Editing Stuff I’ve Written

I’m compiling a year’s worth of my GraceNotes daily devotionals into a book. I’m working with the devotionals from 2009, when I was reading in the New Living Translation, using my usual through-the-Bible-in-a-year reading plan.

These devotionals became the first year of the daily GraceNotes by email series and I was beginning to work at making my writing a little tighter and limiting myself to a page of text for each devotional article.

Now that I’m putting them in a book, I’m learning a lot! For one thing, a book page doesn’t hold as many words as an 8.5 X 11” sheet of paper! So to fit each devotional on a page in the devotional book, I’ve got to trim some words from some of them.

I also discovered that my devotionals varied by as much as 35% in length. So it makes sense to work toward a more consistent length for each and all of them. This requires editing. That means cutting out some words that at one point I felt were necessary words – words that had to be present in order to say what I intended to say.

In this process (there are 365 devotional articles to read and adjust as required!) I’m learning a couple of other things as well. I just realized, after painfully going through the first 100 or so articles, that I am writing better now than I did two years ago and it’s worthwhile to make some changes that make it better for the folks who will read it!

Another thing I realized at about the same time is that these are my words and I am free to do what I want with them! I’m not obligated to leave a paragraph in if it makes the article too long and if I can get the message across without it. I can just cut it out and no one but me will even know it was there. And that it’s gone! Amazing!

Anyhow, this is a healthy process for me. It’s also plain old hard work! And that’s good for me as well.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress as we go along.

About Jim Stephens

I am a Christ-follower, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. I've been a pastor, church-planter, missionary, mechanic, and business owner. My life is a journey of faith and discovery and I love the season of life I find myself in.
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One Response to Editing Stuff I’ve Written

  1. Melissa says:

    I’m so excited to see GraceNotes in print. Thank you for all the hardwork you are putting into it.

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