It was his first time attending a writing conference. He is a best-selling author who has written more than 50 books and has sold 65 million copies of his work. Yet it was also his first time speaking at a conference. Although he was on unfamiliar territory, New York Times best-selling Christian author Max Lucado spoke of the tools writers have, at the Writing for the Soul conference in Denver in February 2010. Below, find his best tips on subject, discipline and clarity for writers.
Guest column by Audra Krell, published
freelance writer. Audra is also a vocalist,
and she and her son lead worship in
churches and at conferences across the country.
MAX SAYS: BE PASSIONATE
• Your subject must be so worthwhile that it keeps you riveted to your chair.
• Because of your passion, you write without ceasing until it's finished.
• Strong topics and subjects cause writing to happen from the soul.
• Desire to work your writing through, so the reader doesn't have to.
MAX SAYS: STEADY IS AS STEADY DOES
• Make a date night with your notebook. If you sit long enough, you'll find something to write about.
• With disciplined writing time, you'll grow to appreciate your work.
• Good words are worth the work.
• The only thing better than writing is when your words connect with the reader.
MAX SAYS: ON A CLEAR DAY
• Get your book down to one sentence. Every paragraph must pay homage to that sentence, or it doesn't get to play.
• Every word must earn its place on the page.
• Write concise but not shallow.
• Revise for as long as you can.
Good writing will go where we never can, and reroutes the trajectory of life. It seeps into the farthest corners of the world and the depths of a reader's soul. Readers let authors into their private moments by inviting the author to speak through their story. Although it's a challenging invitation, it's valuable and authors should accept. Clear thinking will deliver your words to their destination. Most places are far away, and require a long, long chair ride. Do not begrudge the hard work of getting it there, this generation needs the best books you can write.
For his final point, Max reminds the writer to let every part of the process work. "Sentences are like just caught fish. Spunky today, stinky tomorrow." Let editing do its job. That way, you will put forth good, passionate writing, which will reach readers where they live.