Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
An online devotional for writers
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. (Zechariah 4:10, NLT)
When I first started writing (and many times since then), I got tripped up in The Hook Writing Trap. I mistakenly thought I had to write the hook – the lead – first.
I’d comb through search engine results for a shocking statistic … rummage through my files for the perfect quote … frame a story or anecdote to fit the project’s slant …
I got embroiled in using a dozen different techniques for writing the lead and pull the reader into the piece before knowing what the piece was about. Only occasionally did that slippery rabbit trail led to a strong hook. But more often than not, I was filled with frustration.
That’s not to say that the time spent entangled in hook-chasing was wasted. Many times, the struggle helped me articulate my project’s main idea. Once I got the thesis straight, I was able to go back and write the hook and the rest of the piece much more easily.
Who says I need to start the project by writing the opening sentence?
My sequential mind is learning to trust a less-ordered process and write down ideas as they come – whether it’s an intangible concept or a concrete discovery or an illustration or a takeaway – and then process them and put them in order. The hook, I’ve learned, will follow.
The point is to write down the little bits that God gives me as he gives them.
Because the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.
You don’t need to write the hook of a writing project first.
Thank you for the ideas you give me so freely. Keep me from getting caught in the hook writing trap. Let me start with the ideas that you give me and listen as you guide me through writing the project.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
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