An online devotional for writers
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success. (Proverbs 15:22, NLT)
My first “official” writing instructor was a guy named Lou who guided me one-on-one, step-by-step, through a course on writing articles. He helped me to focus on writing clearly. “Make one point in your article,” he said. “And eliminate all those extra words.”
After Lou came Chris, my copywriting coach.
Her instruction centered on writing persuasively, no matter how many words it took to make my point.
Which one helped me the most? Both.
As I’ve wrestled with writing questions and worked to improve my craft, I’ve drawn as much as I can from all of my writing instructors. That includes Bob Bly and Peter Bowerman and William Strunk and Ann Handley, who have been my “writing instructors” through their books on writing. And then there are the writing instructors I had in elementary school, middle school, and high school who taught me how to write a sentence, how to write an essay, and how to write a research paper.
When Jesus was a young man, His parents “discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions” (Luke 2:46, NLT).
It’s likely that gathering included some of the greatest scholarly minds of the day.
Among the Jewish sages living in Jerusalem at the time were Hillel, the first century’s leading commentator, and his contemporary, Shammai. These two men represented two different schools of scholarly thought and often debated vigorously on matters of ritual and theology. Yet here we see Jesus in the temple, listening to all sides and seeking answers.
“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success”(Proverbs 15:22, NLT).
A writer’s challenge is not too much input from too many instructors. The challenge to learn what you can from each one.
Learn as much as you can from each writing instructor.
Thank you for all kinds of writers who can teach me different things. Give me an open, discerning heart. Show me how to sift through writing information and apply what I can learn to my craft.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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