April 07, 2014

Making Good Things Happen Inside Readers – Ramona Heikel

Frederick Buechner wished that he had told his writing students to think about what they wanted their books to do inside those that read them. That makes me ponder what I want my books and articles to do, and actually, I think I did it the other way around. First, I imagined other people reading the same great books and having the same positive reactions that I did. Then I ended up becoming a writing student.

So what exactly do I want my writing to do inside my readers? Thinking about people who are discouraged about themselves, hurt, angered by others, or disillusioned about who God really is, leads me to write something that will change those disheartening feelings. I want to encourage readers by bringing them into a welcoming global “community” of humankind, showing them that they are in good company, not so different on the inside than many other people, and therefore—most importantly—not alone.

I especially want to help people understand themselves, or understand why others do and say the things that hurt or anger them, because this can be the beginning of self-acceptance and forgiveness toward their enemies. I personally have found reading books about personality types and motivations fascinating and helpful, and I try to share what I’ve learned in my writing.

I want to truthfully portray God in his power, love and majesty, to counteract the many weak and negative ways that He, and Christ-followers, are perceived in society. The enemy, of course, is always at work deceiving people about these things, so it is no surprise how many people don’t bother to know God for themselves. But I join all of you and believers everywhere to tell the truth. No, I am not entering a religious jousting match to prove who’s right and who’s wrong, but trying to offer my perspective and experiences of finding joy, hope, better relationships, and peace of mind as I have grown closer to the Lord.

I have presented another way of looking at my hopes for my writing, by imagining an article that I’d want to be written about me in the future. You can read it in my wishful-thinking Inscribe post called “January 7, 2022” posted on January 7, 2012. Although it seems even farther in the future than it did when I wrote it, it is still my dream!

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC

By the way, I looked up the pronunciation of Buechner and found out that it is pronounced “Beekner”, and if you’re interested, you can mine more of the riches of Frederick Buechner’s writings here, http://www.frederickbuechner.com/. I was also surprised to find him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

Posted by Ramona


  1. "I want to truthfully portray God in his power, love and majesty,".
    What a goal, Ramona! Isn't God good to us to show us how great He is and then task us to write about Him?! What an exciting challenge it is!
    Pam Mytroen

  2. This is a wonderful summation of what you want your readers to experience through your works. It's certainly a challenge.
    I've long been a fan of Buechner's writings.

  3. Thanks Pam and Lorrie, and it's a joy to write for Him alongside you and the other Inscribers!


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