Monday, June 1, 2015

Journaling

By Andrea Merrell

Many people feel called to write, but don’t know where or how to begin. When you don’t have clear direction, the best place to start is by journaling.

Why journal? Listed below are three benefits that can kick-start your writing and get you moving in the right direction:

CLARITY
Whether you’re reading a good nonfiction book, studying your Bible, or simply enjoying some quiet time, certain things will come to mind that need clarification. The best way to achieve this is by writing those things down. Ask yourself questions. Look up key words. Do your research.

REINFORCEMENT
We need to see and hear something a number of times before it sticks. Whether you have a creative idea or a life-changing thought, don’t risk losing it. Thoughts and ideas tend to fly away if they’re not captured. Once you have them on paper, you can go back to them time and again.

PERSONALIZATION
This part is especially important when studying the Scriptures. Read with an open mind and teachable spirit, allowing God to speak to you. Write down His promises and make them personal. Insert your name. When ideas and inspiration strike—and sometimes they come from the most unexpected sources—put them in your journal and pray about how to make them relevant and apply them to your life.

Your journal might become one of your most valuable and most treasured possessions. You’ll be surprised at the inspiration you receive when you go back and read your own words.

Now what?
Now that you have your thoughts on paper, the best place to start is with a short devotion. Maybe you had a terrifying experience, and you can share with others how God protected and delivered you from fear. Perhaps your child or grandchild did or said something silly and it sparked a life-lesson. Don’t limit yourself. You can write about joy, pain, sickness, friendship, children, abuse, vacations, marriage, nature, or whatever inspires you. The possibilities are endless.

Sharing a personal story or anecdote, tying it in with a Scripture, and making it relevant, will not only be a blessing and encouragement to others, it will build your confidence and help you reach outside your comfort zone. Along with devotions, you can write blog content, articles, short stories, and enter contests. Who knows … you might go on to be a newspaper reporter, columnist, conference workshop leader, or best-selling author.


If you’re just beginning, remember … all writers had to start somewhere. Don’t despise small beginnings. If God has called you to write, the important thing is to be obedient. He has a plan, purpose, and destiny designed specifically for you.

(Photos courtesy of morguefile.com.)

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