Writing --- Reading & Everything In-Between

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Writing a Book Proposal

Writing a Book Proposal

TALENT 2

I have no special talent.
I am only passionately curious. 
Albert Einstein

Talent is innate, present from birth; not man-made, but God-given.
It comes directly from within rather than being acquired by experience or from external sources. It is an unusual natural ability; a remarkable, out of the ordinary capability. A talented person has the natural tendency to do something successfully well. He is endowed with a high degree of intelligence and competence in a particular field.
Everyone has it!
Everybody God created has a special gift to do something well. It is just a matter of discovering it.
Why did God in His infinite wisdom give all men gifts?
ð      To glorify Him
ð      To advance His kingdom
ð      To impact humanity
ð      To make a living
So, if you have not discovered your talent, you may be functioning below capacity and disappointing your maker.
Talents are diverse and should not be seen only in terms of the arts. 
For example, a person can be a talented 
Athlete
Hair Dresser
House Builder
Babysitter
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net
Baker
Car Maker
Caregiver
Cleaner
Comforter
Cook
Decorator
Driver
Encourager
Furniture Maker

Image courtesy of Rosen Georgiev/
freedigitalphotos.net

Humorist
Listener
Nurse
Organizer
Repairer
Salesman
Speaker
Story Teller
Wine Maker


Like Albert Einstein's quote above, being able to be ‘passionately curious’ is a God given ability that enhances creativity. 
Teaching may be a talent; that is, having the ability to explain things in simple, clear terms thereby Imparting knowledge. You may also be good at 
Image courtesy of Aopson/ freedigitalphotos.net
Observing
Analyzing
Investigating
Building Friendships
Managing Crises
Negotiating
Resolving Conflicts

You name it! God furnished people with gifts to manifest in every sphere of life.
What is your talent?

Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TALENT

Talent is not to be seen only in terms of being performers, superstars singers or hotshot players,but as abilities that make you unique. For example, you can be a good reader, organizer or be good at math.”
Ben Carson
Renowned Neurosurgeon
John Hopkins Medical Institutions

Talent is an unusual natural ability to do something well. Everyone has this ability but not everyone is using it. Many people don’t use their talents because they don’t realize they have it. I have talked with some who confess they don’t know their talents. God put a gift; a talent, an ability to do something in every man. He did not create anyone without this unique ability to do something.
ð      Some know this truth but still are not able to recognize what their talents are.
ð      Some use them without realizing they are gifts from God
ð      Some know they have talents; they recognize them, but ignore them.
ð      Only very few people recognize their talents and use them appropriately.
To what category do you belong?

What are your gifts and talents?
Here are 2 simple ways to find out
1.      What you find very easy to do without pressure.
2.      What you enjoy doing without stress.
Look inward. You have something in you. Use it!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

