Being Comfortable With Editing
Trisha and I are in the editing process of our book, Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough. We are so excited about it, and should have all the edits done by the end of this month. The cover is being finalized, and the final manuscript will be completed in August. It is set to be released in January, 2013. Just typing that is like an out of body experience.
The other day, when we received the first two chapters from our editor at Tyndale, this is what it looked like:
I was almost blinded by all the red on the page. Red means edits. Red means corrections. Red means what I wrote wasn’t good enough.
I spent so much of my life trying to avoid edits. Trying to pretend like I didn’t need corrections. Trying to act like I knew what was best without anyone’s help. It was a miserable way to live. It is a lonely way to live.
Insecure. Defensive. Arrogant. My goal was to convince people that I had no weaknesses, no flaws and didn’t need any edits. What I’ve come to learn is that most arrogance isn’t born out of pride but actually out of insecurity. That was the case for me.
So when I opened the first chapter of our book, the sea of red almost took my breath away. Then I read this in the email from our amazing editor: “I have three main goals while editing: 1) to preserve the author’s voice as much as possible; 2) to edify the reader; 3) to glorify God.”
What is so amazing is those were our goals as we wrote the book. It was like God was reminding me that life is best lived with writers and editors working together. We need people in our life that see life differently than we do. We need friends that refuse to tell us what we want to hear and are willing to offer correction. We need voices in our life that help us be more effective; more understood; to live with more clarity. We need people to speak the truth in love.
Avoiding the edits in life causes us to continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. We become a product of our own will and our own wisdom. Embracing the edits allows our life to speak with humility and authority; with clarity and purpose.
It is the through the editing process that the story God is writing with your life is best written.