Today was the day!

They arrived. A tiny box for several books, but I suppose it was big enough, when I opened it four new books fell out onto the table. I was so ready to look through them… You see, when you read your own writing in book format, you’re no longer editing.

You may find a mistake or two (I found three in one book), but you’re not reading for editing purposes. You’re reading because the story captivates you. And you have to turn the pages, just like everyone else. You want to know what happens next. And you’ve forgotten what you wrote about by the time it hits the press. Not everything… But most things.

Jan VerhoeffEvery page you turn, you read something you don’t remember writing. Even if the stories are non-fiction and you lived them, as the reader you can get right into the process.

Funny thing is, on the Influencer… I caught myself taking notes. Now, there’s a concept. I already knew this stuff well enough to write it once, and I’m taking notes! Whew! What kind of information is that?

The story here…

A while back in a writer’s group with a bunch of writers, editing a book of simple, non-fiction stories for another writer, we caught ourselves editing the edits. The depth of the story was sucked out of the writing when we edited so completely, removing all the writer’s deep, well-thought-out words that defined his characters and his stories. And yet… When we got the book back, there were 11 mistakes in his book. Eleven. We found 11 mistakes in the 179 page book that we missed while we were removing all the -ly words, that, just, and, the, and any other word we deemed superfluous. But would the readers have noticed those words?

Maybe. But none of those words would have sucked the life out of the reader had we left them in the book.

And now… I know why. As a writer, those superfluous words define who you are. They distill your voice and place you in the head of your reader, lifting them out of their own thoughts, and into yours. The key to writing a great story isn’t removing all the ‘gotcha’ words that you might have added as you write, but rather it is creating a story that flows from one page to the next, captivating your reader with every single word.

You influence your niche when your words captivate their minds, steal their hearts, and warm their souls.

And that my good and faithful reading friends is what I believe every great writer does. So, let me know if you found a misspelled word if you must, and I may change it in the next edition. But please, take a moment to be captivated, warmed, and stolen away from the struggles of life, so you can enjoy the stories written between the covers of my books.

Let me influence you.


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