I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember knowing words. But, learning to write words that connect took a while. A long while.
You see, there’s a big difference between writing and connecting. Writing is the craft of stringing words together under the guidelines of certain standards. Connecting is crafting words with movement. Words that stir and pop and buzz and linger and, best of all, mess with the reader.
That’s the connection I want when I read. So, I need to make sure that’s the connection I create when I write.
Let’s be honest, no one wants their words to be scanned. We want them to be read, ingested, and digested. Digested to the point where they become part of what the reader is pondering for that day. Maybe even part of what the reader brings up in conversation with their friends.
That’s when you know your words have movement. Words that leap from the flat page and start traveling from this conversation to the next… those are words that connect. Saturate those words with God’s truth and they’ll change the world.
And maybe it’s a bit lofty to think a simple redneck girl who recently had a Spanx malfunction could craft words that move. But I’m daring to try.
Care to join me?
Whatever you’re writing today be it a blog post, an article, or even an email where you need to move people to action, ask yourself three questions before sending forth your words:
1. Does this have emotion?
It’s hard to create “motion” without some sort of “emotion.” Be it passion, laughter, tears, inspiration, encouragement or even challenge – will this connect on a heart level of some sort? We don’t scan things that make us go “hmmm,” “ha!,” or “ohhh.”
2. Do I need to store any of these words in my junk drawer?
Strange question, I know. But think about that junk drawer. It’s where you put the extra stuff you’ll need one day but not right now. We should have a place like that for points we want to make but shouldn’t make today. Sometimes we sacrifice saying one great thing because we’re trying to say too many things all at once. Stick with one great point. Use the fewest words possible to make that point. And put all those other points in your junk drawer to use another day.
3. Have I landed my plane in the right city?
Stick with me through this quirky question too. When you start your writing piece you need to alert people where you’re going on this journey. Most people do that. But then too many writers veer off course and land their article in a completely different place by the end. Make sure to re-read your beginning sentences and complete your journey exactly as you promised.
Two words that seem so similar and yet are worlds apart.
Like I said, I don’t want to be a writer. I want to be a connector… one who connects the world with movement that might not have been found if I hadn’t dared to write.
If you’re looking to be a connector too, I’d like to invite you to join the Proverbs 31 Ministries team and me as we launch our brand new training program for writers and influencers called COMPEL: Words That Move People.
Click here to sign up today – don’t miss getting in at the introductory price. We’re going to have so much fun learning together.
I am so excited to start this. You and the P31 team have already blessed me through She Speaks and Next Step Speaker so I know Compel will jsut be the next step to move. Thanks for all you do to reach back and pull others along with you.
It’s the most fun thing I do… Helping other writers find their voice and put pen to paper is a complete joy. So excited to have you on the COMPEL journey with us!
You are my writing- no- my CONNECTING heroine, Lysa. I strive to write with the passion and the purpose of delivering a message that lingers in my readers’ hearts… like you. Thank you for leading us all, and using your gift with such generosity and selfless intent. You are ONE of a kind. Truly.
I’m really looking forward to getting start on this journey. Thank you, Lysa and the team of Compel for share all that you have learned.
So excited to have you on the COMPEL journey with us!
Lysa – you are a wonderful connector and there have been many days that I am left digesting your words throughout the whole day. Thank you for sharing your talent!
Thank you Monica:)
I have always wanted to tell you that your writing has blessed me so much since I was first “introduced” to you. When I read ANYTHING you have written it’s like talking to my best friend over a cup of coffee. Thank you for being transparent and allowing the Lord to use you! Also, thanks for posting the verses we can make personally. I have printed them and want to buy pretty boxes to put them in for my daughters and daughter in love.
Thank you Alicia The Scripture boxes are one of my favorite gifts to give!
Lysa-Well. You have certainly connected not only with me, but my daughter (who usually has a great aversion for reading). A few nights ago I found a second devotional of yours in her room, completely digested- with illustrations, examples, “notes to self,” related verses and prayers. (I showed you the first one at WOF recently- and she so was thrilled with your word of encouragement). When I asked her if we could share the book, she begged me not to. “After I do my Bible study everyday, I take a section (of the devotional) and read it again. Mom, it really has helped me as I face things through the day.” So I guess we’ll be a 2 copy household! God speaks through your sweet, honest words. Thank you.
Mary, this is in my top most meaningful blog comments I’ve ever gotten. Wow. Tell your daughter I’m beyond honored to know she reads my books.
Lysa, you absolutely write words that connect! I’m a journalist by trade, yet you have taught me more about connecting than anyone else. God has used your words to move me many, many times. What I love most about your writing and ministry is your clear heart to speak God’s truth to the audience you reach. Thank you for your faithful instruction and most of all your sincere love for Jesus!
Thank you Katy, your encouragement really blessed me tonight!
Such good advice and such an important distinction between merely writing and connecting. Thank you for creating COMPEL. It looks to be exactly the sort of encouragement and challenge that I need right now. I also look forward to gleaning from you and the others at the re:Write conference in a couple of weeks. Blessings to you!
This is really helpful! I never wanted to be a writer but over the last few years I feel compelled to write. Those last two points are especially useful to me. Sometimes I just try to say too much, but I do take note of how you, and others, make your points in relatively few words. I want to pursue improving my skills because I do feel there may be a calling in it, though I have no idea what that may look like now. Thank you for this!
Lysa – I met you at the Ignite Conference in Granbury earlier this year. Your posts are so real & transparent. I LOVE THEM! You have inspired me to start my own blog! I look forward to taking this journey with you!
Thank you for writing this! I’ve had a blog since the beginning of the year documenting my weight loss story and some other things. Sometimes, I feel like I just blab rather than really write words that could in turn help someone. It’s good to know there is something like COMPEL out there. Right now, I can’t afford that but hopefully one day in the future, I’ll be able to jump in there 🙂 I really do enjoy your posts on Facebook also.
