Writing & Editing

Helping transform your inspirations into sharp, lucid prose

Soul and sensibility

I am a champion of words. I believe language can transcend its own linear limitations by recognizing words as living spirit rather than mere symbolism alone. That’s a heady idea but all it means is that a dynamic text can speak to multiple levels of reality, and meet the reader exactly where they are in any given moment. Parables may have gone out of fashion but that was their great power: to hide esoteric truths in plain sight, waiting for the reader to catch on.

There will always be a market for didactic spiritual writing, but my passion is for work that communicates past the conditioned mind for those with “ears to hear” and “eyes to see”, or in this case, “eyes to read”. In my opinion, making a work accessible should never come at the expense of truths that are — by necessity — hidden between the lines. Why? Because it is in their very discovery that the reader is unravelled.

Storytelling without an agenda to onerously explain, meanwhile, aims straight for that organ of higher sensory perception, the human heart. In either case, I cherish words as the gateway to direct experience, and bring this love to my work as both an editor and writer. It’s an ongoing journey of discovery because the less conspicuous I am, the more the work is free to take on a life of its own. 

~Justin Craig

HOW I WORK

In essence, I am a wordsmith for hire with a passion for thought leadership in the areas of psychology, health, trauma, and where they intersect as humanity reclaims our divine inheritance as sovereign creators. At this critical juncture in our history, it’s not a time for wooly thinking, or ungrounded visions. The writing used to communicate the new ideas of an emerging paradigm must adhere to a high standard of coherence and internal logic, without indulging outdated assumptions. That’s where my meticulous nature and work history is helpful.  

I have 25 years’ experience in the Australian media. As an editor, I do not suffer poor writing (but I love fixing it). While working to multiple daily deadlines has sharpened my editor’s blade, I do not wield it with bloody flourish. I am sensitive to the writer’s authentic voice and wary of literalism that stymies creative flow. Yet I take the role of temporary custodian of your message very seriously. I am meticulous and slightly obsessive. That’s to your benefit and everyone else’s chagrin.

My services include but are not limited to:

—Taking transcripts of recorded material and rendering them into prose within a coherent structure;
—Structural editing and line-by-line editing for completed short and long manuscripts;
—Mentoring through the writing process.
—Writing journalistic-style articles and blogs, but not as SEO content fodder. I want the work to matter. 

RATES

I charge a standard (industry average) rate of $56 per hour, for both long- and short-form work. Larger project fees can be negotiated. Please see my personal writing for an idea of my style and interests, however, I am always open to moving into new territory.

Please use the contact form for enquiries, or email me at justin@yieldingtograce.com.

 

Muder on the page

WRITING AND EDITING

“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it —wholeheartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”  Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

It’s intriguing to guess what Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch would have made of writing in a post-truth world. The Englishman who famously advised writers to “murder your darlings” might have wreaked homicidal havoc on any flowery prose purporting to represent a greater reality. 

Herein lies the task of the modern editor that sets him/her at odds with the Edwardian purist: to be unsentimental – ruthless even – yet still sympathetic with the client’s sensibilities and needs.

I mention Quiller-Couch to make the point that good editing is not a matter of high-minded culling; rather, it’s about paying careful attention to every element comprising the whole.

Removing repetitions and redundant phrases, for example, can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and accessibility of the entire manuscript, story or blog. Transforming passive voice breathes life into timid prose. Inspired new angles break any tedium. And that’s before ensuring the writing flows logically towards the aims of the work.

The final point, though, is that sometimes less is more, and explanation can get in the way of understanding. A good editor knows when to have a light touch and when to insist on a bit of old-fashioned common sense, even if the subject matter roams far from conventional logic. When the writer has earned the right to break the rules, the reader is set free from their unconscious moorings.

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