I think I spoke too soon, as per usual.
After looking through the editor’s work and seeing some of the comments about the editing of the book I knew she worked on, I grabbed a copy for myself. Once I’d read some of the book, I acknowledged that some obvious grammatical errors and typos were distracting me from the content of the book. I knew that I didn’t want that to happen with my book. As a reader, I know how a bad editing job can make an otherwise wonderful book suck, for lack of a better word. I’d rather my story tanked on its material rather than its editing.
Even though I had to go back to the drawing board on editing, I did come up with a better solution for me. I realized I know a guy. The guy who runs the singles’ ministry is a college English teacher (I realize teacher isn’t the word; I believe he’s an adjunct professor? Semantics). Not only does he have a proven background in English, he leads a singles’ ministry, which means he has extensive knowledge of the subject matter. He can copy edit and edit for content, and he would be one of few people I would trust to edit the content. I also found an advance reader, someone who is quoted quite a few times in the book herself. She’s a psychologist who attends my church and has done some pre-marital counseling for me (no, I’m not married or engaged, but I’ve had pre-marital counseling–twice. That’s another story for another day, and not half as interesting as it sounds). So the people are in place, but is the book ready?
The short answer is no. I got hung up on the writing of the chapter I didn’t want to write (somehow, I am not surprised by this). I had a goal to be done with the book by the end of March, but things picked up with the website (which is coming along well), I got invited to speak at my aunt’s Authentic Self seminar (which is in May, but I started working on right away so I could preview it here), and things at work began to change. All legitimate excuses that don’t get me any closer to a finished book. But I’m back on top of it, dear readers. The book hasn’t died on the shelf yet. I am going to finish those parts I don’t want to tackle, and I’m going to wrap up the other chapters in a way that makes it all worth the wait for this book.
Even though I feel like this project is one I’m meant to write and have gained a wealth of experience and growth through the writing of it, I find myself missing my fiction projects. I want to get conclude some of those stories. I think there is a market for them. But I realize that finishing this project is not just important to me, but to all the people who can benefit from reading it. Let’s not downplay the fact that I am known to abandon ship when the writing gets tough and move on to something else. I need to prove to myself that I can finish a work and get it out there. I have to get to the end of writing and editing and have a finished product if I’m ever going to publish. We can’t all be Donna Tart and take ten years to finish a book.
So, keep my book and my writing in your thoughts and prayers. It is moving forward. I want to make it perfect for my readers, some of which have been waiting years to read my work. Meanwhile, sate yourselves with reading a few shorter non-fiction pieces in my Untitled tab.