As previously mentioned; I was playing the 'editing' waiting game, giving me time to work on my fantasy story. But life has a way of interrupting and I had to break away from my fantasy tale because I was asked to write a book teaser for the back cover of my published story. Not sure what the publisher was looking for, I referred to the kind of book teasers on the back covers of many of my collected books. Using them as an example, I settled on a draft and sent back the teaser with time to spare, so I could get back to my joy, my fantasy fairytale.
While deeply immersed in my tale, I was again interrupted when I received word that the first edits were done and ready for me to do my part. The copy editing phase pivoted on the basics of sentence structure, spelling, grammar, etc. I sat down and began reading and looking over the mistakes and I burst out with panic-stricken laughter! The sheer magnitude of work was staring me in the face and needed my immediate attention! I walked away and buried my head in the proverbial sandpile, hoping if I ignored the task, it would just disappear. 'Ha, like that would really happen!' Instead, I went to bed. After a good night sleep I became determined to tackle the assignment the way I would with any job, by spending up to eight hours at the computer, correcting each error with extra care. But my head began to ache, followed by blurry eyes, but I was relentless to reach the goal of completion. With much glee, I finished my part and then re-read the manuscript again and again until convinced all was good. I surmised that by now, I must have re-read my story at least seven or more times, so I felt it was ready to go back to my editor for the second phase of editing; giving the manuscript a professional look.
Here I was; waiting again, so back to my fantasy story where the characters were coming alive to the point that I hated to leave them and their story dangling. Also, surprisingly the story itself was taking a new direction from what I had first intended, but I loved where it was going and at least this story was a pleasurable subject, so I was having a delightful time in my fantasy world. While typing away, I began to notice some of the same mistakes as in my first story. With new insight, I went back to the beginning and began making corrections throughout. Suddenly, I had a 'aha' moment. It dawned on me that I had been given an opportunity to learn from the experts, so this actually was a valuable lesson if I wanted my work to look and read with more professionalism!
With yet another interruption, my editor contacted me with a suggestion to submit my photo for the back cover. Photo! Did I even want a photo? Hm, I like being private. So, if I did include a photo, what image would I use? After some balking and hesitation I finally broke down and went with a photo taken by a professional photographer while on a recent cruise. I sent it off before I changed my mind.
The end of the publisher's second round of edits came with a question and a challenge regarding the main purpose of my book. As originally written, the theme was more of an auto-biography rather than an inspirational story about overcoming a difficult issue. My assignment was to decide the direction and main purpose of my story and apply the main theme through out the book meet my final objective.
Looking at my manuscript with a new perspective, it became clear I still had some work ahead of me, but tackled the assignment with enthusiasm and the intention of improving the overall purpose of my story. I began removing unnecessary text and in some places re-working entire chapters, always with the theme in mind. This meant I had to dig up some long-buried memories that took me back to a time where life was not good. In fact, it was unbelievably bad. Basically, I had to re-live the past with my batterer, my abusive spouse. It also meant I had to really look at myself, my choices, and my flaws to better understand how I was able to leave one unhealthy relationship only to find myself in another domineering relationship with a character who had his own destructive secret which affected us all.
By time I was done editing, I was emotionally and mentally drained. I began to grasp how my decisions had contributed to my and my children's messy life. Alas, this was the beginning of seeing more clearly. The ugly truth caused me to hit bottom, but it also was the catalyst that was setting me free from my chains.
It has been said, that to tell a good story, one must write what they know. I certainly knew more than I wanted, but I kept my vision on the main purpose, that of a story with a theme of God's sustaining hope and love.
I re-read the final manuscript with a magnitude of tears blurring my vision and asked myself, "How many times do I need to re-read my story? How many times do I have to relive the nightmare? The memories hurt so bad!" The answer became apparent through a gentle whisper near my ear; "You are not alone. I am with you even as you relive your past so you and others reading your book might heal." I went back and looked again at the past with a new understanding. When convinced I could add nothing more of relevance, I sent it back to the editor for the next phase. I would again be waiting, but I was finding the wait to be a blessing from a merciful God. He was giving me a time of needed rest as He refreshed and cleansed my inner spirit. I was truly healing.
Keep on smiling,
I sense a need for something greater than self. So, I am led by Christ's love to be an encourager as I share about His faithfulness and grace.