students. In response, many have embarked on large building programs for student housing and newer and larger sports complexes, investing incredible amounts of money in sports programs to stay competitive. In these same institutions, students regularly find themselves in classes ranging from 50-250 students, with student assistants often teaching the majority of the classes. With the learning experience diminished, most students in larger universities feel like a number, without peer or professor interaction in the learning process.
Universities have learned from corporations how to cut costs; not however the salary of schools presidents, and provosts. Instead, the cut comes in the wages of most adjunct professors whose salaries have plummeted some 40 % in recent years. The trend is that these professors, many with doctorates, are paid less than the university janitor. They are given no insurance, no vacation, no sick days and no promise of ever becoming a tenured professor at the school where they teach. They are part-time and often have to scramble from one school to the next to make ends meet. We can see that the moral compass of social responsibility is being eroded by greed at the top and not just in corporate companies, but in our schools of higher education.
Job quality should be a key objective of any employer. Happy employees create happy customers which produces good business results. Employees want fair, respectful, healthy and democratic workplaces that value their participation. Position quality must include a reasonable pace of work, limit work stress; provide opportunities for input; job security; work-life balance; nurture workplace relationships; individual development and good physical working conditions. Employees also look for excellent employee benefits, competitive salaries which one can live on, flexible schedules, and a focus on placing employee’s personal well-being front and centre. What do you think? We need writers who will champion a cause.
Life or Death
Long ago in a land stretching from India to Cush, King Xerxes ruled over Persia and Media. During his reign, a plot to destroy all Jews was instigated by a noble named Haman. The valuable record of these events is recorded in the book of Esther in the Bible. In the written history we see the power of two letters, each bearing the signet seal of King Xerxes. One letter is an evil plot, setting into motion a planned annihilation of all Jews throughout the provinces (Esther 3:12-14). The second letter counters the first letter with an opportunity for Jews to defend themselves from the evil injustice that was to be carried out against them (Esther 8:9-13). Two letters: One drafted with evil intent. The second provided Jews with a way out of unjust annihilation.
The voice and pen of thousands of world changers thru the centuries have been moved by their conscience to address unjust crimes of human oppression, cruelty, torture and murder. These men and women found “Moral Strength” in the face of great opposition, taking their stand, making the truth known—with full awareness that death was the cost for defying corrupt and evil leaders. If we were to ask these heroic individuals, most would say—“It was the right thing to do!” An active human conscience is a powerful tool to right that which is wrong. A good conscience is not intimidated by evil!
Those who harshly lorded over the masses inflicting immense human suffering has not gone unnoticed. The cry of the victims has been heard in the villages, streets, countryside and heaven. Crimes against humanity will one day be judged!
Who will add their writing voice to expose and denounce the atrocities of our day? How do we feel about ethnic cleansing, child-abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation of minors, racial bigotry, human trafficking, state and national government corruption, the use of chemical weapons in warfare, police brutality, gang violence, drug trafficking, dictator murder and rape crimes, white collar crime, vandalism and looting? Courage to speak up and make a difference has prevailed at appointed times in history when we needed it the most. Writing with passion and conviction has often been the catalyst to raise public awareness and enlist a large percentage of the populace to press for change.
Elie Wiesel was just a boy when he and his family were shipped to concentration camps in Nazi Germany. His father died in one of these camps. Elie survived and authored 36 books. He raised awareness throughout the world of the horrors of the Holocaust and the moral responsibility of all people to fight hatred, racism and genocide. He was on the presidential team that drafted the initiative for the USA Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. He said this of being strong in the face of terrible crimes against humanity, “There may be a time when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there should never be a time when we fail to try!”
Having something to say that is important for others to hear and consider, is a strong reason to keep writing. What is it that you want to shout to the world? Young writers may feel their voice is too small and their sphere of influence could never be large enough to make a difference. We don’t know this for certain! We cannot predetermine what might, or might not be. Things change! Who would have guessed the internet would be as wide-spread as it is today? Articles that are posted online can be read the world over. New doors swing open every day.
