Be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think… Romans 12:2 (TPT)
The Scariest Moment – The Edit Series – Part 1
Editing is not my strong suit. Those of you who have been reading and following us for a while (or perhaps just a few days) will know that already. Editing is a problem for a lot of writers. Which is why there are writers, and then there are editors. Anne Lamott said that
“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper.”
The first draft is the hardest. It's raw and real and new… it takes a certain amount of courage and vulnerability to start building something with words. Something that others will potentially read. Something that might be critiqued and hated, or critiqued and followed (both equally as scary).
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
Writing is a lot like living. The permanence of your actions, the quality of your thoughts, the strength of your decisions… so much rides on equal amounts of fortune and doing the right thing at the right time. Or so it seems.
Many are so concerned about making the wrong decision that they don’t make any. Or they white knuckle onto their inherited beliefs or ways of doing things, too scared to submit their work to an editor, or to edit their lives themselves in light or critique or the perceived shame of having to change. “We’ve always done it this way… I’m too old to change… That’s not in the plan… that’s not how its supposed to be.”
Rigid, stubborn, overprotective.
I think it all comes down to our feelings of inadequacy and legitimacy. There seems to be an idea the our first drafts need to be our perfected finalised copies. This is true of writing, and true of life, too. We put ourselves out there as if everything depends on this moment, this decision, this word placement, this idea, belief, habit, inclusion, exclusion…
I’m not trying to downplay our choices. They are important and do make an impact. But I am trying to reclaim the place that editing has in our lives.
Just as in writing, the role of editing in our lives is crucial. Sometimes we make a decision, settle on a belief, say some words, and they feel right and good and true. And sometimes they don’t. Rather than being afraid of that moment, we need to realize that at any time we can make edits to our lives. We can change the script. We can re-write.
All first drafts are a work in progress.
As are our decisions, mistakes, words, careers, moments, hopes, dreams, actions… works/words in progress.
Editing is what makes writing sing. I dare say the same of our lives if we re-claim a work in progress attitude. We don’t have to fear mistakes. We can always edit.
Romans 12:2 is often quoted with an emphasis on the first half:
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you…”
Instead of focusing on what we SHOULDN’T put our energies, we should turn our attention to what we can pour into:
“be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think…”
Transformed, reformed: edited.
The scariest moment is always right before you start… unless you embrace change and transformation as a way of life, a part of the process.