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 There must be fifty ways to export a thought from mind to page. Writing words is the easy part. Editing and polishing and making the words more powerful, more meaningful, is where the real work lies. Editing must be done.

For instance, here’s what first comes out of my head and into my fingers and then onto screen or page. As I say, tossing words into existence is effortless.

Now comes the craft, then the art, of editing.

This is a small train-of-thought exercise:


“If something is not written, it is still, nevertheless, awaiting the blank page. The unwritten exists, even if it is never written. My job is to write the unwritten, forcing its visibility upon the reader.” –Jim Reed


“The unwritten, though unwritten, nevertheless awaits the blank page. I the writer make visible the unwritten.” –Jim Reed


“The unwritten always awaits the blank page. My task is to make the unwritten visible to the reader.” –Jim Reed


“If I never write something down, you will never know it exists. But it does exist, simply because it resides within me.” –Jim Reed

See what I mean? There must be fifty ways to write any thought. As I work on drafts of this thought, it alters itself. The end result might take years. Stay tuned.

One of my many diversions consists of collecting and studying concise, perfectly honed thoughts and meaningful insights. I am constantly amazed at how few Great Thoughts emerge from the thousands that I collect. In my small world, a collectible quote must make its appearance without notice, execute its sting, then disappear, allowing the reader to massage and digest it.

And in rare but special moments, a great set of words can uplift you, change your day, detour you from chaos to bliss, or at least make you chuckle.

For instance:

“Not to decide is to decide.” –Harvey Cox

This grand but simple utterance could take many pages to develop and make public, but Cox reduces it to six words. You’ll never forget them.

Another example:

“Jesus is coming. Look busy.” –bumper sticker

Entire volumes of theology and studies on human behavior and ethics could be written to explain and examine this thought, but the unknown scribe reduced it to one startling and funny set of five words.

And here’s one more quote that contains an entire human life:

“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” –Samuel Beckett

Each morning, I lie abed and wrestle with this thought. Then, I hop up and head to the shower. Before I know it, I’m going on

© Jim Reed 2017 A.D.




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