It is a necessity for some of us to keep writing because it is a gift we’ve been entrusted with. It may earn us a full or part-time living, or be our free-contribution to those who will be helped, or blessed by reading something we’ve written. If we’re lucky – our imprint and writing voice may be recognized as the catalyst that brings personal, social, political, spiritual, or moral change.
I’ve been awakened in the middle of the night in a hot sweat more than once with my heart and mind pounding with an avalanche of thoughts that I feel must be written down before I forget them. My wife doesn’t share this enthusiasm and rolls over to return to sleep while I work my way to my writing station. Sleepy-eyed I wander to the computer, or grab a clip-board and begin writing an out-line, or the beginning of a story. The inspiration might surround something I’ve grasped, an understanding of an amazing truth, or perhaps the basis of a clear argument for a moral cause. Or, sitting in a slightly dazed state I may find myself writing all I can remember about an unusual dream that could be significant.
With eyelids heavy, now half-closed it’s 3 AM, and I’m in that strange twilight zone of half-awake—half-asleep. The writing flurry is over. Why did I drag myself out of bed? I’ve captured a germ thought or idea before it vanishes. This is why the nature photographer may position themselves quietly for days waiting patiently for that brief moment in time—to capture an incredible shot of a mother wolf giving birth. Poised in the harshness of winter, a photographer’s patience and sacrifice finally pays-off!
Sometimes the inspiration is so strong that I never make it back to bed and write for hours at a steady clip. During these writing flurries, I keep telling myself, “Let it flow and edit later!” When the storm of a writing inspiration subsides I have something of substance before me, a rough draft, something I can return to and recall—words to build on.
Top Seven Best-Selling Authors
Who are the top seven authors of all time? The top is a woman. It’s interesting to realize that publishing and readership markets have grown dramatically alongside the world’s population increases. For this reason, more recent authors have been placed among the 7 best-selling writers. This does not mean they are the absolute best writers in all of human history—but are the best-selling authors rated by books sold.
- Agatha Christie (3 billion books)
- J.K. Rowling (300 million books)
- Stephen King (300 million books)
- Nora Roberts (250 million books)
- J.R.R.Tolkien (200 million books)
- C.S. Lewis (150 million books)
- John Grisham (100 million books)
In the top four, three are women. Out of the seven, four are men. A highlight of these authors: Murder Mysteries by Agatha Christie, The Harry Potters Series by J.K. Rowling, Scary Stuff by Stephen King, Romance novels by Nora Roberts and Futuristic Crime novels under the (alias /pseudonym) name of J.D. Robb, The Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis, and Legal Thrillers by John Grisham. Other novels within different genre categories have been written by some of these authors as well.
Top Ten American Authors from 1860 - Present
- Mark Twain
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- John Steinbeck
- Earnest Hemingway
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- William Faulkner
- Maya Angelou
- Zora Neale
- Amy Tan Hurtson
Top Ten Books of All Time
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
- The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
- Middlemarch - by George Eliot
Ten Most Influential Authors of All Time
- William Shakespeare 1564-1616
- Dante Alighieri 1265-1321
- Homer 800-750 B.C.
- Leo Tolstoy 1828-1910
- Geoffrey Chaucer 1340-1400
- Charles Dickens 1812-1870
- James Joyce 1882-1941
- John Milton 1608-1674
- Virgil 70-19 B.C.
