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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Some Cliches Still Have Power

With writing, especially technical writing, we're supposed to get rid of cliches. Why? Cliches have been so overused where they lost meaning or power. Yet, if we're honest, we communicate in cliches at times because it best captures something we're trying to say.

The cliche "the pen is mightier than the sword" is true because written works have brought far more change in this world, or destruction in some cases, than any armed revolution or army could ever do.

Even though I'm just a technical writer, I feel humbled to be a part of a craft that has potential to change the world.

Not Just Halloween 

Today, is Halloween also known as All Hallows Eve. However, on this same day, it's
Protestant Reformation Day.

Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, saw the abuses of the Church in his day, where it was more about money and power than about love and grace of Jesus Christ. He was so disgusted that he had to get the word out about these abuses by posting his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church.

And from there, whether for good or for ill,  Martin Luther altered the course of the Western Christian Church, Europe, and eventually good parts of this world.  (If you want to read an in-depth biography about Martin Luther, I recommend Derek Wilson's Out of the Storm.)

Now I'm aware that Martin Luther wasn't perfect. They were things that he said that I'm still scratching my head to this day. But people and their written work don't have to be perfect to affect the world.

When the time and conditions are right, written works are the sparks that set the blaze of change to consume the world.

The Book that Affects Change

But I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Greatest Written Work that has permanently changed the world, the Bible. 

The Bible is the most controversial book known, yet it still changes lives. Empires have fallen. Nations have changed and gotten liberated from their oppressors. Slaves have been set free. People have died over it, especially those who want to get it in the hands of the common people. It has been demonized, mocked, and has polarized people. Wars have been waged over it. Sadly, it has been the most abused written work to justify evil behavior and hatred. Yet, the Bible has been used to stand for justice, liberty, and love. The Bible has the power to affect the world. God said this about His Word:

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬
" shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

What is the Bible? In a nutshell, it's God's story of salvation for humanity and Creation. After He created the world and people and they rebelled against Him (Genesis 1-3), He set a plan to redeem what was lost back to Himself. If you keep these following verses in mind till you get to the end of the Bible, you will see how God's plan of salvation comes together:

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:14‭-‬15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

"The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

The Bible is the written work that has changed and continues to change my life. If you want to know the Bible for yourself, then check it too. You won't be the same.

Thank you for stopping by. Happy Reformation Day! Happy Halloween! God bless!

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Simple yet deep (or difficult)

When I was choosing a vocation, I just want to do something simple, yet take a lifetime to grow in it. Writing seem to fit. Writing is actually hard, even if you want to get good at it. I don't claim I'm a good writer. I just happen to enjoy it, and God continues to bless me with a career in technical writing.

Writing is not perfection, which I think is the core problem of writer's block, it's about the process. And the process is one that I enjoy and find it a privilege to continue be a part of.

Simple, yet deep (or difficult) is the essence of the writing craft. It sounds like I'm contradicting myself. But, hang on. If you want to be a writer, you just write! Don't think about it! Don't talk about it. Just do it! That was the best advice I got when I first started my writing journey. It's been difficult along the way. But to start was simply just to commit my first word on paper (or screen) and go from there. The deep, many times difficult, is where you continue to grow and improve your craft. The initial draft is easy because it can be poor, disjointed writing. (That's not to say, it's always easy. I continue to struggle with an initial draft. But it doesn't have to be hard.) The hard part is the rewrite and edits to take your writing to the next level. 

I guess we can say the writing craft is a paradox. And it's a paradox worth diving into. It takes tenacity to swim through this paradox. When coming out on the other side to see the finished product, it was worth the effort.

Simple enough to start, yet deep enough (or difficult enough) to develop. That's writing in a nutshell. Or if you're like me, that's technical writing. Thank you for stopping by. God bless.