Writer Development: Keys to success

The success or failure of Christian writer development hinges on three realities: structure, incentive and economics.


Positive outcomes of all writer development and training depend upon some structure or framework through which the writer’s work can be published and given a readership.

Writers function and develop best when their creative work with words is monitored by a caring and competent editor. The interactive process of critiquing, querying, questioning, honing and clarifying create an environment for excellence. This environment prepares a work for publication.

Making sure that writers have a viable opportunity to be published is crucial to the success of every long-range writer training program.


When the writer knows that his or her piece of writing is good, this is incentive to keep writing. The goal of being published also communicates to the writer the imperative for excellence in whatever is written. Trainers of writers should always remember that, for the writer, the possibility for a manuscript or article to be put in print or published online is an immense stimulus and encouragement to write.

Another key incentive is the goading and nurturing of an editor. Many an article or book was first conceived when a caring editor tossed an idea back and forth over a cup of coffee or while taking a walk with a writer.

Lastly, for the Christian writer the overarching driving incentive is the faith we communicate. The Apostle Paul reminds Christians strongly that our words are to be interesting, attractive, reasoned and winsome (Col. 4:5-6).


One way to recognize the value of a writer’s work is to express appreciation via payment, however modest.

Sometimes, authors and writers are the last to receive economic or any meaningful recognition. Even though Christians rarely expect a printer to produce a product without fair payment, they often fail to understand that the writer deserves, and indeed earns, similar financial recognition for work accomplished. A writer’s work is the engine that drives publishing. Without writers, publishers cannot exist.

The amount of payment is secondary to the importance of recognizing the creative vitality and discipline that went into a significant piece of writing.

Trainers have a responsibility to encourage payment of these creative and unusual people for their published work. If payment is not possible, some alternative but meaningful recognition for value received, is imperative.

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