Having spent four years poring over my book, I had come to the place where I couldn’t bear to look at it anymore. Recently I picked it up to browse through it for the first time in probably two years and I cringed several times. I understand this is normal for authors.
A friend asked me recently if I’d change anything in my book if I had the chance. I wouldn’t change the premise of the book, but I’d add some things, take other lines out. I’d definitely delete qualifiers and italics. I had no idea there were so many in there. It’s a peculiar feeling, reading my own book.
I wrote the book with the conviction that God didn’t intend His daughters to live in grey hues. I saw young women approach their thirties, and when there was no romance on the horizon, they became desperate or depressed. I knew that when they chose these options they were grieving God because He designed them for more than depressing jobs or marriages of desperation. I didn’t want to write a I’m-a-single-woman-hear-me-roar kind of book, but one that looks honestly at the losses that come from singleness, and finds joy and grace. Because that’s how big God is, and I love Him very much and I love how He keeps breaking out of the boxes we put Him in.
It could be that the book sounds chirpy and glib. If I rework it, I might try to fix that, put more depth in it, though now I don’t know how. The great thing about publishing your own book is that you can change things in it at the next printing. I like brainstorming about a new cover and a ‘new and improved’ edition. I’m open to suggestions.
I love hearing from my readers, hearing their stories, peeking into their worlds. I felt especially triumphant when a friend said she was reading it and it made her mad enough that she threw the book across the room. (She’s still my friend!) What’s the point of writing something that doesn’t evoke some response? I was also happy when a reader said the book inspired her to read The Chronicles of Narnia even though she had always said she wasn’t interested in backless wardrobes.
I’ve been amazed at how many mothers and pastor’s wives have told me that they were encouraged with the book’s message. I hadn’t intended the book to be something for them, so their audience is a bonus to me. When single men ask about it, I always tell them I didn’t write it for them, but if they read it they may get a good picture of the kind of woman they should be looking for.
I’m a dreadful business person, having an aversion to numbers and percents and such. I don’t like marketing my own book. (I was comforted recently to find that a favourite author feels the same way here.)
If you’re brainstorming for a gift idea for a lady, you might consider giving her a copy of Life is For Living. In the next day or so I’m going to post a promotion for the book, so stay tuned.