I'm currently working with just one list. I sat down one night and created a list of words that could be associated with each season. So for spring I have words like warmth, breeze, renewal, rain and training. A few weeks ago when I was trying to write a devotion based on a verse about training your children, the spring portion of the list came in handy. As I scanned the list, I saw the entry "training (spring)". I immediately thought about baseball. That launched me on a parallel of how spring training relates to parenting. The devotion basically formed itself from that one word association.
Another devotion about transformation was written from the fall list. The word of choice was pumpkins. I'll share the beginning here so that you can see how thinking about pumpkins gave me the beginning I needed.
" Pumpkins know the power of transformation. They can remain a simple pumpkin or become part of a table centerpiece. Some become pie, soup or seeds. Many become jack-o'-lanterns. Whatever their final destination, they all go through a transformation that's not of their choosing. I guess we can say that we are like pumpkins. Just as pumpkins can be transformed, we too have a similar opportunity. The big difference is we get to choose!"
Before looking at my word association list, I struggled for an hour trying to come up with a good first paragraph. Nothing seemed to work. But pumpkins, yes that was just the right hook for this piece.
I'm currently putting together a new word association list based on geographic locations like the mountains or the beach. It's a good idea to keep things fresh and a new list will help me do just that. What about you? What word association lists could you come up with? What other techniques do you use to help jump-start your beginnings?
Marietta Taylor is an author and speaker. She is the author ofSurviving Unemployment:Devotions to Go. Marietta is a monthly blogger at the Go ask Mom Blog at www.wral.com. Her tagline is Mom of Teens. She was also a contributing author to Penned From The Heart Vol XV. Marietta has a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Visit Marietta at www.mariettataylor.net or www.marismorningroom.blogspot.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.