Encouragement for Writing and Editing

Can I share a thought about writing? I spent yesterday with my editorial team reading through my 2020 book. We’ve followed the same process for over 25 years. We sit in a circle, each with a copy of the manuscript. We read each word out loud. Only when everyone is 100% convinced that the chapter is in best possible shape do we move on to the next. The process can be grueling, but it is worth it.

Are you a writer? If so, can I urge you to take the craft seriously. We need great Christian books. We need fine-tuned, packed-with-a-punch paragraphs that lift the heart, bow the knee and feed the spirit. Are you a writer? Then:

Let editors do their job. Editors tap the delete button and distill the writing. They bare-bone and bareknuckle it. They cut the fat and keep the fact. Concise (but not cute.) Clear (but not shallow). Enough (but not too much). A little red ink won’t hurt you. A lot of red ink might save you.

Make every word earn its place on the page. Not just once or twice, but many times. Sentences can be like just-caught fish, spunky today and stinky tomorrow. Re-read until you’ve thrown out all the stinkers. Rewrite until you have either a masterpiece or an angry publisher. Revise as long as you can. “God’s words are pure words, pure silver words refined seven times in the fires of his word-kiln” (Psalms 12:6 MSG).

Many people want to have-written, not many want to write. Writing is not glamorous work.

But it is a noble work.

We need your best book. Don’t give up. Be stubborn with your standard. Stay faithful in prayer. Pick up your pen and write for the soul.  ~Max Lucado © June 12, 2019