“HE SPOKE OF APPREHENSION AND ANXIETY, BUT HIS COUNTENANCE EXPRESSED REAL SECURITY.”––about Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
Last week I received the final edits from my editor, Katrina Beckstrand, and spent all weekend working on them. I then finished formatting it and sat back with more than a little apprehension and anxiety knowing that what I was about to read was the final and last version of my book. I have spoken to other authors about the anxiety they feel when they are ready for publication and most of them wish to rewrite, dabble a little more, and refine it a tad bit. The fear I have is that with all the hard work my editor and I have put into this book, that we miss something important. What if there is some glaring mistake that was missed when we looked at it with a microscope? What if, by stepping back and reading it with fresh eyes, we see something that was not apparent with our intense scrutiny of the work?
How many times do we need to step back from what we are doing to see the answers to our problems? I have heard it say that the key to losing sight of the big picture is to look at it close up. I believe this describes my thoughts exactly. I did the final read through after the last edits were done. I read carefully, and looked for all the microscopic mistakes: grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and sentence structure. But the spirit of the story got lost along the way. I began to doubt, and my anxiety built as I read. Would it be good enough? I questioned whether or not the beginning would draw people in and help them see what kind of book it really was. Since it starts with a tragic horse accident, it is difficult to show that eventually, Darcy’s memory problems become humorous and entertaining. I feared that my skill in writing was lacking. I began to doubt.
And then I stepped back. I took off the microscope and reread the book as if I had never read it before. I tried to feel the emotion. I let myself laugh at the funny parts. I noticed my heart rate as it swooned with his romantic proposals. I began to see the areas of the book that would make good teasers and excerpts for the blogs I would be guests on and it was then that I saw it. It is a good book. Even for me, the author, it entertained me immensely. Suddenly, by stepping back, I was seeing things clearly. How often is this the answer to our problems? By looking at it without a microscope, we are able to see the true value of something. This goes with relationships as well. We can pick things apart, scrutinize every word said and every action until we fully convince ourselves of problems that are not even there! This happened this week with a dear friend of mine. We both stepped back and clarified our feelings for each other and all the evidence that clouded our communication seemed to drip away.
So maybe we are anxious, maybe we are secure, but either way, we need to step back in order to see things clearly. Take off the spectacles and see the color and shapes of the world around us. Only then will we see which path will take us where we wish to go.
We are finished with editing and now we wait for the cover to be finished. This is the moment that cannot be described with words. Look for Pride and Persistence April 1st on Amazon.com. Although editing is done, and I am prepared to upload the book, I pray that you all will see the value of a good laugh, even at the expense of poor Mr. Darcy, who cannot stop proposing. Now there is a man who sees the forest through the trees. There is a man who knows what he wants and is persistent enough to change Elizabeth’s microscopic perspective. There is a man who is secure in his dreams and goals.
If we could all have head injuries, I think we would feel much more secure in our future, for nothing becomes clearer than to be faced with a life changing event. I dedicate the book to all the patients, staff, and families of Neurological ICUs for they are forced to redefine what is most important in life at a time when they least expect it. May you be as persistent with your dedication to recovery as Mr. Darcy is in winning Elizabeth’s hand. Having the perspective enough to know exactly what you want and need . . . now that is true security.
Hey Lady Publications