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.