Monday, July 24, 2017

A Well-Edited Life


This has been a summer of edits for me. This week is no exception. As soon as I finish this post, I plan to start working my way through a manuscript fresh an editor's metaphorical red pen.

No matter how good my editor is, I'm going come up against some edits that I don't like. What I see as perfectly good phrasings will be rejected. My seemingly-logical thought progressions will be questioned. Entire chapters might disappear. (It's happened before. It could happen again.)

But I'm not wholly dreading the process. For one thing, I've learned to appreciate good editing. While I may question some suggestions in the heat of the moment, I have seen that in the long run, each of my works has benefited greatly from a strong editorial hand.

I'm also aware that editorial pain is temporary. Between the time I revise the manuscript and the time the proofs come out, a funny thing happens. Those edit suggestions that initially incensed me? I can barely remember what they were. They now blend seamlessly into a smoothly-flowing manuscript. Those missing chapters? I can hardly remember what was in them or why I thought they were so important. It's like they never existed.

In that sense, the editing process parallels my life.

As I look back, I see how clearly God has rearranged timelines, re-directed plot threads, and cut chapters (and entire characters!) that I considered essential to my story. Just like any good editor, he's less concerned with temporarily hurting my feelings and more focused on strengthening the finished product.

That doesn't mean the editing process feels good.

But it helps to remember that the pain is temporary.

Weeping endures for a night. Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

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Photo Attribution:

By Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

  1. I love the analogy, Ruth! The proofs are the best part, aren't they? :)

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