Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Friday, April 13, 2007

One Word at a Time

This week I am preparing several writing workshops I will be teaching next week at the Delaware Christian Writers Conference.

In my research, I came across a couple of writing exercises I did as part of a writer's retreat with Lauren Winner several years ago. The only stipulation for the following was that every word be only a single syllable. This forces you to abandon worn phrases and clichés. I'm surprised as I read this how well it captured my feelings.

I try to tell. I use words I know, things that have been proved true. I think so hard. I look up. I stew. I try and try but I can’t seem to change minds.

I know it’s true. At least I think I do. I live half the time like I do. From the way things look, you would guess I know it to be true. But then there are those times. Times when I doubt. And when I try to tell them, the words leave me. They sound trite or canned. I grasp but can’t frame the truth. I just know. I know so well. My faith runs deep. God has proved His way to me. I don’t doubt Him.

But they do. They mock Him. They scorn my Lord. They eat, drink, have sex, smoke, use drugs. Peace is gone. But life seems good in a way. There is a way that seems right to a man. That is not God’s way. God’s way seems hard.

Is that why they choose life with no God? Or make up their own gods. Serve them all day and night? And how can I show them the truth? I can’t. God must sweep in. He must touch their hearts. He must change their minds. But will he use me? What do I know? My faith feels small. My words feel weak. What can they do?

Give this a try. Tell me what you think. You may find words you did not think to use.


At 1:13 PM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

I remember having to do a similar exercise in a writing class I took in college. It really is interesting to see how clear and clean something can sound when we don't feel the need to use a lot of multi-syllable words.

Have fun teaching your workshops!

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Was it supposed to be on a specific topic, or any topic you choose?

Have fun at the writer's conference! How cool that you get to teach there!

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

It was a free write, so any topic you choose. I picked a subject that was on my heart at the time.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Kelsey said...

This is really really awesome Suz, I will have to try it.


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