Editor’s Note: Post originally publiched on February 20, 2019.
British author J.K. Rowling declared, “The wonderful thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting. The terrifying thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.” Writers since the beginning of time faced the double-edged sword the joy of creation from words and the fear of writer’s block. Some days it seems that words cannot be typed quick enough as phrases, sentences, and paragraphs already exist in your mind. Other times crafting a mere word or phrase is as painful as getting a tooth pulled at the dentist!
Whether you currently are in a state of inspiration or at a standstill in your writing here are three tips to enhance the ability to write more naturally and effortlessly.
Read, Read, Read— Feed Your Mind
The great American author William Faulkner advocated for the importance of reading, “Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out.”
I’ve found that reading a lot leads to effortless writing, without any strain. The mind needs a steady stream of information, like the body needs a balanced meal. Writing different genres is crucial for growth. I read comics for creativity and Catherine of Siena’s dialogues for spirituality and intellect.
Another tip to develop more natural and effortless writing is to make time to reflection on the stuff you read. The Greek philosopher Aristotle purported, ““Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Without proper time to examine yourself and the ideas that you read about it gets difficult to organize them into coherent thoughts. Among the best times for reflecting on a post that I want to write about occurs in the car. Using the minutes between drives to work, the grocery store, or other errands I ponder how I want to organize the essential points of an article that I am working on. Even a few minutes of reflection helps me write at a quicker rate and with less resistance!
Passion and Purpose
After feeding your mind with plenty of information and reflecting on the material that you want to write about the third tip I use to make my writing more effortless includes a passion and clear objective. Why are you writing? Is it for an increased amount of exposure and social media fame or is your reason deeper?
I created The Simple Catholic blog to find joy in life on my journey to Heaven. Flannery O’Connor said, “I write to discover what I know.” Through faith, I know that freedom from sin and death comes from following the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
My secondary goal is to help people find joy in this life and the next. Jesus said loving God and neighbors are the greatest commandments (Matthew 22:34-40). Prioritizing God, others, and myself brings joy to all aspects of life. This joy is meant to be shared with readers and passed on to friends and family.
Filling my mind with a variety of ideas, taking time to analyze that information, and remembering my original mission for becoming a writing has all contributed to helping me write more naturally, more honestly, and more effortlessly. I hope that these tips help you in your writing endeavors as well. Please feel free to share these tips to your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.
“All for one and one for all”—Alexander Dumas
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”—Anne Frank
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”— Mahatma Gandhi
In a world brimming with natural wonders, few sights captivate the human spirit quite like the vibrant beauty of a rainbow. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the rainbow holds profound symbolism that speaks to the depths of our faith and the boundless love of God. Inspired by my own experiences and reflections, as well as insights from two compelling articles, let us embark on a journey to unravel the spiritual significance of the rainbow.
Birth in a Rainstorm
My oldest son is named Noah, and he was born in a rainstorm. He and his siblings are also quite the artists, so the rainbow is a symbol that reminds me of his birth, in addition to reminding me about God’s promise in Genesis. The mention of the name Noah conjures imagery of the biblical account of the Great Flood. Just as the appearance of a rainbow marked God’s promise to Noah, the birth of a child amidst a rainstorm tangibly reminds us of hope and the fulfillment of divine promises.It symbolizes the renewal of life, a testament to the enduring love of our Creator.
The Sacrament of Baptism and God’s Covenant
While I identify as a Catholic dad, but my first identity is an adopted child of God. I received this adaption through the graces of my Baptism. Drawing a parallel between the Flood in Genesis and the sacrament of Baptism, we see that the rainbow becomes an emblem of rebirth and spiritual regeneration. Just as the waters of the Flood cleansed and renewed the earth, so too does the sacrament of Baptism wash away sin and initiate us into the divine family. The rainbow signifies our adoption as children of God and the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith.
A Symbol of Hope and New Beginnings
After a long winter, I tend to think more about spring/summer-related signs like the rainbow more often. What natural signs remind you of Jesus? After a storm, the rainbow emerges in spring and summer, signifying the shift from darkness to light, desolation to renewal. As the earth awakens, the rainbow reminds us of Jesus and the hope He brings. It symbolizes new beginnings, triumph over death, and God’s unwavering presence in every season.
The Incarnational Bridge
A facet of the rainbow rarely focused on: its structure. A bow. It looks like an arch or a bridge. And the bridge is a symbol of the Incarnation because Jesus links us to God. Delving deeper into the rainbow’s symbolism, we uncover its structural aspect—a bow resembling an arch or a bridge. This image becomes a profound reflection of the Incarnation, where Jesus becomes the bridge connecting humanity to the divine. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Christ provides the pathway to God, enabling us to encounter the fullness of His love and mercy.
