Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Every Letter Matters by Emily Conrad

 
The book’s tagline went something like this: A woman with a dark past and an evil enemy collie.

Wait. Did that just say collie?

As comical images filled my mind, I reread more carefully. The tagline should’ve read: A woman with a dark past and an evil enemy collide.

One letter makes quite a difference.

The word count feature recently reported that the story I’m editing right now is made up of half a million characters, including letters and spaces.

Though I love this story, it’s given me a fair amount of trouble. I’m on my third somewhat major revision. That means, writing the book took well over 500,000 keystrokes.

Tap, tap, tap. (Multiplied by 166,667!)


I never gave much thought to the single letter building blocks my hero and heroine and all their friends and faults and victories are made of.

But each is important, if that enemy collie is any proof.

Seeing that number helped me realize how much I’ve invested in the story and how each little letter impacts the whole.

At times in the writing life, progress seems to stall, but even the smallest keystrokes, revisions, and submissions add up.

Even if your novel is shorter than mine (which admittedly could use some cutting), you’ve likely amassed at least a quarter of a million keystrokes to compose even a short novel. And those keystrokes represent characters, plots, story arcs, hopes, and dreams.

If you’ve made it that far, take a deep breath. Appreciate the accomplishment.

If you haven’t completed a manuscript yet, you, too, can take heart. However much you’ve written, you’re on your way toward a massive accomplishment. One that would not be possible if you weren’t willing to invest in typing those first few words.

When we follow God to the keyboard, the task before us is monumental.


Not only will we strike these keys hundreds of thousands of times (or millions, if we don’t stop at our first couple of books), but our words carry weight one letter at a time. As they form on the page, God can breathe power into them that will reach readers we’ll never meet.

This writing thing is bigger than any of us, but the task is not bigger than the God we serve.

I know it’s easy to get bogged down in the process, but as long as we’re following Christ, one day, we’ll look back and see something far more amazing than a tally of our keystrokes.

Psalm 139 says each of our days are written in His book before there was one of them.

If our novels are made up of hundreds of thousands of keystrokes, and each of those carry meaning, can you imagine all the meaning and value God packs into the moments of our lives?

Sometimes, as we wait for the next big milestone, we forget the value of the little in-between moments. We get lost in the keystrokes.

But the Author of the Universe has penned our stories. Rather than concluding after two hundred or three hundred fifty pages, these stories stretch into eternity.

As His children, we’re promised a beautiful outcome there with Him.


In the meantime, we live one keystroke at a time in the faith that each will become a valuable part of our stories—the stories of our lives, and the stories we pen.

With God, each moment is worthwhile, and each letter makes a difference.


At times in the #writerslife, progress seems to stall, but even the smallest keystrokes, revisions, and submissions add up. via @emilyrconrad #nevergiveup #seriouslywrite

We live one keystroke at a time in the faith that each will become a valuable part of our stories—the stories of our lives, and the stories we pen. @emilyrconrad #writing #faithwriter #seriouslywrite

However much you’ve written, you’re on your way toward a massive accomplishment. One that would not be possible if you weren’t willing to invest in typing those first few words. @emilyrconrad #seriouslywrite #writetip #writing

Photo credits
Person using laptop Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash
Typing on typewriter photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash
Typewriter keys photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash




_______________________



Emily Conrad headshotEmily Conrad writes Christian romance and a blog to encourage women of faith. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence her novel Justice is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.

www.emilyconradauthor.com
Facebook.com/emilyconradauthor
Instagram.com/emilyrconrad
Twitter.com/emilyrconrad

https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Emily-Conrad-ebook/dp/B0792HGXQN/JUSTICE

The love of a lifetime, a quest for justice, and redemption that can only be found by faith.

Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it.

Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake.

If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.

Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?


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6 comments:

  1. Emily, I love the collie story.

    A friend of mine once quoted Psalm 119:105
    "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"
    and pointed out the fact that a lamp will provide only enough light to see just a little ahead. While we may know we're on the right path, we need to use that light to pay careful attention to those next few steps.

    Thanks for an interesting article and a good reminder.

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    Replies
    1. That's true. Walking in the light is so important. So grateful God reveals to us what we need to know.

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  2. It's truly something to consider the power of ONE letter. One more added to one more added to another makes--eventually -- a manuscript. Book in hand for readers to indulge in. And the power of ONE letter can completely alter our intended meaning...as in collie :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they all add up! Each play an important role. Just like each of us, actually :) God has us all here for a reason <3

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  3. I love the story of the evil enemy collie so much. I will never look at a collie the same way again! Thanks for these encouraging words as I struggle to keep the word count moving upward on my WIP!

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    Replies
    1. Haha! Thankfully, I don't see many, or I think I'd be worried about coming across an evil enemy one ;) Thanks so much for reading! I pray your WIP goes well!

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