STOP AND SMELL THE COFFEE by Michele Fleming

Dani sat straight up in bed when she heard the rumbling of the garbage truck as it turned onto her street. She looked at the clock and panic washed over her.
“Oh no, my alarm didn't go off!”
Jumping out of bed, she made a mad dash for the bathroom in hopes of salvaging what was left of her morning. Sliding to a halt, she reached to turn the shower on, disrobed and jumped in even before the water had had time to heat up.
She couldn't be late for this appointment! It was probably the most important appointment since starting her career and she was furious with herself starting the day off like this.
Miraculously, she was ready and out the door in thirty minutes flat!
Racing to the car, she decided she would have just enough time to run in the coffee shop for a quick jolt of java. After purchasing her steaming cup of heaven, she lowered herself onto the bench out front to mix in her creamer.
Seated beside her was an elderly woman and out of the corner of her eye, Dani began to study her. Judging by her wrinkled and weathered features, she appeared to be in her late seventies. Her clothing, while dated, gave evidence to a rather comfortable life. She watched as the woman took out a worn monogrammed handkerchief and wiped at a stray tear. Her heart broke into a million pieces for this dejected soul and she wondered what troubled her.
Dani heard the woman sniffle and clear her throat. 
“How are you today?” The woman asked with a voice as weathered as her features.
“I am well.”
“My name is Martha.” She announced as she fidgeted with her hankie.
“I'm, Dani.” An awkward silence hung in the air for a moment. “I couldn't help but notice that you seem to be upset about something.”
“I was hoping to make it to my grandson David's party. He just opened his first law practice and his parents are throwing him a huge shindig at the country club. It's supposed to start in fifteen minutes.” Martha brushed another tear from her face.
“So, why aren't you going?”
“The bus was already pulling away when I rounded the corner.”
Dani 's heart began to fill with compassion for the older woman. She sat staring across the street and as her insides twisted with emotion, she pondered what to do. She desperately needed to make this appointment, but she found herself with an overwhelming need to help this poor woman. Dani did the only thing she could think of. She closed her eyes and asked the Lord for guidance.
In the midst of the prayer, her cell phone buzzed alerting her to a new text message. She opened her phone and read.
(Need to reschedule meeting! Please call as soon as you can.)
“Wow . . . that was quick!” Dani said aloud, amazed at how fast the Lord could work.
“What was quick, dear?”
“Oh, it's nothing. Why don't I give you a lift?”
“Really?”
“Sure, I would be happy to.”
The ride to the country club took only a few minutes. Dani helped Martha out of the car and walked her up to the door where she planned to say her goodbyes.
“You must come in for a moment.” Martha insisted while tugging on her arm.
“Only for a minute.” Dani agreed reluctantly.
As Dani entered the dining room with Martha at her side, she ran smack-dab into the most breath-taking man she had ever seen. When their eyes met, fireworks erupted inside her and she was sure every nerve in her body felt the singe. Several moments passed before they reluctantly gave up their hold on one another.
“Hello, I'm . . . David.” He stuttered.
“I'm Dani . . . I'm here with your grandmother, Martha.” She managed to tell him while taking a wobbly step backward.
David gave her a puzzled look.
“Martha died three years ago.” He announced as he motioned to a picture of his grandmother that was on display.
Dani began to scan the crowd looking for Martha, but something in the pit of her stomach told her that she wouldn't find her. Feeling a little dizzy, she grabbed for a nearby table and David reached for her.
“Are you alright?”
Dani looked into his gorgeous eyes.
“Do you believe in angels?”
David smiled and the fireworks started all over again.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM

Dream Big, Think Positive, Take Risks, Embrace Challenges, Pursue Vision, Refuse to Quit and many more of phrases like these rule our world today. Well, I can tell you, they are easier said, taught or preached than done. In a world besieged with many unresolved crisis and problems covering every sphere of life, people are becoming more pessimistic than ever before.

These phrases may seem difficult to apply, but they work. If only we are willing and ready to work them. At the beginning of the year, I made some decisions, as many people do. By the third month, those resolutions were still hidden in my diary and at a point, I got angry with myself.

Why do I always abandon my personal projects?

I am not lazy. I work hard, sometimes too much for my own good, but there are some personal goals I set for myself year after year and I’m still unable to achieve.

So I got angry!

I looked inward.

I looked upward.

I looked outward.

I remembered many of these phrases that were suppose to push me towards achieving my goals and I decided to do what I preach.

Inwardly, I drew strength to continue; to take risks or steps of faith; to pursue vision.

Upwardly, I received grace from God to embrace the challenges and refuse to quit. His Word keeps my thoughts positive and makes me see that the future He has shown me is achievable.

Outwardly, I enjoyed help from my friends and dream supporters. Top on the list is my husband and cheerleader. In his own ways, he continues to prod me to realize those big dreams.

Well, four months later, came READ – The Big Deal About Reading.

A month after came the Musical Video of our Children’s Church in Winners’ Chapel International Gotera - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After months of dreaming and praying, more months of planning and practicing and still more months of restless days and sleepless nights, COME TO THE LORD’S HOUSE is released.

Like every project, it’s not a product of personal effort. Many people contributed spiritually, financially, creatively, physically and even emotionally. Ha ha ha. I can’t tell you the amount and varieties of emotions spent, especially on locations. The wonderful teachers in our Children's Church served tirelessly at various stages of the production. We had help from supporting parents, active youths and our beloved pastor. 

To the glory of God alone, the work is done and my prayer is that it will bless lives especially Christian Children worldwide.

I have learnt quite a lot from these two projects.

1.    Dream Big. Let your dream be bigger than you.

2. Share your dream with like-minded people who will help nurture and support it.

3.     Lean solely on God.

4.    Take steps. I mean, take practical steps. As you go, God goes with you.

5.    Work with people. You can never achieve your dreams all by yourself. Also remember that, there are dream killers and dream supporters.

6.  Never, never, ever, ever give up on that dream; no matter how difficult it seems, it is achievable.


Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MAYA ANGELOU – A life that inspires

1928-2014

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

I encountered this true statement by the late Maya Angelou, before I became familiar with her writings. One of the most distinguished women of our time, Dr. Angelou was a renowned novelist, poet, dramatist, filmmaker and actress. She was also an influential civil rights activist and educator.

