Valentines and Imaginary Audiences

It’s getting close to Valentine’s Day, but remember the Reformation hymn contest is still going on. You have most of the month of February to work on it! I’m trying, too, but with limited success. I’ll probably post a few ideas as I, at least temporarily, give up on them.

For now it seems, my mind is more geared toward imaginary audiences. Have you considered that? Writing what you know you’ll never send/submit/seriously stand behind? It doesn’t seem like a super practical exercise, but sometimes that’s just where I am.

So here is a Valentine poem I would never send with a few writing questions following:


If you haven’t a heart
And don’t want to care,
Let me tell you your tired,
Or hurting or scared.

Or maybe it’s sin,
Just doing it’s thing,
Wanting to separate,
Embitter and zing.

Happy day to you still
For a headless old martyr
Would point you to Jesus,
The one great faith starter.

For God loved the world
So much that He gave
His only Son for the
Whole world to save.

Be bitter or sullen,
Be frightened and scared.
Jesus still gave Himself up for you,
Nothing was spared . . .

Except, oh wait,
That one little thing.
You, you old sinner there!
You and dumb me.

Happy Valentine’s Day.
May God’s Word warm your heart.
May He grant you the faith,
And let joy never part.

May the risen Christ Jesus
Show what life can be.
With hope resurrected,
May He set you free.

May God grant you peace
And divine understanding.
And know I show love
With some humorous grandstanding.


Ok, so lots of writing exercises can center on voice or setting. An ironic holiday? Lots of fodder! What are different ways we can work with that?

And, given that we believe in eternal life for the faithful, should I really poke fun with Valentine’s martyrdom? Probably a rhetorical question. It’s a poor reflection of something rather serious.

Here’s a big question: if you’re aiming at a somewhat adult-but-juvenile audience, how juvenile should the writing be?

Consider writing something you’d never send. We can call it exercising a different voice so it sounds respectable.

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Filed under As Christian Writers, Writer's Life, Writing Exercises

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