Free Writer Training Course 3, Lesson 2
Let Us Fix The Goals
The previous lessons introduced you to some of the basics, and now we will put these and many other principles into practice. The intensive training begins now, and I am confident that you will not allow the demands placed upon you to discourage you. Remember, more than a million persons are becoming literate EVERY WEEK and this your greatest opportunity to make a significant contribution in their lives. If you don’t do it, the base people of the society will do it — but you will be held accountable for the loss of their lives !!
In this lesson I will be discussing the following subjects:
I-Why study further
2-Your goals as a writer
Let me explain each subject in some detail.
Why Study Further ??
We covered so much ground in the previous lessons that many will wonder if a second module is needed. The answer is, YES ! Even though you studied several subjects in that module, it still was only an introduction — the groundwork. The real training comes only now.
As an intellectual, you must know the difference between teaching and training. Teaching is mostly passing of information, but training is drilling the student in doing the task. Theoretical subjects are served adequately by classroom teaching, but practical subjects like medicine, engineering, law, and journalism/writing need practical training. This is the reason why many professions require a period of apprenticeship before a person is issued a license to practice independently.
The lessons in this second module take care of the training part. By the time you complete this module, you will already be on your way to success — provided you take this training seriously. Further, you must realize that journalism/writing is such a broad subject that even two modules are not sufficient to exhaust the teaching or training. This explains why many more modules are available for those who are interested in more advanced work.
If you have not already done so, you must very soon find a person in your city who can read your writings and offer helpful comments. It can be a writer, teacher, or anyone who has a genuine interest in writing. (He/she should be free from personal ego problems. This kind of a person can make a great show of help, but at the same time frustrate you and subvert your goal of becoming a successful writer). In case you are unable to find such a help, you can get help from our apprenticeship program AFTER you finish your studies with us.
LIFELONG STUDY NEEDED: since writing is an art, there is nothing here like ultimate perfection. None can say that he has reached the stage where no more improvement is possible. Also, none can ever claim that he has learnt everything that is there to be learnt in this field. Thus, not only should your studies continue beyond the first module, but it should continue even after you finish studying with us. I will give you plenty of guidelines in this matter.
You should not be surprised, therefore, when I tell you that all the teachers who work behind this course continue to sharpen their tools even today even though all of them are accomplished writers — each with hundreds of published articles to his/her credit !! Cultivate the spirit of a student, and you will never regret it. The cost paid always reflects in terms of perfection and achievement.
Your Goals As A Writer !!
Often people view journalism and writing only in the light of name, fame and fortune (money). While all these things might be associated with success in this field, this is not the primary motivation of a Christian writer. He does not have to be averse to any of these things, but he should entertain these things only when they come as the by product of writing that is done for another goal. That goal is building up people.
I–A Christian Writer Writes for Building Up People: A Christian writes for building up his readers. He does it as part of his spiritual ministry. The Lord has entrusted him the talent of writing for changing the lives of people, and this has to be the primary and ever-consuming passion of every Christian writer. He helps people by offering them valuable insights, guidance, techniques, and fellowship with others.
BY OFFERING VALUABLE INSIGHTS: Life is full of struggles, both for the Christian as well as the non Christian. Interestingly, many of these struggles are repetitive in nature and therefore the insights gained by one generation can be a great help to the other — when the former group shares its discoveries with them.
For example, bringing up children in the present-day society presents a challenge to most young couples. These obstacles are repetitive and have a lot in common for many couples. If a couple shares the ways in which they were able to face and solve some of these problems, it would be a great help to others who might not have foreseen that solution.
The Christian writer has something in addition to what’s mentioned above. He is in a position to evaluate life in the light of the Word of God to offer spiritual insights of lasting value. Reading these things would save a lot of people the pain of reinventing the wheel. Help them by offering valuable insights from your own life, from the life of other children of God, and also from the Word of God.
BY OFFERING GUIDANCE: Animals do a lot of things instinctively, and for this they do not need guidance from parents or peers. Man, however, needs help from others all his life. He needs it both in earthly as well in spiritual matters.
Students would like to know the best methods for studying. Housewives would like to discover the secrets of good house management. Young fathers might want to know how to do justice to their job, family, and spiritual life when time does not seem to be adequate for even a single one of these tasks. This is a good opportunity to you to share the insights you have collected from your own and also from other’s experiences. The spiritual outlook added to these insights makes a lot of difference for the reader.
Plenty of guidance is available on every conceivable and even inconceivable subject, but since they have been developed from a worldly point of view, they do more damage than good to people who give heed to them. The advice of the Christian writer, however, build up people. This is the unique goal that you have. Help them by offering godly and insightful advises.
BY OFFERING TECHNIQUES: Somewhat similar to offering guidance is the subject of offering techniques. When several people try to do the same job, some of them will succeed more than others. They discover techniques that are more efficient than that of others. If they share this secret with others, it would save not only a lot of wear and tear, but will also result in great increase in their productivity.
Consider the art of writing, for an example. Many Christian writers would like to enter the non Christian market with the express purpose of introducing the Christian viewpoint and the Gospel to the non Christian audience. Even the most uninitiated person in this field will immediately accept that this is a tough goal. Yet many Christian writers have discovered methods to infiltrate the non Christian magazines periodically with a Christian message.
If people who have discovered the methods of getting the Christian message into the non Christian publications keep the information to themselves, others interested in doing the same job would have to waste a lot of time and energy to rediscover the same information. However, if the successful writers share their insights, experiences, and best techniques with others, a lot of time and efforts will be saved and that can be used for taking the gospel into many more non Christian publications.
This is the reason why we offer several full-length lessons on this subject (The Christian Writer In The Secular Market) in the more advanced modules. In fact, most of this course you are studying is filled with techniques discovered by other writers who want to share it with you so that you can go one step ahead of them in the field of writing. As a Christian writer, you are obliged to do the same for people who are going to read you.
BY OFFERING FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHERS: Even though the life of each person is unique and different from that of others, people still have a lot of things in common with each other. This is specially so in matters related to problems and pains.
Interestingly, in spite of the common nature of human problems and pains, most people undergoing a trial feel that they are alone in this and that their problem is somehow unique. This misconception only increases their pain and sense of isolation. Introducing others who have faced similar problems, and also the ways in which they faced and overcame them, is a great encouragement to most people. This is why testimonies act as a powerful tool to revive people in pain.
The Christian writer must use his pen to put together people facing similar pains and problems so that they draw strength from such fellowship. This is not to imply that the humans are the source of this comfort. The Lord is the ultimate source, but many people are able to draw it from God only when they see the experience of someone who has already obtained this help.
There is great strength in fellowship, not only for good but also for evil. This is the reason why pornographic magazines and TV programmes succeed in perverting whole generations. People who read these publications and who watch these programmes are put in fellowship with people of perverted minds. They offer mutual fellowships for people of similar thinking, and it takes very little time for more perversion to develop.
This is another reason why the Christian writer must write with a sense of urgency, putting godly people together in fellowship through testimonials, biographies, and inspirational writings. Help people by sharing through your pen what God is doing for common people.