Encouragement for Faithful Writers everywhere. Please share with your writing friends. Reading time: less than 4 minutes.
Faithful Reflection: Remember the seasons
As I write this in mid-February in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, we've just had five inches of snow, and sleet is now falling on top of that. We'll be inside until the roads are cleared and we can get up the steep hill on our rural driveway. It's tempting to complain about being cooped up inside, but it's a wonderful opportunity to read, write, rest, and reflect (Oh, the unintended alliteration!). Remember the seasons when your writing life hits a slump—when you feel stuck, chilled, or empty. Remember it's just a season, and the next one will come before too long. Try to reframe how you feel about this time and hold onto the hope that like a cup of hot tea, you are steeping for better flavor. Your soul and spirit are simply storing up energy for the new growth and life that will happen when “Spring” comes.
Faithful Writing Quote
“Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity…that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.” ~ Frederick Buechner, originally published in Telling Secrets
Writing Tip of the Month
ASK QUESTIONS: When you're trying to inspire reaction or provoke thought, a question can be very effective. It pulls your reader into the discussion and creates an opportunity for strengthening her engagement.
February Vocabulary Challenge:
Recent Word-of-the-Week words on the Heartspoken blog were vituperative, xenophobia, doldrums, and fructify. Here's a vocabulary challenge on which I did miserably — only got 7 out of 13 and a couple of those were pure guesses. Nothing like a quiz from time to time to keep me humble about my vocabulary proficiency! Merriam Webster “What Did You Just Call Me?” Quiz.
February Resource: DailyWritingTips.com
I found this site through a terrific article by Mark Nichol called “7 Great Online Research Resources for Writers.” I think you'll find several resources from this article worth bookmarking, whether you're trying to fact-check, find specific information, or do your due diligence on periods or characters in your writing. If you subscribe to the site's email list (scroll down on their home page) you'll get a free copy of the ebook “100 Writing Mistakes To Avoid.”
February Writing Prompt
Use this image to inspire your writing or reflection. It is a photo of two Macaws I took on the grounds of the Historic Walton House in Homestead, Florida when we were there for a family wedding. Set the timer on your smartphone for 15 minutes. Don't think; don't edit; just WRITE! Feel free (but not obligated) to share your results in the Faithful Writers private Facebook group.
February on the blog
New at Heartspoken.com since last month's newsletter:
“NOTEWORTHY: Note Writing for a Cause:” For me, writing personal, handwritten notes is part of my faithful writing. The NOTEWORTHY project is an exciting new initiative by a friend of mine to spread positivity instead of negativity.
Heartspoken Moment: Pay Attention: This is the second in a monthly mini-series I've started. Each is a short message in both video and written form.
Are You A Faithful Writer? I shared this in our Faithful Writers Facebook group, but if you're like me, you don't check Facebook regularly and posts are easily missed.
Faithful Writer Spotlight: Pamela McRae-Dux
We have so much talent right in our own group. I'll be featuring a group member each month, so be sure to let me know when there's something you'd like the other group members to know about: a new publication, an event, a recognition. Don't be shy!
Pamela's background is Theatre—Production and Design. She worked in the Opera field for over 20 years before taking a sabbatical in India on a journey to the Self to reboot her life. Returning, she looked for a way to bring that knowledge about herself into the creative field in a more direct way. She took up desktop publishing and graphic design.
I am proud of the awards I received along the way and those with whom I worked. I had the good fortune to travel the world as a youngster and to travel again for Opera. I stayed at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC for 12 years and was named one of the ten Outstanding Working Women of the Year by Glamour Magazine in the March 1990 issue. (This magazine has celebrated women since their very first issue back in 1939, but it wasn't until 1990 that Women of the Year was born.)
I have chosen to be a publisher at this point in my life. My platform can be seen on my website: Simple Books.
I am so aware that we need a kind and compassionate voice in the world to offset our culture’s fascination with power and force. I like to take a cue from the teachings of H.H.The X1Vth Dalai Lama and from the work of Brother David Steindl-Rast. The two of them came up with the idea of a ‘Revolution of Grateful Living' (“It is a revolution that revolutionizes the idea of revolution.”)
This way of living can teach us in the West how to harness the power of our emotions into a sense of caring and a practical application of coming alive. This alone has the power to create great waves of compassion that can overcome the disturbing events playing out on our nation’s stage right now. While my simple effort at publishing will not change the world, it affords me a container to bring the uplifted thoughts to the page and to use my artwork to bring a sense of calm to my world which I can then share with others. “
Full and happy disclosure from Elizabeth: Pam and I were classmates not only in high school but also in college! We lost touch for a while, but happily, we've reconnected and she has been a stalwart supporter and encourager.
See you in March!
P.S. Have a question or comment? Just reply to this email…it will come straight to me and I'll respond.
P.P.S. If someone shared this newsletter with you, why not get your own? When you add your name to my email list (CLICK HERE), you'll get a special gift and my enduring gratitude.
Join Our Heartspoken Community!
Each issue of our monthly Compass Points Newsletter is a quick 3-5 minute read with keys to the Heartspoken Life.
Receive surprises that lift your spirits or make your life more Heartspoken, delivered straight to your inbox.