Writing Tools for the “NonWriter”

Do you have to write for a newsletter, your business or other reasons? Are you a homeschooler who needs to teach writing to your children? Do you find yourself stuck for ideas, prompts, the “how-to”? Relax and take a deep breath! Writing can be fun and creative and a great way to express yourself. You no longer have to be afraid of pen and paper (or the keyboard, if that’s your style). Read on - and use the information to educate, motivate and inspire the “inner writer” in you!

How I started

I’ve never been “the writer” in our family. Throughout my married life, my husband’s been the one to put pen to paper. We lived overseas for awhile, and he wrote beautifully newsy and descriptive missives back to our family and supporters. Really, they were wonderful! Everybody said so! I agreed! So why should I write? As time went on, we continued homeschooling, and I realized that I would have to teach writing to our kids. Uh-oh. I scoured the internet and interrogated friends to find good resources. We hobbled along and they did, eventually, learn to write. Then I got “bit”. It happened innocuously enough. I started sending emails - and for a 40+ boomer, that in itself was something. Then my daughter went away to college and I joined Facebook - which kinda got my creative juices going a bit. Then I began developing a home-business - which put me in high-gear! I knew I had to write to get my message out, to “sell myself”; to create valuable content that others would want to read. And as I got started writing, I got hooked!

These Days, It’s So Easy to Write!

For me, the biggest reason it became easy to develop this skill was the availability of the exact things I had kind of scoffed at for so long - the computer and the internet. Writing while I was growing up and in school involved endless hours of putting thoughts on paper and then erasing or scratching out or drawing lines and writing in the margins or doing the whole darn thing over - and then you had to type it up (remember that?)! What frustration! Unless you were on the school paper, or had a friend who was - who ever thought of getting something published?!!?! Now, there’s no reason not to publish your gems for the whole world to see. There are literally hundreds of online publishing venues in cyberspace.

Writing has changed my life - it can do great things for you, too! Take some time to look at the thoughts, suggestions and resources here. Take pen to paper or hands to keyboard, and - go for it! Let me know what you’ve published - I’ll be your #1 fan...

A Day in the Life

A while back our family went to Florida to attend a car build-and-race event that my husband is involved in. That in itself is another story! I thought I'd list here how I found a slew of writing prompts in the course of one of the days we were away.

  1. In the shower (I get the best ideas here!) - create a page for my website/start a series (?) for homeschool dads; check websites I've previously bookmarked for help with an article on writing; don't forget pad and paper.
  2. At breakfast - after a fascinating conversation with a race-participant at breakfast, remember to interview others to start a "human interest" article on the race.
  3. On the way to the race - sign on a church display "God uses the insignificant to do the impossible" (there's something there...); what to do in this town? (seed for a hometown website and related articles).
  4. At the race, during downtime - meet and greet my husband's friends and start that human-interest story (as I met and talked to people, this produced ideas for LOTS of future articles...); "the mind of the backyard racer"; how can I apply/use this experience in our homeschool?
  5. That evening - more ideas on utilizing this experience creatively for homeschooling (as I helped the kids journal)...

I took these ideas and developed them as:

  • Blog posts (2)
  • Squidoo pages (2)
  • EzineArticles (1)
  • Newsletter copy (1)
  • Word articles yet unpublished (1)
  • Website material (in development)
  • Two ideas as yet unwritten about!

I went to sleep that night satisfied that I had plenty of material to keep me busy - for awhile at least!

So... Do You Get It Yet?

Every day there's tons of stuff going on around you. Experiences and feelings and thoughts that others ARE interested in and may also have experienced or felt or thought. Writing is communicating with and to others. No matter what your theological or spiritual bend, I think we can all agree that we're weren't made to be alone. Yes, quiet time is necessary and healthy to have; and we each have our own time requirements to maintain our emotional health, but... I firmly believe that inside each of us is a great communicator! See if you can find him or her inside yourself - I dare you!

Pat Fenner offers encouragement to homeschoolers at Help-4-Your-Homeschool.com. For monthly doses of encouragement, inspiration and ideas, sign up for her free newsletter “Sparks for the Flame”.

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