By Don Zoller
I misspell words. I use poor grammar. Often, my sentence makes no sense. At times I repeat myself. Then there are those pesky verb tenses. These are only some of the things my eyes see after a good night’s sleep. It is these “dumb” mistakes that makes me realized that writing is rarely a perfect process. After my co-author and I had read through our published book, we were amazed at the number of annoying glitches we saw—none serious. This, after several proof readers, including ourselves, and a professional editor combed our manuscript before publication.
Through that experience I learned that the human mind often plays tricks between what we think we are writing, what our eyes see and what our hands actually type with our computer keys—and maybe what the computer itself decides is right for us. For important writing, I always try to “sleep on it” overnight, or maybe not looking at it for a few days. I am always surprised by what I see when I return to my work. I sometimes rewrite entire paragraphs after a good night’s sleep.
Separating yourself from what you wrote for a brief time also gives you space to think, and to rethink, what you wrote. In the intervening time you may gain new insights and new ways to phrase your words to make them more emphatic, strong, or thoughtful, better helping the reader to understand your heart. You may want to do this within a section or chapter you are writing.
When your mind gets fuzzy, when you begin making too many mistakes, or your mind wanders away from what you are writing—stop and sleep on it! Put your work aside and thank the Lord for what He has given you to write. Your work will be waiting for you when you return refreshed and inspired to write more. Perhaps, even to rewrite what you previously wrote.
Your action today—Don’t be in a hurry! Be prayerful! Be thoughtful! Take your time. What you are working on is worth the extra time it takes to give it a rest. Time is your friend. It helps you think more deeply about what you wrote. It allows the Holy Spirit to put the finishing touches on your writing. Until next time . . .
Blessings and Shalom
For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.
At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.
Don has recently joined the family at Trinity and is active in the 50+ Bible Study. He enjoys writing and has authored several books that provide spiritual encouragement and biblical insights. His son and daughter-in-law, Graham and Susan, are also members at Trinity.