I am two days away from turning in the final edits of a book I am working on due out this July 1st. It is my second book, and one thing I find is that the last read through is the toughest. It’s the last moment to make changes.
When you are writing stories, for me, mostly personal ones for others to read, it is always a bit of a gasp. It seems that our lives are lived by our interpretation of what is happening. How we view the events of our lives. To tell them word by word, and sentence by paragraph, and form them into chapters, and a book, is in some essence to tell them a certain way. Interpret them. And sell them to people. Give a certain way for people to interpret their lives.
I think that is what is always the hardest for me. I think God's invitation into our lives is to continually reinterpret what is really happening. It is so hard to have the lens of God, as St. Paul says, we see through a glass darkly.
It’s funny because I did a television show for my first book. It was all quite a rather weird experience to be on Christian TV, and feel like those televangelists in those gold chairs. There was a moment when the host had me look into the camera, and really bring the thunder. It was all rather odd to me, but I did it as asked.
They gave me the complimentary copy of the show. And to this day, I have never watched it. I could watch myself in this moment I think, but to watch myself in a moment past, is to look at what I know now, and kind of do a, "oh my gosh, what was I thinking, what was I doing."
I am already reading through it, and feeling that again. Xan, why did you say it that way, or, is that really what that moment should be explained as? And yet, for that moment in time, I wrote it. and I thought it. and it will remain in print, till those moths come and destroy them.
I had heard awhile ago, that one pretty big Christian author who wrote a very popular book as a young man, doesn't recommend his book to people anymore. instead he recommends another book he wrote later about the subject. that makes a lot of sense to me. the older we get, the wiser we hopefully get, and the less we find we know. which is what makes us wise, but makes us feel stupid for all the things we said when we "knew" so much.
And so, this book is my knowing, and will have to be undone by my living on. but I think what I am trying to learn is to allow my writing, like my life, to be a work in progress. of where I am, when I wrote it. it’s kind of like knowing when you are taking a picture that somehow in 40 years; people are going to look at your clothes, or your haircut, and laugh. and say, you wore that? you kind of know that will be true, but you haven't any clue why or what they will say about it. it looks right for the time.
and so it is with this book. it is me, in this moment, of this time. an offering of a perspective that will likely change. and yet, it is worth the sacrifice to bring it, and share it, because I guess we are all in that process of changing and growing, and by the time I realize how foolish it was, it will have been replaced by other fools writing books on other areas we think they have all the answers for. till the next one comes along.