- Johann W. von Goethe 1749-1832
Most Widely Owned Book of All Time /
Inspired Writers of another Kind
Among all the books sold throughout the world—the Bible remains in first place. It has sold over 6 billion copies and has been translated into almost every language known. Unlike many single author books—the Bible contains a collection of over 40 authors, some who remain anonymous. All of its authors believed God co-directed the writing process. These authors came from different walks of life. The Bible is highly respected for its varied forms of writing genres, historical accuracy, honest narratives and spiritual content. It is widely read and considered relevant to every generation, especially since the Book of Revelation speaks of a climax in human history as we know it. The Bible is comprised of two parts:
The Old Testament
The O.T. describes an overview of creation and contains a history of the travels of God’s chosen people—the Jews. It describes their beginnings as a people, their culture, faith, obedience, courage, war history and the leaders who were chosen. In contrast to other religious books, the Bible explains and documents the Jewish people’s unbelief, rebellion and disobedience to God’s directives. There is nothing about the Bible, either Old or New Covenant that is sterilized! Communication between the “The True and Living God”, His prophets and the Jewish people is documented accurately, warts and all—including being taken into captivity by conquering nations due to Israel’s and Judah’s bad choices.
The Old Testament unveils the difference between true and false prophets, pagan gods, good and bad kings, and records an unbiased history of the Jews through the centuries. The last Old Testament book was written about three hundred years before Jesus was born. Some think God allowed this long silence to create hunger and anticipation—to set the stage for God sending His own Son Jesus into the world to rescue both Jews and Gentiles spiritually.
The New Testament
Jesus is believed to be the “Messiah” God’s own Son, who was sent by God to break the curse of “original sin” that Adam and Eve passed on. Jesus’ mother was Jewish and she conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit making Jesus part God and part man. The New Testament explains the unusual events surrounding Jesus’ conception, birth, life, what he did and taught, his death, resurrection from the dead, how he was seen by all of his closest disciples post-resurrection and his ascension into heaven after completing his mission on earth. The account includes Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to live inside all believers—which He had promised—the gift from God the Father.
The New Testament contains four accounts by different authors of Jesus’ life on earth. They are called the Gospels, named by their respective authors; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These books describe everything known to these disciples about Jesus’ time on earth and record everything they remember him saying, or doing and the responses and settings of these events.
Beyond these first four books, the history of what happened next is in a book called Acts. This book explains how God the Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit confirmed and worked through the early disciples lives when Jesus was no longer present in the flesh. It highlights how they were empowered to perform miracles and inspired to do good-deeds as Jesus had previously done. The first disciples were for the most part common Jewish men and women. After they’d received the Holy Spirit they became fearless and their wisdom and understanding was increased beyond natural ability.
The New Testament is filled-out by a collection of letters from Jesus’ early apostles and disciples. The letters were sent out to churches scattered out in various regions through individuals who would pass them along to be read in locations where there were clusters of Christians. The last letter placed into the Bible is the Book of Revelation written from a prison cell on the Island of Patmos. Each letter was written to strengthen Jesus’ followers in their faith, keep them on track, warn them of deception and call them to lead lives not stained by compromise, or evil.
The letters gave early believers reminders of the big-picture, knowing many of the recipients were fledgling churches with many new gentile Christians who had pagan baggage to get rid of—and Jews who were at times tempted to go back to their old rituals, to feel they were accepted by God.
Once again, like the Old Testament, these ‘New Testament Letters’ and ‘Acts’ do not shy away from honest and objective coverage revealing the problems the people and churches faced. The letters address sins that surface, expose false teachings that were attempting to infiltrate—and remind ‘believers’ to stand strong in the midst of persecution that was beginning to break-out against them in many of the Roman occupied provinces.
Many prominent universities and schools of higher education offer Biblical Studies programs and majors. Though the Bible is popular, and a book that can be found in many homes—reading and understanding it, can be challenging. Where do I begin? The New Testament is often recommended.
To understand the Bible—it’s believed a person should be open and aware that it’s unlike any other book. If it was co-authored by forty plus individuals who were in touch with God’s Holy Spirit—every reader will need the aid of the Holy Spirit to understand it.
A simple recommendation is, “Ask God to open your eyes and understanding. Ask Him to reveal truth to your heart, mind and spirit.” The Bible digs and probes the motives of our lives and challenges the way we live. It nudges us to look at selfishness, dishonesty, prejudice, unbelief, crime, hatred and hundreds of other moral, ethical and spiritual issues. The Scriptures of the Bible are given to teach and instruct us in the truth that is capable of leading us safely to heaven. Jesus Christ is pivotal, because He is the Messiah—sent to absorb our sin. When we trust and place our faith in Him—we are miraculously “reborn by God’s Spirit” and made into a citizen of God’s kingdom. The light goes on!
