June 3, 2016

Writing a Process and Product

By Jerry Slauter

Writing is a process and a product. We have to accept that it will never be perfect, although we want it to be. The attitude of waiting until the project will be perfect leads to paralysis by analysis or procrastination. Woodcutters Revival was published in 2012. The project began in 1982 when my family was visiting my brother in Durango Colorado. I had read Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. I was also reading Pilgrim’s Progress

As we drove through the San Luis Valley and proceeded through Wolf Creek Pass in the San Juan Mountains, I thought, “This would make a perfect setting for this story.”

I began my rough draft that summer. In August, I had to go back to teach school. I worked through Chapter 4 several times. I always put the project away as summer or Christmas break ended and it was time to return to school. One time about half way through this period of time, I was in a writing club. We had to have something to read each week we met, so I completed the rough draft up through chapter 7. This see saw went on until I retired from teaching in 2011. About Thanksgiving, I said to myself, I did not go back to school. Burn the notes and quit calling myself a writer or finish the project.”

I had a rough draft completed by mid-February of 2012. I worked on editing and proofreading until June and finally submitted the text for printing. I scheduled two book signings for August and September 1. It was difficult to finally say, This is enough. Let them print it.”

The printing took longer than expected and I received my first shipment of books a day before my first book signing. Fine Line: Passion and Providence,the sequel to Woodcutter’s Revival was published in January of 2015.

I would advise beginning and veteran writers to experience life at a different level than ordinary. View every situation as one that could potentially give insight to human behavior or themes and plots that could be integrated into a story, a chapter or an article. Integrate all experience and research to make ideals simple enough, yet intriguing. If you write fiction, make it believable. And, of course, 

Jerry is a retired school teacher. He love s to spend time with family, including children and grandchildren. He works in his wood, leather and metal shops at home. Jerry published Woodcutter's Revival in 2012. The sequel, Fine Line: Passion and Providence was published in January of 2015. He is the author of  Revived: Story of Publishing a Christian NovelYou can also see Jerry's essay/articles at his web site: or on My web site is</a>

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