Who Is The ‘Genius’ Behind Good Books?

Writing is a deed that involves the triad of karmic thought, speech and action. All that is written is first formulated in thought, while the worded is a kind of speech and writing is action. Despite availability of audio and video recordings online, books remain as the lowest form of technology for recording information, while being readily accessible. No wired or wireless connections needed! Centuries later, chances are that recordings can no longer be accessed due to outdated formats, while well preserved books will remain immediately readable!

‘Genius’ is a celebration of the struggle behind the making of published novels, of the potentially tense yet enriching partnership between a writer (Thomas Wolfe) and his editor (Maxwell Perkins). Here are ten lessons ‘realised’ to share… [1] There is no other way to write than autobiographically. This is somewhat true unless one is doing an objective report. Yet the way the report is written still reflects the writer’s perception to some extent. [2] Good editing is not just reduction of mistakes and pages, but focuses on telling a story in the best way possible.

[3] Depending on the extent of work done by each, it is tricky telling who is the true genius behind a good book. Is it more of the writer or the editor? Or is it both equally. But is it ever truly so? [4] To some extent, every writer is also his own first editor, and every editor a second writer. [5] A good editor does not deforms but sculpts a book, seeing and unleashing its genius potential despite its pre-edited unruliness. [6] Good editing cuts the excess, cliched, frivolous, theatrical and stray wandering thoughts. It tames a mess and streamlines with each word in its place.

[7] May we have greater clarity of mind to self-edit what we write, which is to edit our thought, speech and action for the better, to reveal the pure potential of our Buddha-nature. [8] May we write anything, even a social media post mindfully, with the best of intentions, for sharing indefinitely. [9] May we write on despite pain and anguish, to express the essence of our compassion and wisdom, for what better legacy can we so easily leave behind? [10] I tried to write and edit the above accordingly. Let us see if it needs to be re-edited for book publication later!

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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