The Bible is considered to be the greatest book ever written and has had the most extensive impact on humankind.
My Mentors and Surrogate Family
I’ve heard hundreds of lectures in school but can’t quote chunks from a single one. I can however quote from famous books I’ve read, or films I’ve seen. With more detail I can share about people I’ve known, some teachers, professors, pastors, authors, poets, artists, photographers, directors, choreographers, actors, musicians, singers and dancers who’ve inspired me in some way. Though these people are all very gifted in unique and wonderful ways—there’s a smaller group of individuals who’ve touched my life at a deeper level.
They are the ones who’ve either mentored me, been a surrogate parent or a faithful friend. The qualities that cause me to give them honor are many. The most profound is, the giving of their personal time and support in real, honest and tangible ways. When someone accepts us, believes in us and loves us unconditionally—something miraculous happens.
I can see their faces and hear their voice though some have died. The seed they planted has not. To God be the glory for each of them!
Skills and Seasoning
My dad enjoyed writing short poems and humorous stuff—and did so frequently. He wrote on small pieces of paper, napkins in a restaurant, or anything available. He usually carried small pieces of paper and a pen with him. The love of writing, observing, using his mind, thinking things up was a gift he developed. He was motivated by the fun of writing. The reason I mentioned him is—he was actively engaged in some form of writing.
Most of us write for specific reasons; emails, correspondence, class assignments, poems, work, our own enjoyment, to help someone, or possibly with a goal of getting published. Writing skills will benefit you throughout your educational years and most likely have a significant bearing on your hire-ability in the workplace. Practice, develop and use your gift of writing and see where it takes you.
Writing that is destined for submission towards publishing—needs careful editing. I like to edit my own work first—and then expose it to the eyes of others. Once-upon-a-time I believed every word I wrote was golden. Those days are long gone. My editing-delete button gets used extensively. On an article like this I will have read it over at least ten times—removing the fat. No mercy for confusion and un-needed words! That doesn’t mean I catch them all.
When I’m done, I need the eyes of others to see what I can’t. All published articles and manuscripts are carefully edited by proof-readers a number of times to correct grammatical or other problems before an article, treatise, thesis, collection of poems or book goes on docket for publishing, printing, or being transferred into a digital online format.
The “Rules and Tools” of writing are many—fine-tuned over time. They are the nuances needed for different types of writing. Essays, papers for school; narrative and dialogue, developing characters and plots, finding new ways to uncover evidence or create suspense in mysteries and thrillers—will be unique.
To write a western, the author needs dialogue that matches the time period for it to be believable. To write for children we must know what concepts and words they’re able to grasp and understand at their developmental level. To write a book set in the 1950’s in the categories of non-fiction, fiction, romance, mystery, horror, or drama—thorough research is needed of what it was like back then, how people talked, what was going on in society, the world and the region or country where the story takes place.
I recently researched and wrote article on Nazi Germany to better understand a variety of things that were troubling and unanswered. I wanted to know why so many people were swept into the Third Reich and the evils of human extermination that followed. It was equally important for me to understand who resisted Hitler. I found my answers and wrote about them in the clearest way possible with the purpose of influencing readers to be resolved in their heart of hearts—that we should never go down this evil road again. Over 40 million people lost their lives in the World War II war-theater.
Prior to obtaining a break-through is always the toughest part of learning something new. Getting good at something takes time, repetition and considerable effort. Wanting to learn how to water ski, I stayed with it despite a series of stinging wipe-outs. I finally got the hang of skiing after my stomach and arms were beat-red from hitting the water hard. I endured the pain and kept at it. The same determination and toughing-it-out is needed to obtain skill and confidence in writing.
