Production Diary – The Decay Within, Part 4 – Rewrites

I consider myself a recovering perfectionist.

The perfectionist side of me started early on. I liked to get everything just perfect. In all the things I tried (piano, drawing, sports, playing the flute, reading, Spanish, math, etc), I wanted to not just be good, but perfect.

While this will come as a shock to none of you that know me, I am not perfect. I had to eventually decide how I was going to react when I was not perfect. Would I pitch a fit, say that skill is worthless, and refuse to do it any more (umm, piano lessons)? Or would I accept it, learn from it, and try to improve, striving to be the imperfect best that I could be?

Over the years, I’ve learned that I’m not perfect and I never will be. I’ve tried to take the criticism from others as an opportunity to learn and grow. But, it’s not always easy and often there’s a war waging to drag me back into the trap of perfectionistic thinking. That would be where the “recovering” part comes in.

Rewrites bring this battle to the front of my mind.

This month, I received my manuscript back with all the comments and suggestions from my Conceptual Editor, Lindsey Marcus. Let me just start off saying, she’s FABULOUS!! There were several places throughout that she’s asked me to reconsider what I’m saying or say it in a different way. It’s been great to read through and see her ideas intertwined with mine, knowing that her goal is the same as mine, to create the best possible book for readers to enjoy, learn, and grow. I love her ideas and I’m excited to see how I can utilize them in the book. I would not trade her or her input for anything in this world.

However, there’s always that initial moment reading through when the perfectionist awakens inside me, gets frustrated, and starts muttering in my head, “Why should she tell me to rewrite anything? What does she mean she doesn’t understand what I said? Who says it’s not perfect the way it is?”

What can I say? I’m not perfect at not being a perfectionist anymore.

I think we all can struggle with receiving feedback from time to time. We want to be perfect. We want others to think we’re perfect. Ironically, I’ve had to take a long look at that as I work through The Decay Within manuscript and remember that the focus of the book rests on what is inside and not just what is outside.

My time for self-reflection and growth will be relatively short and focused. I have to have all the rewrites back to Lindsey by August 15th. She’ll then use the rest of the month to go back over what I’ve rewritten and make sure that it answers her questions and addresses her concerns. Then, she’ll compile everything and send it back to me on September 1st for one final look through before I sign off on the content of the book. Even then it still won’t be perfect. But, by God’s grace, it will be the best I can make it.

I’m so glad that God doesn’t require perfection! He loves me just the way He created me and He brings me toward perfection as I submit and trust in Jesus Christ, the one and only perfect Son of God. One day, my time of recovery will be over and I will be fully transformed into His likeness. Only then will I be perfect!

Maybe I should rephrase my recovery as an “aspiration to perfection.” Christ’s perfection, that is!

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