Book 1 of my Christian fiction series titled Patch Town recently completed the editing stage and is now in the creative stage where the layout and book cover are established. I am looking forward to a mid-September launch of my first novel. When the editing stage began, I faced the process with some degree of fear and trepidation. Nobody likes criticism even when it is repackaged as “constructive criticism” which somehow is supposed to be more palatable.
Writers tend to be defensive of their prose, and editors are supposed to be the “culprits” who suggest rewrites, make punctuation changes and require clarity. The first steps in this process are nerve-wracking because you feel like a child about to be disciplined by a parent. You know you’ll feel the pain, but you can’t always figure out the reason why.
At my publisher Ambassador International I was blessed with a great editor. She was a pleasure to work with, and I did not question any suggestions or changes she made. When I read the final clean copy I was surprised to see how much better the manuscript had become. In fact, I dropped her an E-mail and said she had taken something I thought was good and turned into something great (at least from my perspective).
Then I thought: What was the point of all that fear? Does it serve any purpose?
Philippians 2:12-13 reads: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
In these Scriptures verses Paul can hardly be encouraging believers to live in a continuous state of anxiety and worry. There are too many other verses that speak about peace and joy of being one with Christ.
I believe Paul is exhorting us to press forward to bring our Christian walk to fruition and completion as much as we humanly can. In order to do this, we need a healthy fear of offending God through disobedience and a respect for His majesty and holiness. I expect when I stand before the Lord one day, I will be trembling, not out of fear, but more because I will be in awe.
Bottom Line: Some things are worth fear and trembling. But it has little to do with selecting the right verb.
Now, is it laying or lying down? Affect or effect?
June 21, 2014