Jul

11

2012

Jared C. Wilson|12:00 pm CT

The Ten Commandments for Writers

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before God. Neither publication nor fame nor even writing itself shall be your god, but God alone.

2. Thou shalt not make of your writing an idol, serving it as if it is sovereign. Nor shall you look to your gift or craft for the fulfillment and satisfaction and joy only Christ can give in himself.

3. Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain, but shall write ultimately for the fame of his name, not for your own.

4. Thou shalt take a day off every week.

5. Honor your father and your mother. Even if you’re writing about your troubled childhood, don’t do so in ways that shame your parents or throw them under the bus for cheap laughs or tears.

6. Thou shalt not murder, not even in your heart when another writer writes well or when a critic savages your work or when you think somebody stole your idea.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. If writing is your mistress, it’s still cheating on your spouse. And you’re not fooling everybody by trying to “keep it real” with the sexuality in your book.

8. Thou shalt not steal anybody’s joy or time. Nor shall you steal anybody’s work and pass it off as your own.

9. Thou shalt not tell lies. Even when writing fiction, tell the truth.

10. Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s gifts, praise, success, or livelihood.

The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is like it: Love your reader as yourself.

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