Research writing requires careful resource reading—synthesizing your thoughts and findings and placing them into an accurate and easily understood overview of the subject matter. The value of this type of work is huge for those who access the researched findings—saving them hours or perhaps days of hunting down this information.
This painstaking type of writing is not for everyone, but required in higher EDU papers. Well-researched writing is a beneficial discipline for every writer. Regardless of what type of writing we are engaged in—some projects will flow more easily than others. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve looked over a paragraph of my own work—that seems confusing, but I’m stumped when it comes to a quick edit. I know it can be written more succinctly—but how to rewrite is doesn’t come quickly. When this happens I type a big colored question mark and revisit it later—with fresh eyes. Self editing is always helpful in streamlining and condensing our thoughts.
Remote tribal groups live in a verbal culture with limited written resources—if any. When exposed to outside art or written words in their own language—these people groups are usually thrilled to have this opportunity. Learning how to read and write isn’t a form of torture imposed on us—it’s a gift! It broadens our world-view and gives us a means of having our words and thoughts communicated into distant parts of the globe.
Receiving Creative Freedom
If possible, try and come at the art of writing in a relaxed way—especially while gaining confidence and learning to let inspiration flow. I’m convinced that one of the reasons I love art is because of kindergarten.
My kindergarten class in Arcadia California was in Highland Oaks Elementary School. The classroom was huge—larger than the size of two regular classrooms. We had 12-15 big easels in the room for finger painting with large pads of paper that could be torn off. My teacher put me in front of one of these big easels one day, gave me an apron, showed me the paint colors and said. “Have Fun!”
Years later, when I was 10 years old, I signed up for a painting class at a summer camp for1 ½ hrs. per day for a week. I had no idea what kind of painting we’d be doing—but it sounded interesting.
Our instructor was a middle-aged woman who impressed me. After five minutes I could tell she loved kids and painting. In a cardboard box she’d brought lots of pictures of animals and birds and put a bunch of them out on the work tables for us to choose an image we wanted to paint. I chose two bird dogs pointing toward a colorful pheasant in tall yellow grasses. Next, we were instructed to do a light pencil sketch of the picture we’d chosen on a canvas board.
As each of us completed our sketch, she came around individually and helped us set up a small desk easel, gave us a color pallet, different sized brushes and a small cup of thinner for rinsing and changing colors. As she squeezed out a variety of colors on our paint pallet and gave a few simple instructions on changing colors—she too assured us this was going to be fun.
What happened next—unfolded gently as this gifted art teacher leaned over me and whispered these words, “Enjoy trying different colors, your sketch of the dogs looks really good! Don’t worry about things being perfect. If you need to—just call me over if you get stuck. Take your time, do your best and I’m sure your painting will turn out really good!”
She set me free to have a good time, experiment—try different colors, told me my sketch was good and gave me added encouragement that I would do well.
When I think back, I’m amazed I can recall her words. What happened in this brief moment in time? My art instructor gave me permission and the courage to begin. I painted two pictures that week—the bird dogs and the pheasant, and the second was of two mallard ducks in flight with a nice sky in the background. When I was almost finished with both, my instructor offered to show me how to fine-tune them. With her guiding my hand and a few brush strokes of her own, my pictures went from being ok to being really good. I had experienced something special—the encouraging touch and heart of an artist and a great teacher!
When two of our daughters, Marianne & Susie were younger—they too found a similar artistic breakthrough. The two paintings below are ones they painted—examples of the magic of color, image, design, personal expression and having fun!
This is why inspiration and positive feelings about the arts is important. Enjoyment of something is what hooks us for life!
“Every child is an artist. The problem is—how to remain a child, after growing up.”
A Word from the Author
“I hope you will give the “Art of Writing” a go. Decide what you’d like to write on, sit down and begin. Start with a paragraph and see where things lead. The most important thing you can do in the beginning is let your own thoughts flow. We take in a lot of information from the outside. Self-expression in writing is exercising our mind by thinking about and coming up with something we know about, or are interested in. It could involve looking up some information to help being factual.
