a glimpse inside (the writing life)


The opening image today is a glance into my study, just a peek through the door from the upstairs landing. I took the photograph on a whim, and was about to consign it to the “delete” box when something grabbed me.

I realized the picture is a small glimpse into me, and that it kind of represents what people know of me through reading this blog. Sometimes I invite you all the way in, laying my heart bare or leaving my emotions exposed; but typically it’s more of a standing just outside, looking my way as I leave the door open.

MODES OF WRITING: Several people have asked me about “how” I write, and how much of “self” is it appropriate to let leak into the writing, and I realized there have to be several answers.

This week, for example, I’m writing to speak (preparing for an upcoming conference), I’m writing a couple of “commentary” columns for news outlets, I’m writing some encouragement and instruction (for dads at AllProDad.com), I’m working on a new book, and – every day – I journal via this space.

Each “product” involves differences in style, tempo, structure, vocabulary, resources, and focus. Each has a unique goal. I don’t just write, then slot the result into one of the projects; I must first set my intention and my direction, I have to establish the trajectory, and then I launch – or at least try to.

VOICE: There are commonalities, too. I have – over the years – developed a “voice” that is hopefully recognizable, and that makes its way to the surface no matter what I’m writing about. Sometimes the prose I write is poetic, grabbing people and causing them to repost paragraphs or phrases to share with the world, and then – more often than I wish – it can be wooden and lacking in spirit.

@[696483709:2048:Derek Maul] - the precipiceBut it’s my intention that everything, be it news writing, or journaling, or putting together a new book, tells a little bit more of the story of life, and light, and of The Greatest Story Ever Told.

So that, when you stand at the top of the stairs and look in through the door to my study, you will find more of the Good News about Jesus, and that you will want to come in, and that you will find yourself at home.


So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. (John 10:7-9)


Live Like You Mean It The Life That Truly is Life The Life-Charged Life

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. “But it’s my intention that everything, be it news writing, or journaling, or putting together a new book, tells a little bit more of the story of life, and light…”

    I was just talking to my journalism students this morning about the difference between a “5W’s” story and a story that feels “alive.” The “5 facts” may form the foundation of the story but it’s that life and light that fills the house.


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