Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
An online devotional for writers
A truly wise person uses few words. (Proverbs 17:27, NLT)
One writers' camp views the Delete key as their foe. Another group see it as their friend.
If the Delete key is your enemy, then you view it as an adversary that will eradicate your creativity ... your ideas … your hard work. Your many words, you believe, mean you have much to say. The Delete key strives only to destroy your lofty thoughts. Your words have come forth with such angst that you cannot imagine eliminating any of them – or at least, only a few.
But if the Delete key is your friend, you see it as a partner. Once you get that rough outline or messy first draft on paper, you work with the Delete key to cut, tighten, and clarify. What’s at stake here, in your mind, are not the words themselves. Rather, do those words convey your ideas so the reader can understand? Your Delete key collaborates with you to use as few words as possible yet still communicate clearly.
“Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly,” said Pennsylvania colony founder William Penn (1644-1718) in his collection of essays and maxims, Some Fruits of Solitude. “For the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.”
King Solomon said much the same thing: a truly wise person uses few words (Proverbs 17:27, NLT).
Be a wise writer. Make friends with your Delete key.
A wise writer uses as few words as possible to communicate clearly.
Remove from my heart any pride or desire to impress others with my words. Replace it, instead, with a desire to be clear to help my readers.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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