Friday, March 18, 2011

Being Edited (Part 5 of 6)

No matter how long we’ve written or how good our prose, others can see things we miss. When I first began to write, I invited several other eager-to-publish writers to join me. We didn't know much, but we shared what we knew. Every person who remained in the Scribe Tribe at least five years became a much-published writer. One of the "graduates" is Marion Bond West, Guideposts' most-published writer. Suzanne Stewart's first book sold more than 200,000 copies. Two alumni have been full-time editors for two decades.

I want to give a few reasons why I strongly advocate every writer becoming part of an editing group.

1. Good editing groups offer a diversity of capabilities, backgrounds, interests, and knowledge. I'm not naturally analytical, and I focused more on word choices and sentence flow. Other members taught me to recognize logical progression and development of ideas. And I became a better writer.

2. Being part of a group allows us to receive and to give. We learn from the others, but we also teach them. We see areas of their writing where we can help them. It's as simple as the Sunday school teachers who say, "I never understood the Bible until I taught a class."

3. Being part of an editing group offers new writers a sense of identity. We belong; we're not alone. We don't have to hide our writing. We meet with others who understand and struggle with the same problems. They encourage us to open ourselves on the page.

The major reason I believe in editing groups is simple:
They work.


  1. I am convinced. I searched Google and Yahoo groups without success. There are no such groups in New Jersey/Philadelphia region. That seems hard to believe. So if someone knows of one within reasonable commuting distance, please let me know.

  2. Kudos again, Cec. I could not have progressed without participation in an active writers group. Alas, ours has dissolved, and I am worse for it. I'm trying to get another started, but it's tough to find committed folks. Though I prefer face to face meetings, I'm thinking of trying an online group. With today's technology, it's possible to have a virtual "face-to-face" group. I haven't worked out all the kinks, but I'll be happy to share what I learn with anyone who's interested.

  3. Cecil, Thank you so much for you advice to writers. I wish that there was an active writers group in my area. I love reading your blog and gleaming all the good information. Thank you as well for your wonderful scholarship opportunity for She Speaks you truly have a heart of gold from God Himself, Be Blessed dear one !

  4. Came by to *Thank You* for living out Psalm 45:1, a heart so stirred, composing Noble Themes, offering Hope to many through Redeeming Rhetoric. Perused your blog and a tear or two dropped as I read your Sexual Abuse posts. It's oh-so-close to my own childhood home of abuse and violence. I'm so drawn to the Beautiful Christ I adore as I read your words of hope and freedom. Thank you kindly for scholarships and snippets and your sempiternal story that lifts us up to the Greatest Story ever written.
    My Gratitude for I Cor 2:7 NEB---framing purpose and passion through your words and calling many out to their Full Glory. Bev Brandon @ The Fray

  5. found you through renee swope. so glad i did! thank you for what you do! so excited to start receiving the newsletter!

  6. You are right, the constructive criticism I have received from my critique group has been very helpful. No matter how many times I read something, they always find ways to improve my sentences or structure them better. We met at She Speaks last year. I really enjoyed listening to you speak. Thank you for all the generous scholarships you have given to the winners. One of my friends got one of the scholarships, Kristy K., and she has been very blessed because of it.

  7. What a great idea. I think I need to find a group.


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