When have I written enough?

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When do you stop writing? Whether it be a book, poem, journal entry or an assignment? When do you feel like you have included everything you were supposed to include to either ace it or simply pass the minimum expectations?  In college I always felt I could never study enough.  I could do all the assignments, write all the papers and read all the required reading and there would still be “supplemental reading” that professors suggested to further our understanding.  You write and study and write until you take your final and you hope for the best.  Sometimes the final was a final paper and you were hitting the 5pm deadline, so your writing stopped with the clock.  My personality type is that I could always do more or do better.  At some point though, when life needs to be prioritized, you have to be okay with doing what you did with the time and resources given.

What if you had the freedom to write until you were content?  Something can always be adjusted, changed or said better but at some point you need to be content with the message that was written down.  Who is my audience, who am I writing to and what message do I want to convey? These are the questions people guiding my writing as a first time author have asked me.  Now that I have finished the first actual rough draft copy of “The Last Day of Regret” my editor told me to take a week break from reading it and think about the bigger question of my message.  When I go back through it in the weeks to come, before my editor actually edits, I am supposed to make changes or adjustments as needed.  The main question given is, “Are you giving your audience what you promised at the beginning of the book?”  I had never thought about writing in that way.  There is no “wrong personal story” in anyone’s life but in terms of writing for large audiences to read I guess there is an unwritten expectation that even in a personal story about the death of my sister, I have a guideline.  Is the purpose of my book, which is stated clearly even within the first couple lines of the “Prologue,” given a sufficient amount of time throughout the entire book?  Do I make sure the reader, who is expecting to find something, find it by the end?

With that wisdom in mind, as I read my own writing in the weeks to come, I will seek to now understand and hopefully embrace the role of the audience.  I’m still the author, and I have written the story and connected all the dots I intended to. Now I am my own audience and need to hone in on keeping the main thing the main thing.  I need to draw myself back into my purpose for this manuscript.  I’m nervous to critique myself because I am worst critique.  However, I know it will refine me to revisit the words I have placed down over such a long period of time.

Please pray that God uses this book for the hope and healing of others, to encourage peoples faith and if possible bring someone to Jesus that is searching for Him.  Pray for wisdom for my editor, who I am so grateful to have.  Pray for wisdom in publishing and timing of when this book should not just be finished but given to the world. I hope the quote above, which comes from John 16:33, reminds you of all that Jesus does for us, for his saints and for those who seek him.

In Truth & Love,
Matthew Diaz


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