Jim's Blog: Observations and Perspectives

Serving Others Joyfully


For the Joy of Ministry

A friend loves to end his emails with this strap line: “For the joy of ministry.” This resonates well with me. Jesus Himself took on the role of a servant. He came not to be ministered to, but to minister–to serve–and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Reflecting on this, I am drawn to some key thoughts in my editing and book production operation, Great Writing, and how I distilled an operational service ethos. These are the key points I wished to define:

Serving Authors: We Appreciate the Challenges

Being an author today certainly means having to navigate some heavy seas. There may be more ships on the water, but the oceans themselves have violent ebbs and flows. Writers’ block comes even to experienced authors; distractions, fatigue, and staleness are ever-present dangers to be guarded against; and the risk of just being, well, plain boring is there! Sympathy and understanding on the part of an editor can do wonders to help a writer!

Serving Editors: We Support the Process

My wife once put it quite bluntly: “To be an editor,” she said, “you have to be pedantic.” I hadn’t thought of it quite that way, but, yes, she could not have expressed it any more accurately. Is this according to the Chicago standards? Is there an exception to how this inflection should be rendered? Will the splitting of the infinitive actually offend our non-US readers? Should I adopt the purist approach and insist on absolute concord, or will the text read more evenly (and not over colloquially) with the grammatically less preferable rendering? These and a multitude of questions hustle around me anxiously and impertinently as I endeavor to polish paragraphs for other publishers.

Serving You: We Value Your Uniqueness

I deliberately chose a fingerprint motif to express this point. There really is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to bringing the best out of an author. I once met an editor–a true pedant (and that in the worst sense of the word)–whose in-depth knowledge of linguistics equipped her well for the production of textbooks*. However, when it came to feeling the pulse of an author and helping him or her to express even better those things so passionately felt and articulated, this editor might just as well have been using a clothes iron set on “maximum” instead of an editor’s pencil.

Serving Your Audience: We Keep Your Book in Print

What is a book without an audience? It’s probably about as good as being an author without a publisher. That’s why I have come up with a completely new publishing and distribution model. It is totally low-risk, guarantees a professional outcome, offers a secure production and distribution model, and facilitates getting your book to where it needs to be–visible and available for ordering online.

Great_Writing_Logo_copyExcellence in the Written Word

Find out more about my services by visiting my work site here. I endeavor to live up to the strap-line I have chosen: “Excellence in the written word.”


* From Hard Times, by Charles Dickens, consider this definition of a horse: "Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth."

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