An online devotional for writers
My co-workers are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been! (Colossians 4:11, NLT)
A good book editor is a behind-the-scenes coworker. Someone like Judith Jones (1924-2017).
Because of Judith, you’ve heard of Julia Child, the chef whose cookbooks made French cuisine accessible to the average person.
And you’ve heard of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who journaled about her teen years in hiding from the Nazis during World War II.
Judith Jones was the book editor who discovered the works of Julia Child and Anne Frank, both now household names.
While some author-editor relationships are acrimonious, the best are built on mutual respect. Each understands the role the other plays.
Judith understood her job as book editor was to help “writers express themselves more clearly.” Editors like Judith Jones consider themselves to be co-laborers with authors, helping the writer to emerge from anonymity to share their story powerfully. Most often, a good book editor works quietly, behind the scenes, as a co-laborer in the writing project both in preparing a manuscript and presenting it to the public.
For many believers, the Apostle Paul is a household name. He authored 13 books of the New Testament and led the spread of the gospel by planting churches across the Mediterranean.
But behind the scenes, Paul had plenty of co-workers like Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Epaphras, Demas, Nympha, and Archippus. They ministered to people, provided support, and delivered his letters to churches.These names are much less familiar to us than Paul’s. But each one contributed to spreading the Kingdom.
Good writers and leaders are humble to embrace this truth: quiet co-workers help make a project successful.
A good book editor is a co-worker.
You give each of us important roles to play in the writing process. Let me write well. And give me humility and wisdom to seek out editors and other co-workers who are gifted in their tasks, as well.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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