John Donne wrote,
“No man is an island Entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main.”
This statement is nowhere more true than in the life of a writer.
Writers are reputed to be loners, and that often is true. We do our best work alone. After all, we need solitude to think, to research, to compose, and to edit and revise and rewrite. We tend to be introverts, shying away from all crowds and most social engagements.
But we writers also continually hear that we need to do the very things our natures abhor. We must crawl from our cocoons, out of our shells. We must depend upon others to help us with various aspects of our trade.
We need others to help us discover the right sources of information.
We need others to help us make our writing understandable, accurate, and unambiguous. We need others to read, edit, and critique what we write. We need their suggestions.
We need others to help us market our work once it’s completed.
The reality is that we can’t do any of it without the help of others. A whole team of others.
I’ve had several such teams. Not only are they numerous but also the membership of those teams is constantly changing. One of the most important team members is always my wife. She reads (or I read to her) everything I write, and she let’s me know about anything that doesn’t “click” with her as a typical reader. She’s not shy about pointing out such things, and that’s what makes her a valuable–no, an indispensable–team member.
Then there have been a plethora of formal editors. The first was Paul Poirot of the Foundation for Economic Education, who accepted and published the first article I ever submitted to any publication. There was Mary Guy. And there have been a host of others. They all helped me improve my writing.
And I’ve had numerous people who helped market my work, not the least of which did so by spreading the word of its existence. After all, word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
I have a team for my current project, my book Combat! Spiritual Lessons from Military History. Not all of them know each other, but they’re all on the same team, working for the same goal. Sheri Williams has been the shepherd, as it were, guiding me through the TouchPoint Press way of publishing and patiently answering all my questions. Kimberly Coghlin edited the manuscript. Ashley Carlson, Jan Prahl, and a host of other team members at TouchPoint, whose names I don’t even know, have been involved with the production and marketing of the book. One of my daughters became part of my team by designing some of the marketing materials. Even some people who have no stake in the success of the project also lent an indirect helping hand. Any journalists or bloggers who request interviews, such as Carol Baldwin of the Write2Ignite blog and Kaelyn Cashman of the Greer Citizen, are also part of the team. The job wouldn’t get done without every member of this vast team.
We all need teams of helpers. Even Christ had helpers. For example, He had the apostles and 70 other disciples, “advance men,” who went ahead of Him to make preparations for His preaching-and-teaching ministry. (See Luke 10:1.) Rather than shy from those who can help us, we writers should embrace them wholeheartedly as team members.
To all the people who have been my team members over the years, thank you!
To all my current team members, thank you! Working together, each doing his or her best at the various tasks, we will all be successful. And may the Lord bless the results of our efforts as He sees fit.