I’m all for change- as long as it’s easy, painless, and doesn’t bring stress! Since last December, I have been writing short stories for Vida Yum, a children’s online magazine, and last week they asked me to spread my net a little. I was only too pleased. As well as my stories, they now need someone who can translate any North American words and phrases into fully comprehensible language for English schools… a little editing and “anglicizing”.
Enter the English girl who has been living in Canada for the past 18 years…
I was the ideal candidate- I have made enough verbal blunders to last me a lifetime. Amazing how differently a word translates after traveling across the pond. I’m actually too embarrassed to even mention most of them…
Back to my point- any writer will tell you how exciting it is to land experience and a little extra income doing what they love, and quite honestly, I really enjoy editing. What I don’t relish is the nightmarish technical aspects involved… nothing particularly complex for your average computer whiz, but I’m somewhat technophobic (just ask my kids). I have spent two-and-a-half days this week battling PDF’s and other ghastly things, when all I wanted to do was make the magazines look good. I like making things look good.
My somewhat depleted family has exercised tremendous patience with me- even the hound has given me a wide berth.
But after much frustration, muffled growls, and perseverance, I think I’m there. I kind of kicked my way through the “changes”. But in the process, I wondered briefly why I had agreed to taking this job on in the first place- why do I get a rush out of editing? Why the high when I find an error?
Scary thought: Do I LIKE picking things (or even people) to pieces?
Oh my. I hope not. It’s not a pretty self-accusation, but one worth chewing on. Am I an encourager who sees the best in others, or do I zoom in on imperfections and try to change them? Do I look for the good or strip everything down until I find a fault? Yikes.
There’s a Bible verse in Matthew 7 that talks about criticizing and judging others and it goes like this:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”
I have to tell you, when I was a child, I completely got the wrong end of the stick with this verse (no pun intended!) I remember thinking what a hero the first person must be, wanting to help the brother with a bit of fluff in his eye when he had a massive log in his own eye. How selfless! But I later discovered the verse that comes right afterwards:
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Ohhh…. sort your own issues out before you go trying to sort out other people. Humbling? Yes. I don’t intentionally go around “editing” people, but it sometimes happens as a result of a critical/ hypocritical outlook. I want to be an encourager ALWAYS. I want to keep my editing to manuscripts…
And just to be clear- I do edit my own writing. A lot. It’s a necessity and a huge learning curve. And I believe it’s healthy to take stock once in a while and do some “editing of self” on a practical/ spiritual/ emotional level… am I living my God-given life to its full potential? Am I spending my time wisely? Am I reaching out to others? Am I looking for new opportunities to share God’s love and truly make a difference? There’s bound to be stuff I can cut out, improve on, change for the better.
Life is an interesting journey, and change is part of it. Edits happen; sometimes it’s a breeze, sometimes it’s more painful.
Embrace change, be an encourager, and don’t be afraid to do a little editing in your own life where required…
It’s an uncomfortable necessity, but well worth the effort. Where to start? I figure asking the One who knows me better than I know myself is a pretty good resource.
Seeking wisdom in my editing…