My “Pilgrimage” manuscript has been received by the publisher and is due out in about one year. The first line of the publisher’s response was: Is this final? Yes, they even underlined the word final.
Friends, that question struck absolute terror into my heart!
For one thing, I am used to preaching. No sermon is final until I stand in the pulpit and deliver it, and even then, I actually believe that the Holy Spirit has something to do with how that sermon comes out, how the people hear it. It’s not all up to me and my keyboard.
So to ask me if my words are final? It feels like my safety net is gone.
For another thing, I am aware that I could keep making those words better. There is perhaps a chapter I could add to make the content more complete. There is perhaps a chapter I should remove because it adds nothing. If that is true of whole chapters, shall we talk about paragraphs? sentences? words? Certainly I could find a stronger verb, a more perfect adjective. Is that dialogue easy to follow? Is it trite? Should I describe that scene more fully? Say more about that line of thought, or perhaps eliminate it altogether?
I could polish that manuscript forever!
Is it final?
I am praying about it and learning to let go. I am telling myself that it won’t be a perfect book but it will be good enough. I am trying to move on to the next thing, grateful for the thing I am able to leave behind, for now.
And no, that’s not final.