Editing is done! Almost.
My development editor read my entire book and sent it back to me with her comments. She caught plenty of typos and changed those, but she also used the comment function of Microsoft WORD to make suggestions regarding things I could change. She encouraged me to “push back” on her comments, meaning if I did not agree with her suggestions I could explain why. I really enjoyed this process, because I knew this kind of editorial back-and-forth would only make my writing stronger, making the final version of the book better.
She ended up sending me back nearly 100 comments and I worked through those last week. Most of her comments I agreed with. She noticed that parts of my book sound more like the transcript of a sermon rather than a book because it had unnecessary redundancy. Busted. I did in fact take some sermon outlines and use them to guide some sections of the book. In preaching it is common to repeat important lines, but in writing it can be unnecessary and distracting. I do however like to say the same thing over and over, saying what I had already said but saying it in different words. Oh man! Did it again.
She also pointed out a number of rough or confusing sentences that I worked to make more clear. I was guilty of more than one cliche which she pointed out and I corrected. And she caught a few times when I used a more academic or theological sounding word. I changed those to more common sounding words. I appreciated her thoughts here.
I did push back on a couple of her comments. She felt that I used the phrase “King Jesus” too often. She said Herald Press preferred the more tradition phrase “Christ Jesus” or “Jesus Christ.” I explained that this was intentional. I felt like “Christ” came across as a more like a religious title in the minds of my readers and I wanted them to hear this title within its political connotation. We compromised and I ok’d the removal of some of the “King” references. I still left in over 30 references to King Jesus!
She also encouraged me to use the feminine pronoun when referencing the Holy Spirit. I chose not to do that. Now put down your egalitarian stones and before you hurl your stones at me, let me explain. I’m not opposed either theologically or personally to the use of “she” and “her” in reference to the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t have a gender and the use of either pronoun is fine. It just hasn’t been my writing style to do so. I have tried to decrease the use of the masculine pronoun when referencing God. For example I no longer write about “God and his people,” but I will write about “God and God’s people.” So there’s that.
I sent her back my responses to her comments and she accepted them all! This means I have no more content editing to do. That feels good. The manuscript has been sent off to the team of copy editors and I should hear something back by January 28! So I plan on taking the next week off from the book and then in the new year I will work on some articles based on themes from the book that I can publish online. I have been thinking about writing on topics like:
“Addressing Willard’s Elephant in the Church”
“The Spirituality of Discipleship”
“Why We Aren’t Called to Get People Saved”
“Justice As the Mission of God”
“Thinking as Discipleship: Why Reason, Good Thinking, & Wisdom Matter for 21st Century Disciples”
These will all be lead-up articles for the promotion of my book which will be released June 18, 2019…three days after my birthday and less than six months from today. But alas, these articles are all work for next year. For now, it is time to reflect on the Advent season and prepare to celebrate the birth of King Jesus.
Merry Christmas everybody!