I also want to connect rather than write. I am in the process of starting my own personal blog with a friend. Your words really resonated with me and I am sharing them with her. Writing is simply not enough – making connections is what really matters.
This morning as I prayed, I asked God, “If you want me to do more with my writing, please guide me in the right direction.” This afternoon, I received an email inviting me to join COMPEL. I love your books, your ministry, your writing, and your voice. I admire you as a mother, wife, friend, and woman, and I am so blessed and excited to learn even further from you.
I am so excited to be joining you thru this Compel Training. I was just thinking today how much information (even good info), blogs, and stories that are out here. I love to read, and find I run out of time and want to make sure I am reading the most valuable things for me. I also write a blog and want to make sure my stories are not just scanned over and skipped. I look forward to this journey with you. I have loved your books. Blessings, Brenda
I’m very interested in Compel. I’ve recently started blogging and this comes just in time to help me create words that connect with my readers. Thanks !
I’m excited to find out about Compel! I am just starting to venture out into the blogging world and this seems like a very timely helpful tool to sharpen the writing skills. Thanks!
Just a quick note to let you know I am praying for you. I try to keep up with your blogs, books, etc but I can’t, so I know it must be difficult on you. I also know being in ministry the enemy attacks in any and every way he can, so am praying protection around you and your family. I appreciate the numerous friends and family members of my own that you minister to. Thank you.
A stirring in my heart just reading this! Thank you Lysa for sharing your beautiful craft to others with the ultimate goal of capturing hearts for Him! Beyond grateful and excited to start this journey with everyone!
wow, the lord just lead me to your website, i have never been on this site before or have heard of this ministry….all i can say is god is good or I should say is great and i feel blessed to have found this site and now i cant wait to see where this will lead me in my walk with the lord!
I believe this is a blessing to many women and i feel honored that i was led to it. now i just cant decide what book or bible study to do first! but i trust he has a plan to lead me to somethng wonderful here
may god continue to bless you!
Wow, those are great tips! I have been thinking and praying lately about whether or not I should start a blog. I have been going back and fourth because I have never thought of myself as a writer and think “what story do I have to tell” but I love talking to people and encouraging them in whatever ways I can. You and all the ladies at P31 continue to inspire me to give it a shot and take a leap of faith! I’m seriously thinking about joining you at Compel so I can learn how to become an effective writer and connector. Thank you for your words of wisdom!
This is so exciting, thank you Lisa. It has been worth the wait. I signed up years ago when the idea was just a dream and now it’s here. I am thrilled. I have to say the fire did go out for me, nothing ever came of my efforts to grow beyond just having a desire. I am so ready to do and not just to dream.!
I have struggled with this especially with family. How to lower expectations and not worry so much about what others think of me, especially as I raise my three boys! I am hoping to start a women’s bible study/book club in my neighborhood, and this would be the perfect book and set to launch it with! Every woman can learn something from this study I think!
I was just wondering how did you start this blog? where did you go to start it up? would Weebly be good place to start, it’s what popped up on my search.
These two words writing and connecting are simple but powerful! I’ve been pondering on my own writing these days and not sure if I am on the right track. Surely this post is a great help! Thanks Lysa! 🙂
I joined compel just this week and have been listening to a few of the videos from each C and wow, I feel like I have just discovered a whole new part of myself that I have never known. It’s like a new found love. And it has all made so much sense to the things in my life that I have had stored up all these years. Now I know how to express them and the very reason’s why I should. Because it’s God’s story that He wants to be told through us. That was so freeing for me Lysa and Glynnis, thank you, thank you for creating Compel. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do.
I was blessed to hear you share your story in Hershey last weekend. I have been writing since I was very young, and am feeling called to “write with a purpose.” I am taking a leap of faith and mailing you (snail mail) an essay I wrote upon returning home from Hershey. I know you are so busy, but if you have a moment to read it and offer an opinion, I would be most grateful. If you are too time-pressed, I understand. God bless you and your wonderful work.
P.S. I am reading Unglued, and when I went to visit my daughter last night, a copy was on her end table. Praise God!
Lysa & Proverbs 31, I want to write, I want my words to comfort, encourage, edify, teach, and move others to respond so as to learn from them as well. I have had my mom tell me I should be a writer for a few years now, but have not received that thought until recently. I have fought the enemy’s lies that EVERYONE wants to be a writer, what makes me think I am any different or BETTER than all those other people? And that what my mom thinks is good is just because she is my mom.. these are just a couple of the many lies. However, I have spent many many hours in tears, in prayer, in His Word, in bible studies and in MY OWN HEAD to finally realize and accept this just may be a gift from God, an author, a speaker, a teacher a communicator EVEN a life coach. For now, I would just love to get some short “blogs” read by those with experience to give me some feedback. I just have no idea where to start. BUT GOD — is so faithful, and He lead me to your COMPEL sight. I don’t know when I’ll get the money together, but it will be a top priority. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for giving people like me a starting place, a place to learn, grow, share and HONOR GOD. There would be nothing better for me than to share His story as lived out in my life and have it make a difference by increasing the Kingdom and progressing the Good News. Cannot wait to sign up! I pray for ALL who do sign up and for ALL of you who are leading this workshop. May God bless and use it all for His glory and for your blessings.
Dear Lysa, I first came across your work when I read “Made To Crave”. Even though I didn’t have a huge need to lose weight, I had a tremendous need to get my thoughts on food under control..when I came to your blog and realized that you actually wrote ON WRITING, I could not have been happier!!! I am a new blogger, published author, and I also have an English degree, but God uses your words on writing to inspire me so much..so THANK YOU for allowing God to use you!!!