“Don’t get it right. Get it written.”

Terri Blackstock has written over seventy books and has encouragement for new authors – be raw, real, and teachable.

Everyone responds well to compliments, but it takes maturity to respond well to challenge. That can come from other people, but it can also come from ourselves. When Terri was just starting out as a writer, she would spend so much time and energy on the first three chapters that eventually she would burn out and give up on writing the rest of the book. It wasn’t working. The key is not perfection, but perseverance.

“I learned that I needed to write the first draft through without judgment. Get it down and then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. And that’s how I work now.”

The next step in writing, then, is to pick an editor – the right editor. We can’t improve what we’re doing without listening to those who have wisdom to offer.

“I have worked for twenty years with the same editor, and he is brutal. He’s so good for me because he forces me to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until the book is ready for publication. He makes me rethink every single scene in the book.”

Having a second pair of eyes look at your work ensures that grammatical errors, story structure, plot holes, and overall flow are caught and addressed.

“Get a good editor and listen carefully to what they say. Then, make the changes; do the work. It’s hard work to write a book. But do it! It’s worth it in the end.”

The goal of writing can’t be fame and money but a chance to share your story and gift with others. If God chooses to increase your platform, He will – but choose to be faithful and teachable regardless.

“That’s the difference between a professional and an amateur. The professional is someone who’s going to learn from criticism.”

Sometimes it takes a village to tell a story properly. Let others speak into your writing and refine it. If God’s given you the gift and the opportunity to write, why not learn to write well?

Terri’s gift and love for Christ is apparent in her newest novel, If I Run.

Key Scriptures: Jeremiah 29:12-14

Featured Songs: Shake Yourself Loose by Vickie Winans; Impossible by Building 429; Can’t Hold Me Down by All Things New

Highlight : Tips for new writers

Novel talk : If I run

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