Two Samples (Approximately 15-25 Minutes writing time for each)
The first is from memory. “My cat ‘Thunder’ follows me like a dog everywhere I go—when awake. Other than shadowing me—her favorite past-time is playing or having the top of her head rubbed. When we first spotting her at the local animal shelter, she was just a kitten—with a playful temperament. She had her paw stuck through the hole in the front of the cage—outstretched and curved around to the cage of the cat beside her in an attempt to gain interest of the neighboring cat—to play. Her claws were not extended. Thunder is one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever owned—not a mean streak in her trim and lean body. She is a tabby with a brown right paw and a hint of auburn coloring woven down her back. Her coat is short, smooth and silky. She is as playful at five years old as she was as a kitten! They say a pet’s love—has a calming effect on an owner and that their unconditional friendship and loyalty increases the owner’s well-being. I whole-heartedly agree—experiencing this daily! “
This second sample is from experience with some research to verify accuracy.
“Wanting to plant pole beans in a raised bed, I added some new organic compost and cultivated it into a 1.5 foot wide by 5 feet long garden area. String bean seeds in hand I loosened the soil, poked my finger in making a small a hole about 1 inch deep and carefully place a seed into the dirt, every 4 inches apart and gently covered them with the soil. After doing so I gently watered the areas to firm-the-soil and not dislodge the seeds. If I water the surface area when the soil is dry on a daily basis allowing for adequate air-flow—they should germinate into small sprouts in approximately 7-10 days. When the seeds sprout, I’ll put together several small tepee frames for them to climb. From this point forward I’ll plant new seeds every couple of weeks to maximize having fresh beans throughout the growing season up to the first hard-frost in the fall.”
Each of the two paragraphs above needed a first sentence. The progression of thoughts unfolded from there—into a small collection of thoughts. Exercising your mind to think about things opens limitless possibilities. Thinking—pondering—reflecting—considering something—is where ideas, inventions and insights come from. Working with my hands for many years—I sometimes needed to invent a tool to be able to accomplish a job. I did this with many things. One was a wallpaper table with arms that held the spools of wallpaper. I earned thousands of dollars using this invention that made the job so much easier and freed my hands to work freely when cutting and applying paste, or wallpaper activator.
Gathering your thoughts is like rounding-up the pieces of a puzzle—placing each into its place to form a picture. Instant genius and success in writing or any form of art is not the norm. Reasonable self-expectations and looking at writing as an experiment that requires multiple attempts prior to succeeding is more realistic. When I see skate-boarders trying jumps and tricks hundreds of times—it reminds me of the process of gaining almost all artistic skills. Work at letting your thoughts flow and edit afterwards. Remember, improving your writing is going to help you immensely in your educational years. Beyond this we don’t know how much writing with ease and skill may affect our life vocation. If you continue to write, you’ll find your writing voice and the words will flow more easily. Your writing contribution could impact an audience beyond anything you could imagine! Sure, the competition is out there—but the cream still rises to the top!
The writings of authors and musical notes and lyrics of musicians and singers often outlive them. Each of us will pass into eternity at an appointed time. Include the True and Living God in all your endeavors and place your life in His hands and you’ll never regret doing so.
I recall the words King Solomon penned around 980 B.C. which remind me of this truth. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).”
God Bless you in your journey of writing.
Have fun and make a difference!
Dave Hoyt and his wife Ginny reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He grew up a troubled teen in Los Angeles. In 1966 he moved to San Francisco’s ‘Haight District’ seeking truth and God. Reaching a crisis of belief in eastern religions—he turned to prayer and came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. He was an early participant in the Jesus People Movement in the USA and Europe. He returned to school earning a master of divinity degree. Beyond, Dave & Ginny spent 25+ years serving in pastoral roles in the church, as a chaplain to struggling teens and later as a hospice chaplain. He and Ginny are followers of Jesus Christ. Work-wise Dave restores properties, writes, has a small photography business and does volunteer outreach ministry.
Last Update: 2016-09-01 21:03