Newsletter #510 – What Keeps You Fresh?

fruit 1Based on the above title and the photograph, what is the likelihood that you will read this post to the end? Writers and speakers (professors and preachers included) quickly lose their audiences if nothing grabs and holds their interest. This starts with the title, topic, photo image or first sentence.

Like many columnists, preachers or bloggers I try to be fresh and relevant week after week. But freshness fades — both with fruit and with ideas. We all stop reading, listening, or sticking with projects if they get repetitious, irrelevant, boring or tasteless. So how do we keep freshness alive? I try to answer several questions on a regular basis:

  • What makes me stale? Most weeks I build on some recent book or article that I have read. We all lose freshness and creativity when there is no outside input to stimulate thinking.
  • What keeps me fresh? Prayer is of prime importance. I ask God to show me what to say. I also try to keep alert–reading, listening and interacting with people who differ from me. Ideas and people that stimulate me have potential to stimulate others. Every day I give thought to what may be relevant, practical and of interest to others.
  • What is the nature of my audience? Effective communicators know their audiences. Before I give a talk or write an article I want to know who I’m addressing and what people expect. Usually it is easiest to reach others who are most like us. In turn our words, lyrics, and ideas attract people like us. That means we could end up surrounded by people who all think alike.  That stifles fresh thinking and innovation.
  • What can be done to keep fresh? Remember that rotting fruit and vegetables stink and so do dull blogs or speeches. We prevent this when we communicate with passion, make deliberate efforts to connect, and seek to be interesting. Stories, illustrations and practical applications help, providing there is good content at the core.

Thank you if you read to this point. What kept you here? What was fresh? How does this apply to you? Please leave a reply or check the comments icon so you can see how others are responding.

    • Sabrina Daniel
    • December 13th, 2012

    What kept me reading is that I have a personal interest in keeping people’s attention through the written word. So in a word. . . the subject was of interest to me. Thank you for writing! I am a job searcher and I do a Newsletter once a week to family, friends, peers, and acquaintances. There are about 100 emails and I usually email about 75 depending on the contents of that particuliar Newsletter. It is called Leave It To Sabrina. Most are local folks, but I do have readers in NYC, Washington, DC, Colorado Springs,CO, and Charlotte, NC. Thank you for reminding me that I need to specitically pray before I start and while I am writing. Two men one Corporate and one Mechanical Engineer have told me to never stop. That is encouraging! Have a great day!

  1. I find that is very important for me to keep reading new material in order to be relevant, that takes an extra effort and investment. I appreciate your comment on praying in order to do a good job in communicating our ideas. Excellent motivation to help us doing what we are called to do with excellence. What kept me reading your post is that your ideas are always very relevant to what I do in the field of Counseling.

  2. Hi Gary — I kept reading because I do a weekly blog post that is running into three years — and I sometimes struggle to keep it relevant and fresh. I found that it is harder than I first supposed. Initially I thought everything that I wrote had to be and “original” idea. Now I look around for new input from outside sources. Once again, thanks!

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