In her lifetime, she won three Grammy Awards, the presidential medal of arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal Award in 2008. Wow! Isn’t that the dream of many creative personalities?

In 1993, President Bill Clinton requested the literary icon to compose a poem to read at his inauguration. She wrote “On The Pulse Of The Morning,” which she read live at the event while millions around the world watched.

Her memoir, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” first published in 1969, became a huge success. Time magazine has named it one of the ‘100 best non-fiction books of all time.’ With 30 bestselling titles and many honors and awards, she is definitely a woman to study.

Since her passing in May 2014, I have been intrigued by her inspiring life. I have read so much about her and discovered what made her such a successful person and influential writer.


Here are some lessons I garnered from her story.

She read and studied voraciously, mastering French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Fanti, a West African language. Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. 

LESSON

Take it or leave it; you cannot be a great writer if you are not an ardent reader. Read works of great authors.

 

She said in an interview with Noah Charney on the Daily Beast:

“I keep a hotel room in my hometown and pay for it by the month.
I go around 6:30 in the morning. I have a bedroom, with a bed, a table, and a bath. I have Roget’s Thesaurus, a dictionary and the Bible. But I’ve never slept there… I’m usually out of there by 2. And then I go home and I read what I’ve written that morning, and I try to edit then.”

 LESSON

She took advantage of her mornings, which to me is the most productive time of the day. Serious writers set out a time to write, in a quiet place, away from distractions. Writing is serious business. It is not an activity you slot into your schedule when it’s convenient. If you want to be as successful as the likes of Dr. Angelo, you have to work it as a job and not a hobby.

 

She was also a diligent and committed writer.
She says: “Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it’s right, it’s easy. It’s the other way round, too. If it’s slovenly written, then it’s hard to read. It doesn’t give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader.”
Her works are mostly a reflection of her childhood and other life experiences. Perhaps that’s what makes them so heart touching, so life-changing.

LESSON
When writers write from their hearts, from strong and sincere emotions, readers respond from their hearts too.

I can’t conclude this article without this final question Noah Charney asked Dr Angelo, especially now that she has passed.

What would you like carved onto your tombstone?
[Laughs] “I did my best, I hope you do the same.”

LESSON
Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Let’s do our best to leave a lasting legacy, a worthy foot print on the sand of time.

Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BE A PRODUCTIVE WRITER

You can be a productive person if you want, but it takes discipline. We all need to make ourselves do what we should do, at the right time, whether it is convenient or not. That is self-discipline and that is what makes a person excel in his field.
Here are two tips that will help you become a more productive writer.

MAKE YOUR WRITING GOALS CLEAR
What do you want? What are you trying to achieve as a writer?  What do you want to write about? Why do you want to write it? How are you going to get it written and read? If you cannot answer these basic questions, you are not ready for success. Write down the answers. Make them clear and achievable. I read in one of Brian’s Tracy’s report that the great billionaire H.L. Hunt once said, there are only two real requirements for success. The first is to decide exactly what you want. The second is to determine the price you must pay and then resolve to pay that price.

MAXIMIZE YOUR DAY AND TIME
One of the ways you save time, energy and resources is to plan your day and time. Many things will happen to distract you, and if you don’t already have your time planned out, you may lose focus of your goals.
The renowned Christian novelist, Francine Rivers advises writers to keep their priorities in order – God, family, writing. This is achievable with proper planning. She says, Write a little each day. Even if you only do a paragraph, you will have a body of work by the end of year. One page a day means 365 pages in a year.”
You maximize your day as a serious writer by making sure your plan includes writing every day, no matter how little.
Image courtesy of Akarakingdoms/freedigitalphotos.net
Award winning writer, Irene Hannon, said in an interview:
“Set aside time to write – and do it on schedule. It’s way too easy to find other things to do, but if you have a schedule, you’re more inclined to actually produce.
I recall someone once asked a famous writer if he waited until inspiration struck before he sat down to write, and he said something like: “Absolutely. I make sure I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.”
That sense of discipline - of making yourself write even when the muse is hiding or you’re not in the mood –is to me, the sign of a professional writer, whether you’re writing full time or juggling your writing with a day job. Even an hour three times a week is a schedule and it signifies commitment.”

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 6:6-11 to plan and be diligent like the ant. Great achievements require great sacrifice. So, to be a successful writer, you must be ready to pay the price. You can be who you want to be and accomplish just about anything you want if you are willing to pay the price.

A day came when I realized there is always a price to pay anyway, whether for success or for failure. I chose to pay it for success. That is paying in advance rather than paying later.

Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace