21 Days of Fearless: Day 14

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

7 Days Cover (c) Dian Reid, All Rights ReservedLast night I received the first edited version of my book. I sat on my couch, looking at the bottom of the word document in awe: Page 1 of 89. It was nearly 100 pages shorter than when I sent it to her. Is this what editors do? Just chop your work up and spit it out? I knew she would take some things out, but… And then I got over myself.

I asked for editing, and editing was what I got. First, I read through her notes. Then I read through her edited version of my book. As I read through, I really tried to focus on what I felt as I read. I didn’t try to sidestep any emotion that came up. In fact, I hardly read the book at all.

I was dumbfounded. I thought I’d prepared myself for this edited version. I knew she was going to rip the book apart, and she was very clear:” I’m taking the book apart (not you) and putting it back together.” And still, as I read, thoughts and wonderment floated above me like cartoon stars after being hit on the head. Why is that piece missing? … I didn’t write it like that.

I couldn’t even get through the whole thing. I felt myself getting emotional, but I didn’t know why, so I just let it flow. I tried to think about just what was happening in my body. My body was tense. Am I angry? No, that wasn’t it. Disappointed? That struck a chord. But what was I disappointed about? I told myself I had no expectations. I told myself that whatever came I would take in and relish, as I’d never been through the process of completing a book, let alone having it edited. And there I was, limp on the couch, nearly distraught over the shred of what used to be, sitting on my laptop screen. And that was it.

The loss of what I’d put into the book. The loss of the words, the stories, the lessons. The loss of the hours and emotions I’d spent in writing all that was now “missing” from the book. That’s what I was feeling. Apropos that I would need to grieve the loss of this piece of my book, when my book is about embracing our grief and moving through it. It finally made sense to me.

I wasn’t disappointed with the edited version, not at all. I just mistook the edited version for the original version. One is not the other, one only leads to the other. And this is what Life is about. Everything we live is a lesson, but we take the ones that apply to the current “project” and move forward. Just because a particular piece was important to me in those last seven days doesn’t mean that it was important to the story, the cause of the book. There will be a time and a place for those pieces that don’t end up residing in the book (or maybe there won’t be). For now, I will reread the book, and take it in for what it is: My story, shaped into a book that will inspire people.

I cannot help but feel myself growing.

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