Words of Life

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I’ve been on a writing hiatus from my blog since my heart surgery last August. I focused on Charisma Media initiatives and building our podcast network. I’m excited to announce our Charisma Podcast Network shows have been downloaded over 8,200,000 times since we began podcasting. Over 100,000 people downloaded the “Greenelines” podcast this month. I’m so grateful to all of you who listen to the show.

It may surprise you to learn that podcasting must include more stories than interviews. I’ve written many times about the importance of words. I think I forgot my own sermon. I drifted away from writing and focused on the interview.

Just wrong!

All content creation must be thought of in terms of the writing process. Words matter more than art or bells and whistles. Words of a story move readers and audiences. We must stand guard that production values do not overtake the value of writing. The sizzle is always nice but the steak is more satisfying and memorable. Marketers have long taught “sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

Just wrong.

How many times do you leave a restaurant and discuss the excellent sizzle of that ribeye? It’s the meat that stimulates repeat customers, subscribers or downloads. There must be a there, there. Yes, a sizzle stimulates the experience but without chew value, it’s just a lot of snap, crackle, pop.

Spend more time on writing to your audience. Make sure you know what your audience expects from you. What need does your work satisfy? I hear from many bloggers and podcasters who claim their writing is for everyone. These writers boast of large audiences and mass appeal. Bigger is better.

Just wrong.

Getting better is about writing to a special need that very few writers address. For many audiences, more content is better. “Give us more of what you’ve been writing.” Your audience doesn’t come to you to read or listen to anything other than what they found from you in the first encounter. I want steak. If I want seafood, I’ll go to a seafood restaurant. Do what you do best.

I had the privilege to interview Pastor Sam Rodriguez yesterday about his new book, You Are Next. He reminds us to “let go of labels you’ve allowed to define you. Move beyond the barriers that limit you. Let go of the qualifications you think are tacked on to Jesus’ command to get up and walk.” (Click here for more information on his book.)

Allow your faith to grow as a writer. Trust the Lord to give you the words you need as you write. Pray that His words will flow into all of your writing.

It’s all about words of life.

I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to make comments or ask a question. Email me at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you.

I hope you engage my ministry of helps.

—Dr. Steve

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