Some pastors see sermon illustrations in everyday experiences.
That’s not me.
I see practical concepts worked out in everyday situations. I try to connect ideas together, and to imagine how I might use writing to communicate fresh perspectives.
When I say “writing,” I’m always thinking in article units. 500-2,000 words. The length of a magazine article or book chapter.
Here’s a recent example.
I was pondering the notion of delegation in the workplace. Delegation means assigning a task to a responsible someone so that you don’t have to do the task. You may still be responsible to your superiors for the outcome, but you’ve strategically unloaded the task itself to someone you can trust.
But I know many people whose jobs are being done by others apart from delegation. Some people simply drop the ball, but they have very conscientious employees or volunteers who clean up their messes and do their jobs for them.
That can’t be called delegation, because it was neither intentional nor strategic. But it happens all the time. What is it called?
Then it hit me. If others are accomplishing tasks for you, it’s either due to delegation or “dropagation” (emphasis on the “drop”).
As far as I know, I just invented a word.
We all know people who excel at delegation; we also know people who excel at dropagation.
The experience of stumbling upon ideas like this happens to all of us. Maybe this is a good idea, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s already been thought of.
It doesn’t matter at this point in the freshness of discovery. What did I do next?
I began punching the keys on my keyboard. I wanted to capture this thought while it was fresh.
Maybe I’ll publish an article on this concept; maybe a chapter in a book; maybe nothing will come of it.
For now, the idea is exciting. More important, the exciting idea is captured on my computer (and backed up).
Write everything down.
This goes for ideas, connections, fresh insights, imaginary conversations for your novel, interesting baby names you may want to use, quotations, Bible verses, hard words you want to begin using in conversations, and everything else you can think of.
You don’t write it down so you’ll remember it; you write it down to give yourself permission to forget it. This liberates you to think of a new idea tomorrow. Yet your old idea is captured and waiting to be developed.
Write everything down.