life edit (live like you mean it)


It’s another beautiful fall day here in Wake Forest

One of my most important tasks this week is that of editing the final draft of my new book. Unlike many authors, who don’t enjoy the writing process (especially the editing phase), this turns out to be one of my favorite aspects of production.

I enjoy the fine-tuning because it’s like presenting a great meal. We already know it’s tenderloin steak and a baked potato – but now it’s cooked to perfection, served with just the right sauce, and then presented with tender asparagus, the potatoes twice-baked and garnished, the rolls fresh from the oven, a glass of Cabernet on the side.

So I’m taking a book I’m already very happy with – the meat and potatoes – and doing what’s necessary to bring out the best flavors, so that my readers won’t only be nourished, but will enjoy the entire experience.

It turns out that my life is a continual editing process too. I’m deeply grateful for the gift of each new day – but then I have the opportunity (or the responsibility) to fine tune, to polish, to prepare the sauce, and to bring out the flavor that will enhance the experience, not only for me, but for my family and everyone whose journey intersects with mine.

DSC_1253My new book – which I can’t wait to share with you in just a few more weeks – is just one aspect of my constant commitment to “get it right.” Not an obligation, not a chore, not a pressure – but an opportunity, another day in my commitment to “live like I mean it” (because God certainly meant something profound when we were created).

Peace, blessings, and good editing – DEREK

gourmet life Live Like You Mean It writing life

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

7 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Writing is becoming an interesting phenomenon of our days. It seems that everyone have very interesting thoughts and stories that he takes as a duty to share with others. Libraries are my favorite places but I must say I have never seen so much stuff on the shelfs! It seems that there is a writer at the corner of each street! I think the fact has a lot to do with our great need of leting a sign of your presence in the world, a way of defy imortallity though, due to plethora of ideas, romances, stories – that are accusing a fashionable, or rentable, ‘stile of taste’ – turn them into something close to thrash after some months. Literature has always lacked gratitude. How many, apart from academics on the area, remember great names like Proust, Victor Hugo, Goeth, and many of the great writers of last century like Emingway or Steinbeck, and even so because of the films inspired in their works. And who remembers the once great writers of Portuguese language that are now diluted in the middle of a lot of impatient writers that seem to think they will be for ever remember?… If you like writing please write useful things! Life is full of real romances our heads full of virtual stories. and what we really need is not to see our own stories – or some alike – in the book we read and forget. We need to see, learn. and listen things of beauty or whatever calla our attention to what really matters in real life.


      • In the past, when publishing was extremely difficult and you need substancial reasons – like politics, social phenomenons, social critic, beauty of language and good poetry – to be accepted by editors and acquired to an exigente public that were by then the usual readers, writing was not a way of occupying time or telling banal stories of banal life in a banal way how we see today when looking to the places where books are sold – everywhere, because bookshops are about to disappear … – and so everyone is writing whatever it is, what is a sign of social improving and, somehow a way to tell their personal feelings without needing to look for a priest or a psychologist. The bas side is the one of the readers, most of them in not being part of very little cultivated groups, that buy and read all that stuff which with the entertaining programs their countries TVs give them are ‘formating’ societies without cultural references. This is the phenomenon!


      • I think I understand. You write that my blog amounts to, “banal stories of banal life in a banal way” – and you also say, “if you like writing please write useful things!” Is that essentially your point?
        You certainly have an interesting approach to commenting!


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