Journey of a Novel – Step 5

The publishing process for a book involves many different people with various gifts. From the graphic artists who design the cover, to the copy editor to the publisher – all these people have a hand in printing the final product. As a self-publisher, I learned about each of these processes myself and worked hard to complete a credible product. Now, with my book at CrossRiver Media, I needed to do one other thing: let it go.

From the beginning of the creative process, only two individuals worked on my novel – the Holy Spirit and me. Together we wrote the words, revised the copy, then revised it again. Most of the time, I just listened and marveled at the words that erupted from my soul, traveled to my fingers and became visible on the computer screen. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit woke me in the middle of the night to add another phrase or correct something I had misinterpreted the day before. The notepad beside my bed became a constant reminder that we were partners in this endeavor.

The editor and former English teacher in me always wants to make it better – to correct syntax or find a more efficient way to express the rhythm of my sentences. The creative mind in me always wants to find that magic word that will produce an a-ha moment for the reader. While the Holy Spirit in me is also concerned about syntax, rhythm and a-ha moments – he basically has one goal – to save another soul. So we work together, but at some point – I have to let it go.

During the journey of this novel, I wrote the rough draft in about six months. Then I corrected that draft until I felt it was publisher-ready. Now, I have revised a few places and tried to find better action verbs to move the story along. Throughout each of these steps, the Holy Spirit has also been at work – inserting another piece of the Gospel, reminding me of another Bible verse or an ancient prayer I can add to the manuscript and praying through me for those who will read this book.

This weekend, we finished that process. My characters are now part of my family, as real to me as the flesh and blood people I see each day. The story continues within my plans for a second and third book, but this particular manuscript seems ready to move on. The Holy Spirit waits silently beside me as I save it one last time, burn it to a CD, then send it through cyberspace to the experts who will complete the finished product.

As I let it go, the miracle of the creative process expands. When the book is read by others, the Holy Spirit will once again speak His words of everlasting hope. He will use the sentences, the rhythm and those precious a-ha moments to touch a heart, bring a new thought to someone’s mind or comfort those who provide care for their loved ones.

As much as I enjoyed the process, I look forward to hearing from some of you out there when you read the finished product. Let’s rejoice together in the creative process and praise God for the determined way He continues to save us.

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