I came to believe this much: good words are worth the work. Well-written words can change a life. Why is this? Words go where we never go—Africa. Australia. Indonesia. My daughter was in Bangalor, India, last summer and saw my books in the display window of a shop.
Written words go to places you’ll never go. …and descend to depths you’ll never know.
Readers invite the author to a private moment. They clear the calendar, find the corner, flip on the lamp, turn off the television, pour the tea, pull on the wrap, silence the dog, shoo the kids. They set the table, pull out the chair and invite you, “Come, talk to me for a moment.” The invitation of a lifetime.
Accept it. We need your writing. This generation needs the best books you can write and the clearest thinking you can render. Pick up the pens left by Paul, John, and Luke. They show us how to write.[…]
In an effort to write well, let’s not forget the good news. In an effort to be creative, let’s also be clear.[…]
Good writers do this. They 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).
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).[…]
A framed quote greets me each time I sit at my desk. “You wanna write? Put your butt in that chair and sit there a long, long time.” Writing is not glamorous work. But it is a noble work. […]