Life- Edited

by | Jan 7, 2010 | Fiction Book Reviews | 18 comments

This week I hired someone to do a line-edit on my work-in-progress, The Thornbearer. It’s always a bit unnerving to become vulnerable to someone else’s critique, offering my infant-manuscript to be sliced, diced, and redressed (just kidding, actually she was very kind).

But the truth still remains. I paid her to edit my work. I paid her to provide constructive criticism. I paid her to point out my weaknesses. (I can think of a few people who do all those things on a regular basis and dont’ get paid one cent 😉

Did it sting?

Sure, especially since I thought my writing was pretty near perfection.

Did I want to throw my work in the trashcan?

Momentarily, because of the overwhelming task of fixing it and feeling like I’d NEVER get things right – but then I swallowed down my orange-sized pride and dug the manuscript out of  the rubbish pile.

Did I want to ignore it?

Yes, and actually I did for a little while, but chocolate made everything better 🙂

Did I mention I paid for this? 😉

But she was encouraging too. Shared my strengths as well as my weaknesses. Told me that it’s a good story with great potential.

She’s a good editor, to the point, but in a kind way. I appreciate that. She didn’t cut any corners, sugar-coat my weaknesses, or try and smooth over the rough edges. How would I improve as a writer if she did that? She was only doing her job, and the things she suggested – I NEEDED to hear.

If I choose not to listen to valuable instruction, I’ll refuse to grow as a writer….

and as a person.

It’s a lot like the Holy Spirit.

Until Christ comes to live in our hearts, there is no editor of our soul. We choose what’s right in our own eyes. We write our own life-scenes and hope for the best.

But then the Holy Spirit shows up. The soul’s internal editor. He’s consistent, faithful, honest, and waiting with his metaphorical pen to right the wrong sof our heart’s story.

The warmth of his comfort wraps around us in our trials, the strength of his assurance spurns us forward into the next day, the faithfulness of his love encourages us to be honest and to run to the Father with our soiled pages of life.

Does His correction sting?

Sometimes it does, especially when we dont’ want to change our ways or we are particularly guilty. After all, we do think we’re pretty perfect 😉

Do we ever want to throw in the towel and say, “I can’t do this?”

Yep, but it’s all about His faithfulness – not ours. He holds us, He helps us, and he’s the one who provides the pen for us to rewrite the attitudes of our hearts. We WILL fail, but we never fall so far he cannot pull us out of the rubbish bin and into his embrace.

Do we ever want to ignore him?

Um…duh! Who wants to hear criticism? But He’s persistent and keeps reminding us of the stories He wants to write with our lives.

In fact,  our stories have  already been edited in full. And the cost?

paid for by Jesus.

He took our mutilated, ripped, and filthy rough draft and gave us His copy instead. He put OUR names in His book. As the Holy Spirit continues to edit our lives, the pages of our story have already been cleaned up and placed within the Book of Life.

It is finished.

And it’s a BEST SELLER ,all because of Jesus.


  1. Julie

    Wow! What a beautifully written and poignant blog, Pepper. The “soul’s internal editor.” Wow. This truly brought tears to my eyes, my friend.


    • pepperbasham

      Thanks for stopping by. I was working through the process as I was writing that. God is so good.
      Just to remind you – you’re one of my heroes 😉

  2. Camy Tang

    Amen! What a great post, Pepper! Thanks for posting this! Your honesty, vulnerability, and faith is so refreshing!

    • pepperbasham

      Thanks Camy…for everything 🙂 I have a hard time being anything else but honest, my downfall sometimes 😉 It’s a good reminder to me of my humanity and desperate need for God’s grace 🙂

  3. Ronie

    Very nice post!

    • pepperbasham

      Hey Ronie,
      Thanks for stopping by

  4. Janet Dean

    Pepper, thank you for the beautiful reminder God isn’t finished with us yet. I’m grateful our editing and polishing comes from the gentle touch of the Master, the Lover of our souls.

  5. Pam

    Beautiful, Pepper! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Patty

    Thank you for sharing this, Pepper. This is exactly what I needed to read today.

  7. Heidi Main

    Beautifully worded and so TRUE!

  8. pepperbasham

    Well, hello my wonderful Seekerville neighbors…and some NEW friends. Thanks for stopping by.
    Patty, I’m so glad this is what you needed to hear. It’s what I needed to write. Isn’t God good?

  9. Debra E Marvin

    Thanks Pepper (and thanks Camy for posting the link on FB.)

    So nicely said. all of it. Thank God for discipline. What a mess if we received no editing, no prods and reminders.

    I hope your story sizzles and sings after the edit. May God bless it for your willingness to share it.

    • pepperbasham

      Oh Debra,
      Thanks for those kind words.
      Our goal as Christians who write:
      Soli Deo Gloria
      in life as in writing
      (for the Glory of God)

  10. Audra

    Oh my, Pepper, you’ve put my feelings into words. Talk about nailing the process, and it is a process because we want to grow in our writing, just as we want to grow in our faith. Thank you for the gentle, yet firm, encouragment : )

  11. Mary Connealy

    Hi, Pepper. Julie sent me over here because she said your post today was so good.
    I loved it. I especially like ‘He wrote OUR name in His book.’ That is very profound. Very wise.

    Thank you for this.

    • pepperbasham

      Okay, my post didn’t bring tears to my eyes, but all the sweet comments sure are. It’s nice to know these feelings are just mine and this journey isn’t a solitary one.


  12. Missy Tippens

    So beautifully said, Pepper! Thanks for sharing your heart.

  13. Myra Johnson

    Lovely, lovely post, Pepper! I love the way you compared a manuscript editor to the work of Jesus in our lives. It hurts to have our faults and flaws pointed out, but how else can we grow? And to think the Editor of our lives has already rewritten the pages and marked them APPROVED!!!


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