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Extra Words: How to Cut Them Out
(and Why You Should)

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 Word From The Word

You must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. (Matthew 12:36, NLT)

A Word For Writers

Get rid of extra words: it’s a guiding principle of good writing.

Cut extra words: an online devotional for writers based on Matt 12:36 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #ChristianWriting

But which ones are extra?

“Examine every word you put on paper,” said American journalist and teacher William Zinsser (1922-2015) in his iconic nonfiction guide, On Writing Well

Then determine whether or not each word advances your message. “You'll find a surprising number that don't serve any purpose,” said Zinsser. 

Cut them out. Ruthlessly.

It’s a principle that permeates scripture, too. 

Excess words are wasteful, said Jesus in Matthew 12:36, which indicates a careless heart.  One day, you’ll have to explain to God why you used each one of them. 

Save the discomfort of that discussion and get rid of extra words. Your writing will be clearer.

And you’ll have less explaining to do.

A Wise Word

Get rid of extra words.

A Word To Pray


Help me write purposefully. Show me how to cut out extra words and make my meaning clear.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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