Each of us is living a story. The question is whether or not it’s a tale worth telling.
As an editor, writing teacher and bibliophile, I’ve read quite a few stories. They can be wonderful … or they can be an editor’s nightmare.
Sometimes a story begins well. It’s exciting, with intriguing characters and grand adventures. But then it seems to lose steam and trails off into uncertainty. Perhaps it begins slowly, then builds momentum, pushing all the action into the final few chapters. Or there may be too many secondary plots that don’t really help to move the story along, unresolved side issues that serve merely to distract the reader.
One way to help focus a story is to weed out the extraneous bits and pieces, the ones that don’t really matter within the plot, aid characterization or advance the major themes. When those sections are excised, the focus is placed more squarely where it should be, and the author’s purpose is clarified. Then the impetus of the writing and editing can be on strengthening the tale in a more purposeful way.
I’ve been looking at my life lately and noticing a few places where I need to do some ruthless editing—tearing out those things that don’t serve the story I want my life to tell. I want my life’s story to have purpose and meaning; so I must look at the time that I’ve been given and see what I want to do with that. What things has God given me to do? Am I being faithful with the gifts He’s given me? Do I even know what it is that I’m called to?
So, time spent online without a specific purpose? Time spent in worry or fear? Let’s reduce these from paragraphs to footnotes.
Time spent in reading, learning and training my mind? Time given to encouraging others, to expressing gratitude and thankfulness, to serving and helping others? Let’s expand those sections.
Editing can be a difficult, painful process. But it’s well worth it when it comes to honing your story.
So how’s your story coming along?