Writers have to read. They should be reading a lot of times and across different genres. I'll have to admit that I used to neglect this important task on many days. Why? I often found "more important things" to do and so I didn't "have" the time to read. I thought reading books can always be considered leisure and cannot be called work. Sure, sometimes it is a time of relaxation and fun; however, many times — for example, during research — it is work and it needs to get done.
I have a laptop so I could literally write everywhere, but I prefer to write at the same place every day: at my desk. The same goes for reading, I could just take my ebook reader or a selection of printed books with me to read them anywhere; but I prefer to read my books at the same place every day. There is something about connecting an unique space to a specific task. Entering that area is almost like switching the brain to do what it is supposed to do right there and then.
If you are a writer, have you set apart a favorite spot in your home where you are reading?
Jeremiah 6:16 had been one of the first verses I had come across while doing a research on the socialization* of homeschoolers:
Thus says the LORD:
Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths,
where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, “We will not walk in it.”
For many, many years, parents were the ones who taught their own children before sending them off to university.
O yes, there were many families in which neither father nor mother were capable of teaching the young ones. Most of the wealthy families hired a private teacher; the children of the others, who had not been so fortunate, might have never learned how to read or write.
Martin Luther longed to see all children, rich and poor, receiving a decent education. Some will say that he was eager to make schooling compulsory for every child. His main goal, however, was not to see children in school but for them to be able to read God’s Word.
As I read through my daily Bible reading this morning, I have come across the following verse:
And Elijah came to all the people, and said,
“How long will you falter between two opinions?
If the LORD is God, follow Him;
but if Baal, follow him.”
But the people answered him not a word.
(1 Kings 18:21 NKJV)
Immediately, I was reminded of Jeremiah 6:16 and challenged myself: Am I wavering between two opinions? And, if so, when — for what reason/s — do I hesitate to follow the LORD?
*I’m planning to write more on home education and the socialization within the homeschool family in the near future. So please stay tuned.
I haven’t used an Apple computer in ages. My Macbook no longer exists, the iMac has been traded in a couple of years ago, and the outdated Mac Mini (which I hadn’t used for a long time) went into another good home a while back. Fact is, that I’ve got used to typing with a PC that has an old Windows system on it. I didn’t miss the macOS at all.
Last week we had traded in my iPad Pro, which had been with us for a few years now. Do I miss it? No! I literally used to take it everywhere I went. It had been with me while going on a day trip or while on vacation. It had been with me whenever I went to Bible study. In the morning it had been the first thing I had to put aside so that it would give way to my printed Bible. In the evening it had been the last thing I put aside after reading ebooks and after checking mails once more before going to bed. No, I feel the freedom of not being online all of the time.
My husband said that it was about time for me to get a new computer to use for my writing. Hm, but what kind? I’ll have to admit, I started to like the idea of getting another Mac. However, Apple PCs aren’t inexpensive; and, with one income, money is a bit tight and so bigger investments are not that easy to make. On the other side, we have just traded in my iPad and received a gift card over a couple hundred euros. The other thing is that hubby is working for Apple so he gets a good discount on new items. All of this has made it possible to consider investing into another Mac. Did I want one? After finding out we would pay less than half the price, I felt that I was ready for another one. ;)
The order was sent out and on Wednesday this week I have received my new Mac Mini. I’m very grateful that we have been able to afford it. After a little bit of a bumpy start, I’m quite pleased with it and I’m already back into writing with Pages — loving it just as much as I used to a couple of years ago.
In Writing Tools I have told you a little about fountain pens, rollerball pens, and ballpoint pens. I mentioned that for a while I've tried using pencils only but eventually I ended up using disposable pens. The thought of going back to rollerball pens, however, didn't let me go. Perhaps because I hadn't been too happy about my own handwriting after all?
I went shopping the other day. The stationary department seemed to magically draw me close to its aisles. I started looking at, you've guessed it, pens. And there it was! I thought, Oh, look at that beauty! Immediately I took a picture and sent it per express (no problem in the age of social media and messengers) to my hubby. I wanted to have his opinion about it, especially since it cost more than what I was willing to spend for a new pen. No reply. You see, while I was shopping, he had gone to the gas station to fill up the car and to have it cleaned. I continued putting the groceries into the cart until I saw my husband coming into the store. I made my way briskly toward him and told him all about the pen that I have seen over in the stationary department. "Let me see it," he said, and we walked to where all the writing materials are found. I'm so grateful that my husband has said: "Let's buy it. You need a good pen to do all of your writing."
So this is it: my new Parker Fountain Pen. It's slim, light, fun to write with, and the ink dries well and therefore does not smear easily. I'm quite happy with it.
Do you have a favorite pen or pencil to write with? Do you prefer blue or black ink when writing with a ballpoint / rollerball / fountain pen?
Last week I mentioned that I had come across Write From the Bible by Glenn White. While working my way through it, I was introduced to the "Inductive Bible Study Method" (Read more on that at The Christian Homemaker's Blog). And, thanks to the course, I started to organize my writing notes.
In my last post I said that Glenn suggested to create an index page. It should have four columns: date, Scripture, title, and page (pages of the journal are to be numbered ahead of time). For the first few years it has worked out well. However, at some point my notes started to outgrow this way of organizing. I wanted to find everything at the same place:
Saving my Journal Notes
I prefer to have my texts at hand all the time, no matter if I'm online or offline. That's why I'm using a USB drive and not a kind of a cloud to save my files to. So for me the best way to file my diary pages and the index was to go digital. I created an .ods (OpenOffice Calc) document which has three sheets: one is sorted by date, another is sorted by Scripture, and another is sorted by keywords; all three sheets have columns named: date, Scripture, Title, D/B/S (daily, Bible study, sermon), keyword/s. I also keep the Bible study and sermon notes in that same folder. Inside the Journal Folder there are: 12 folders named year-month (numerals), my templates (diary, Bible study, sermon notes), and the Journal Index.
Bible Topical & Quotes
There are more folders found on this USB drive. One of them is called Notes Bible Topics in which I keep texts on topics like Ambassadors for Christ, Chosen, Crown of Life, Gladness, Joy, etc. Whenever I come across verses in my Bible that mention a topic I want to know more about I copy and paste the verses and title the pages accordingly. Another folder that is on this USB drive is called A-Z Quotes which contains verses of hymns, quotes by more or less famous people, and parts of Bible verses (e.g. parts that I could use as a title).
File on the Bookshelf
I like to go through my journal notes and prefer them to be offline, additionally to be off-computer. That's what I've got a file on the bookshelf for. I organize my notes by months in there. I print out the most recent index now and then to keep it at hand and so that I can find specific texts more quickly.
I'm a helpmeet, homemaker and writer. I was born and raised in Germany but I'm now living in the stunning Sunny South East of Ireland.