Rainbows in PopCulture: The Rainbow Road and the Bifröst
In popular culture, rainbows have portrayed roads or connections to other realms. Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road is a boundary-breaking course, igniting players’ imagination. Similarly, the Bifröst in the Thor movies symbolizes the interplay between mortal and divine realms. It is a rainbow bridge linking Asgard to Earth. Though fictional, these representations remind us of the rainbow’s power to bridge gaps and unite realms. They serve as a signpost to Jesus, the ultimate bridge between humanity and God.
Mirrors of Christ’s Light
The best way to convert souls is for them to encounter holiness. We are called to be mirrors of Christ’s light. As believers, we are called to reflect the light of Christ in our lives and illuminate the world around us. Just as the colors of the rainbow blend harmoniously, creating a magnificent kaleidoscope, so too should our lives radiate the diverse facets of holiness. By embracing our unique gifts and virtues, we become living reflections of Christ’s love, drawing others closer to God through our words and actions.
Evangelizing through the Rainbow:
How do we evangelize others about God’s love? Keep discussing the various aspects of the rainbow: structure as a bridge, colors representing a kaleidoscope of holiness, its occurrence usually in spring/summer, reminding one of art/creativity. And our creativity is derived from the creativity of the Holy Trinity.
To effectively share God’s love with others, we can engage in conversations that explore the manifold dimensions of the rainbow. By contemplating its structure as a bridge and its representation as roads in popular culture, we invite others to discover the transformative power of the Incarnation. Emphasizing the diversity of colors, we illustrate the rich tapestry of holiness within the communion of saints.
When we see a rainbow, we reflect on the renewal of life in spring and summer, inspiring hope in others. The rainbow’s connection to art and creativity is seen in Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road and the Bifröst in Thor. These references show the rainbow as a bridge, uniting realms and fueling our creativity—a reflection of divine creativity within us from the Holy Trinity.
The rainbow shows God’s Covenant love, weaving personal experiences, biblical narratives, and theological reflections. Its vibrant colors remind us of rebirth, hope, and the bridge to God. Let the rainbow inspire us to mirror Christ’s light and share God’s boundless love.
💡 When you find your voice in writing you will grab the attention of those you want to work with…
and repel those you don’t want to.
Bonus benefit for finding your voice in copywriting and crafting your message for your niche audience??
You sound like less of a generic-humorless robot.
Making is that much tougher for you to lose work due to #aicontent.
Here’s three simple things I did to form my unique voice for The Simple Catholic blog and my brand:
1️⃣ Write the way you talk
I love Catholic theology, comics, and The Office so it became natural for me to combine those ideas together in my writing and social media posts.
This combination inspired me to create several memes that conveyed information about the Catholic faith but with a humor-angle.
2️⃣ Pivot to your expertise
While I have a Masters Degree in Catholic theology, I have learned an immeasurable amount from my decade-plus years of experience as a Catholic dad.
My four kids (and even my unborn children who died via miscarriage) taught me so much— and they are awesome content-generators!
(on numerous occasions I have posted about my kids’ shenanigans at Mass including an incident on Palm Sunday about my three-year-old being concerned Peter chopping off Malchus’ ear).
I rebranded my blog sometime in 2017 from “Prayer, Recreation, and Organization” to “The Simple Catholic”.
I did this because I wanted to communicate the truths of our faith in a simple manner that allowed people to be more open to wanting to learn more.
Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
3️⃣ You become what you consume
The people you spend time with, the books you read and the activities you do on a frequent basis shape your habits.
This isn’t any earth-shattering news.
I have formed my unique voice for my brand through the time I spend learning from saints like Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Philip Neri, and Louis de Montfort.
Some of the most unique and inspired content have come during Mass.
After the liturgy ends, I wrote notes to myself on my phone to remind myself to develop the thought-seeds further.
Plus, I have spent more time reading (and replying) to comments from my followers and I have discovered they enjoy my funny posts that teach the faith the most…so I have doubled down on Catholic-informative-funny posts.
When I have started away from this strategy my voice falters and it is easier to fall prey to writing generic content (i.e. the stuff that gets easy likes on LinkedIn).
✍️ Write how you talk
💪 Lean into your strengths
🧠 Be cognizant of what you consume
Follow this basic three-step path to find your voice and create unboring and vibrant content that resonates with your audience.
How do you shape your unique voice that captures your audience’s attention?