Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: War and Peace (not about the book) (07/07/11)
TITLE: Task and Peace
By Louis Detweiler
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The task is always the same. The outcome is always the same. The method is always different. This time there were new wrinkles in the method. Even with new wrinkles the task is always a war.
The war started as a calling. The calling was simple – to write. Write what? The what has not been determined. Our purpose as Christian writers is to promote Christianity. So, naturally I thought the calling was to write about Christian themes. What better way to write as a Christian then to enter the weekly challenge for the website Faithwriters.com. However, the calling sometimes appears as drudgery, writers block, and a nasty bout with grammar structure.
This time the war is different. I have armed myself with an arsenal of prewriting techniques to help me overcome the enemy of lethargy. A few of these methods, you, the reader, may already employee. The first method I will expand upon is free writing.
Free writing is a method I employee a lot because I rarely get paid for my writing. That is not exactly the style of free writing – I was telling a joke. Seriously, free writing is a method where you just start writing and hold onto a thread of thought until ideas develop. For a creative writer the chance that a few ideas stand out among the rest of blather is high.
Clustering your ideas to expand your thoughts is fair play in this war of words. One uses free association to gather ideas from your subconscious. The method is to draw a small circle on a piece of paper and then put your word or idea inside the small circle. Once the circle is drawn you then attach all your subconscious thoughts to the circle. Subconscious thoughts are ideas that just pop into your conscious. Write these ideas down and attach them to the circle with lines from the idea to the circle. After a few minutes you will have fresh ideas on how to proceed with your writing.
Organizing ideas by creating an outline is a great way to develop a skeleton of a writing assignment. An outline gives one the ability to develop an idea then list facts and examples to support your main thoughts. An outline helps organize your ideas so you prevent repetition and have an orderly flow of ideas. An outline can start at the beginning of the article and last until the end.
A final technique to overcome the resistance to write in this weekly battle is to work your way through a rough draft. This technique requires a writer to double-space sentences. The writer then scrambles over the loose edges leaving plenty of white spaces to enumerate ideas and caveat of thoughts. The double-spacing allows for grammatical snafus, messy contractions, and incoherent ramblings. All of these timely mistakes are left for a later time primarily focused on punctuation.
Where is the peace? Peace eludes the inquisitive mind. The quest to glorify God is fraught with peril. How many missionaries have died because of their boldness? How many writers have been censored because of the audacity of their pen? Is peace only for the secular?
No, peace is not just for the secular. The peace of God which surpasses all human understanding will remain with his faithful servants. However, for a writer to find peace they must first take up the fight to put pen to paper and deal with thoughts. They must struggle against themselves and others to right the wrong or help people see the light. Then after struggling for awhile they will find peace from the satisfaction that writing produces.
The task we face each week in the weekly contest is always the same. Write the essay. The outcome is always the same. We each produce one essay. The method is always different because the topic always changes. This time there were new wrinkles in my methods because I used methods offered to me from writers willing to help others.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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