Monday, January 14, 2013

some thoughts on editing my book


EDITING. WOW! Who knew it was so difficult. I thought the process of writing my book would be harder than editing by far but I am finding it a real challenge. Here is why: I am personally torn. With every word, every sentence, every experience I have written about, I am torn between deciding what to boldly share with the world and with what to let die inside me. Two quotes are the source of my angst.

One from Brene Brown: "Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing that we will ever do." (The gifts of Imperfection)

I have the desire to be brave, to speak the unspeakable and to tell my story in the hope that it may help heal the hearts of others. That is my main purpose in writing it. I also have loved the process of learning more about myself and loving who I now am. It has been a journey!

However, I worry. I stall. I hold myself back and delay the finishing of my book because it contains moments of pain, of suffering and of deep feelings from my heart. Ingrid describes how I feel the best.

The second quote from Ingrid Betancourt: "As you share memories, an evolution occurs. Some facts are too painful to be told; in revealing them you relive them. And then you hope that as time goes by, the pain will disappear and you'll share with others what you've experienced and unburden yourself of the weight of your silence. But often, even if you no longer suffer when you revisit the memory, you keep quiet out of a feeling of self-respect - a reluctance to expose your humiliation. Over time, you sense you must not distress others with the memory of your own misfortune. If you share certain things, they will stay alive in other people's minds. So the most gracious and appropriate thing to do would be to let them die inside you." (Even Silence Has an End)

Deciding what to let die inside of me has been the challenge. Each page that I work on I am torn between being a voice for those who have been abused and of sparing people more pain by reading my words. It is not an easy task to work through and right now it feels like a burden. Maybe I am taking this editing process too seriously, or maybe I need to lighten up? 

My heart tells me to take my time, to carefully consider each word, each experience and to prayerfully decide and include those thoughts and words that I feel others need to hear. It is tempting to make the book all about me, it is after all my story, but that is not my purpose in writing it. So I will take my time to work through this important editing process and take extra time to be kind to myself along the way. 

15 comments:

  1. Follow what your heart tells you Naomi and I'm sure you will find the best way to edit your story - best of luck.

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    1. Thank you. I am becoming better at listening to what my heart tells me. A real learning process!

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  2. It almost sounds like you need to walk away from it for a little while ... and come back to it with a fresh heart and eyes :)

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    1. I keep having small breaks from it but I think I might need a longer one as you suggest :)

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  3. Maybe an editor who is a step removed from the content can help you make some tough decisions?

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    1. Yes. I think that is what is now needed. N x

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  4. It will take time, but the right choice will come to you. Good lukc.

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    1. It will take time and I think I need to relax a little more and give myself the gift of taking that time. Once your words are out there - there is not taking them back. I want to get it right!

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  5. I agree with the other comments, to take a break... maybe read some similar books.

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    1. I think my problem is that I have read too many similar books :)

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  6. Keep listening to your heart. Let your heart set your pace. I'm an editor, and no matter the content, editing your own work is always hard! xx

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    1. Oh good! Thanks for letting me know that. N x

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  7. Lots of great advice there Naomi...

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  8. I'm sure it must be so incredibly difficult but you are so brave for giving it a shot and being so vulnerable. It will be an amazing testament to your strength as a survivor. Can't wait to read it :)

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