One Big Idea

For over 35 years, MAI has been serving writers, editors, and publishers around the world. Through our conferences, training events, and online resources we have equipped and encouraged more than 10,000 people in 90 countries. 

With the pandemic changing the landscape of learning this past year, we are increasing our use of digital media to provide you the tools you need to excel in your craft. One of the ways we are doing this is by launching a new weekly short video called One Big Idea, in which we will bring you one big idea, as well as reflection questions to consider throughout the week.

These videos will be led by a variety of people around the world who are part of the MAI community.  

For 35 years, God has allowed us to be part of His Big Idea to use His people to impact our world for Christ. Your faithfulness to His call on your life is our highest priority, and we pray these new weekly videos will further equip you to create excellent content that enriches the Church and influences society.

Three Ways to Find Inspiration as You Write - Week Three

Last week, we talked about two “permissions” we need to give ourselves up front: the permission to go and the permission to stop. We need to be ready with a writing plan and we need to be okay when we need to take a break.

This week, we look at three places we can find inspiration for our writing: in our environment, through other people, and with ongoing learning. You never know where you will get inspiration for your project—and often times, the seeds are planted through unexpected means. After you have watched the video, take some time this week to reflect on the questions and ideas below: 

  • Close your eyes and think of the places and items that bring a smile to your face and help you feel excited about the future. How can you integrate 1-2 of these into your regular writing environment?
  • Close your eyes and think of the places and items that bring your spirit and emotional energy down. Make sure that they are out of sight and mind as you write.
  • Who in your life can you take on your journey of writing? Have a conversation with them about their role and invite them to join you.
  • What book, podcast, video, etc. have you wanted to dive into but you haven’t yet? Create space over the coming week to do that.  
  • Invite friends and colleagues to share what books and podcasts they would recommend and consider if these may be creative outlets for you as well.

Giving Yourself Two Permissions as You Begin Writing - Week Two

Last week, we kicked off One Big Idea with three questions writers should ask themselves before beginning a writing project. This week, we look at preparing for our writing project and we talk about two “permissions” we need to give ourselves up front: the permission to go and the permission to stop. One involves a writing plan; the other, a creativity-slump plan.

After you have watched the video, take some time this week to reflect on the questions and ideas below:

  • When do you plan to carve out time to write? Make a plan. Is it daily? Weekly? Get it on your schedule and let others know which times you will be focused on your writing project.
  • Ask yourself, “How do I feel about writer’s block?” Does it worry you? Ask God to guide you to accept that there may be moments when your creativity may not be as active.
  • Do some research on how others have gotten through dips in creativity and create a toolkit for options for you when these times come. For example, going for a walk or talking with a friend.
  • Give yourself permission to walk away when you don’t feel creative. How long will you give yourself before you will go back to the work? 15 minutes? A day?
  • Commit to praying for the whole process even now. Ask God to give you clarity of thought and purpose as you write.

The 3 Big Questions to Ask Before You Begin a Writing Project -
Week One

Writing is a labor of love, and even before we begin, we want to make sure that we are on the right track. This week, we kick off One Big Idea by looking at three questions writers should ask themselves before beginning a writing project:

  • Does this need to be written?
  • Am I the person to write it?
  • Is now the time to write this?

After you have watched the video, take some time this week to reflect on the three questions above and to the accompanying questions below:

  • What has been your confirmation that God is asking you to focus on the project you have chosen?
  • If you don’t yet have confirmation, what would that look like? Consider having a conversation with trusted confidants to confirm your idea.
  • Are there people you can reach out to who can support you as you begin and throughout this project?
  • As you assess the cultural moment around you, do you believe this project will help make our world better? If so, how?  
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