"My eyes open slowly, knowingly to a new world." And with that, my fingers stopped moving and my manuscript complete. ...for now, at least. Those are the parting words. The very last words that wrap up my first book. For the past year, hours have piled high, words have bled out and memories and reflections recorded. Forming and shaping the base of what will soon be my first book completed.
I emailed my manuscript off for editing last week. And it was with plenty of anxiety. It’s one thing to write words. But to have someone comb through those words holding close to your heart, life lived fibers connecting your heart to days behind and hope ahead, can be a whole ‘nother level of vulnerability.
I winced a bit as I hit the send button releasing my manuscript into the hands of my editor purposed on cutting, slicing, adding, suggesting and critiquing ...all for good, of course. But still.
I winced even more when her initial response filled my inbox.
When I first started writing this book, my approach was simple: a revisiting of life and recounting of God’s grace in light of grief hanging heavy.
My fingers found reprieve in a blank screen and comfort in the retelling, the sharing and the journey. God found as my words came to life. Writing grew into quite a cathartic exercise. The discipline required to stay on schedule (somewhat), a healthy tether to life as it happened and hope ahead.
I guess only part of me expected an actual book to result. Being an author always seemed like an audacious reach for me. That’s precisely how big dreams should exist, as life in the far distance imagined. The reach required to close that intimidating, romantically imagined distance demanded sweat and furrowed brow ...and steps defying resistance.
Books aren’t written by ideas or even pretty words. Books are written by authors who don’t quit.
The same holds true for anything in life hoped for. Hope is not enough. You have to be a dream taker owning what is hoped for in your dripping effort. Plenty of people hope for things better and years grow, aging hopes. Eventually hopes and dreams get swallowed in the distance and diminishing effort given. Steps cease and the distance between where you stand and where you hoped to be never met.
Quit and you’ll never arrive. Discount your dream as unimportant, unworthy and unreachable and you will always be where you are, never a step closer.
I’m still staring at hope in the future. It’s still out there in front of me, but the distance is closing quickly as step by step I draw nearer.
My manuscript still needs to be completed after editing. A publisher will need to accept my book. People will need to read it. Another book will be written. And another. That is the fullness of my dream. Not one book, but as many as I will write.
I set out to be a writer. That is the dream glowing and the hope hanging.
I’ll keep you posted on how my manuscript evolves into a book over the next couple months and share excerpts and behind the scenes type of thought and information.
And I hope that the slightest bit of inspiration from my journey eases into your effort as you hope, dream and close the distance.