Writing Lesson 26 – Honesty is the Best Policy

A lot of us are in the habit of writing and saying what we know other people want to hear from us. This is very necessary and good when it comes to some things like schoolwork and chores – but the habit doesn’t grow a writer who can speak from the heart.

Grab your Bible and look through the Psalms. You’ll see song after song filled with concern, complaint, conflict as well as expressions of confidence in God. The one unifying theme of all 150 psalms is that the entire range of human emotion is contained in the collection.

To grow as a writer, it is helpful to have a place where you can be completely honest before God and with yourself. A journal can do this. If you’re not sure where or how to begin journaling, you might want to check out my resource for home schooled students: http://www.jsgrammar.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=17&Itemid=31

If you’ve never tried your hand at spilling your emotions onto paper, this brainstorming exercise is a simple place to begin.


Begin by setting a timer for ten minutes and writing a list of all the things that frustrate you in your life. You don’t need to show anyone else your list. The goal should be to get your thoughts onto paper without worry about censoring them in order to please someone else.

If you run out of things to complain about in your own life, you can take on the world around you. What’s not fair in that world? What makes you sad? Mad?

Now, pick up that Bible you skimmed a few minutes ago. Take a look at Psalm 64. Read it out loud to yourself two or three times. David knew how to complain about his enemies, didn’t he? But if he’d stopped at complaint, his song to God would have been a one-note monotone. Instead, he detailed his complaint, then turned his heart to God in hope.

Now look at your list of complaints. Choose one and write a psalm patterned like Psalm 64. Express your complaint honestly, and then form a request for God’s help in the matter to close your psalm.

Finally, read (or sing) your completed Psalm to Him.


For more writing help from Michelle Van Loon, visit www.homepagewriting.com

About Michelle Van Loon

Author Michelle Van Loon home schooled her three children for 13 years. All three graduated from home school and are now young adults. Michelle began teaching groups of home schooled students in her local co:op what the Lord had taught her about writing. Over a decade ago, the success of these classes led to the launch of her home school writing tutorial business (www.homepagewriting.com).

Read more about Michelle.


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