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The Writing Formula: Photocopy or Framework?

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

Follow… and observe those who live by the pattern we gave you. (Philippians 3:17, AMP)

Wise Words online devotional for writers from Philippians 3:17: The Writing Formula. With Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

A Word For Writers

"If I use a writing formula, am I cheating?"

It was a question posed to me by a new writer. To be completely honest, I asked the same question myself when I first started writing.

A writing formula is a template to follow when you're writing a specific kind of project - kind of like a recipe, except that the ingredients are your content.

My struggle with using writing formulas was this: it felt a bit like copying.

When I voiced my concern to a more experienced writer, he asked me, "Do you feel like you're copying when you follow another leader's study outline to lead a class - or another believer's prayer strategy during your quiet time?"

No … because the study guide or the prayer strategy is simply a framework. That framework helps me to keep a discussion on point or organize my thoughts as I pray. God allowed those who have gone before me to create those tools in order to help me grow - tools that have stood the test of time. 

In the same way, writing formulas have stood the test of time. 

They're not a photocopy. They're a framework.

Today, I look at writing formulas differently. I use them. And I thank God that writers before me created those formulas to help me structure my writing more effectively.

A Wise Word

Learn from those who go before you.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Thank you for the writers who have gone before me. Let me tap into their wisdom about writing formulas and writing structures so I can write clearly and efficiently.

In Jesus name, Amen.

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